In Killing Them Softly, Dominik's first feature since The Assassination of Jesse James, Pitt once again plays a quietly powerful sociopath, and once again the screen vibrates.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
The movie is more concerned with conjuring an aura of meaningfulness than with actually meaning anything.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Languorous to the point of rambling, the story of double-crossing and vengeance is darkly funny, graphically violent and gorgeously shot.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Possesses a modicum of swagger and style, even as it perpetuates some of the crime genre's more tedious cliches, from slow-motion savagery to facile cynicism.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
A bleakly comic, brutally Darwinian gangland saga that at times comes close to being this year's "Drive."
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
It's a movie that shows, and then tells, tells, and tells again, its vibrant conjuring of contemporary cynicism felled by Dominik's lack of faith in his audience's ability to connect thematic dots.
Karina Longworth - Village Voice
Pitt, entering his third decade of fame, continues to show how there was always a deadly serious actor in him all along.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
The film, for all its visual felicities, comes to life only sporadically.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Ultimately, as crafted as Killing Them Softly is, it's less satisfying than either The Sopranos or Goodfellas. Still, Dominik and his cast cruise some very mean streets indeed.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
And at the end, when that character collides head on with the election theme Dominik tends to overstate throughout, it all leads up to a punch line so thoroughly anti-inspirational and mordantly funny and just about perfect ...
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
One of the best things in the movie is a conversation between Pitt and Jenkins, on a torrential day, seated in a nondescript car beneath a bridge.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
It seems as if I've been seeing versions of this story since forever.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
This is a talkative picture, allowing time and space for comically preoccupied and quirkily pathetic exchanges between all sorts of strays and losers.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The Louisiana locations are appropriately cruddy, and the occasional scenes of violence are frightening, visceral, and beautifully photographed.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Jolting, suspenseful, full of twisted sympathy for its goons' row of characters, and wickedly amusing to boot, Killing Them Softly summons up the ghosts of Goodfellas and a whole nasty tradition of crime pics.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Clever dialogue can make up for one-dimensional characters, and amped-up action can disguise a thin plot. Here, we get too little of either.
Kristin Tillotson - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Let's just call it DOA.
Tom Long - Detroit News
The point of this vile, cynical and ultimately preposterous film is that America is reeling from spiritual numbness and ethical paralysis, and optimism is a game for fools.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Trading in pleasures of a deliberately rarefied sort, writer-director Andrew Dominik's talky, character-rich genre piece largely short-circuits thrills to sketch a grimly funny portrait of thugs taking care of business, in every rotten sense of the word.
Justin Chang - Variety
It isn't much of a movie. I might forgive the slow start if it weren't for the slow middle and slow end.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
This is a deeply cynical movie, with not much to say but a lot to feel.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
a humdinger of a cinematic exercise
Jordan Hoffman - Film.com
Dominik brings a sleek pulp sensibility to the material and melds its topicality to a strange form of scathingly anti-capitalist entertainment.
Eric Kohn - indieWIRE
A stylish, brutal affair that delivers grim atmosphere and punishing violence but loses impact in telegraphing its political punches.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
It has a weird, buzzing, intense quality that has burrowed its way deep into my brain like some invasive sci-fi organism.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
It's hard to deglamorize the criminal life when you can't resist showing a bullet leaving a gun barrel in stylized super-slow motion or scoring the anti-hero's first entrance to a Johnny Cash song.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Killing Them Softly is 2012's answer to Mean Streets.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A juicy, bloody, grimy and profane crime drama that amply satisfies as a deep-dish genre piece, Killing Them Softly rather insistently also wants to be something more.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
An incredibly stylish genre exercise set in the world of mobsters, junkies and lowlifes, but it's also trying incredibly hard to be About Something.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Despite enough pummeling to flatten Rocky Balboa in all six movies, the only thing that truly rewards your attendance is Pitt in another effortless star performance.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
The acting is aces, especially Pitt mixing it up with the superb James Gandolfini, as an assassin losing his game to hooch and hookers. They make this movie a potently nasty provocation.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
'Killing Them Softly' collapses under the crushing weight of the director's narcissism.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
The writer-director becomes so intent on hammering home the parallels between economic decay, political disappointments and petty criminals, there is nothing soft, or subtle, about it. He should trust his audience more.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
This physical world is malleable, the means to disconcerting loveliness and expressive power... all under cover as a political parable in the form of an urgent, restless gangster picture. Rain falls, words tumble, violence erupts. Lyricism ensues.
With such a strong cast, it's hard to imagine how things went so wrong.
f you find Dominik's unsubtle political statements too obvious, there is still plenty else going on in Killing Them Softly to marvel at with its familiar, and yet fresh, genre elements.
Jack Giroux - Film School Rejects
Ain't nothin' new about it, but it's a cool 97 minutes of seedy amusement.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Dominik wears his nihilism as a badge, but that's not what it is at all: It's a crutch, and an awfully flimsy one.
Will Leitch - Deadspin
It's a middling gangster film, but belabored with too much Sturm und Drang, particularly in banging over the audience's head the constant reminders of the fiscal cliff.
Elias Savada - Film Threat
Andrew Dominik's follow-up to 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' too often fails to engage with its uneven mix of guns and gab.
Al Alexander - The Patriot Ledger
Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly is a potent and miraculously-shot film that captures America's recent financial collapse through a criminal lens.
Jeremy Lebens - We Got This Covered
A noir-ish crime drama with a brain, and despite its flaws and inconsistencies, a film worth seeing. Dominik remains a filmmaker to watch.
Dan Jardine - Cinemania
Complex and problematic in a rather wonderful way, Killing Them Softly has flaws more interesting than some film's perfections.
Catherine Bray - Film4
Brad Pitt excels amongst an incredible ensemble cast in this gritty crime thriller.
Tom Glasson - Concrete Playground
There are many cinematic cardinal sins, but the latest film from Aussie director Andrew Dominik commits two of the big ones - Don't Be Boring and Don't Waste A Great Cast.
Matt Neal - The Standard
A top-notch, viscerally powerfully mobster movie with a view of free-market enterprise as practiced at its most harrowingly basic, last-man-standing level.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Australian director Andrew Dominik mixes conventional mobster mayhem with an unconventional take on gangsters caught up in the Great Recession. And with Brad Pitt as his ideologically enraged male muse hitman, as if wandering in from Occupy Wall Street.
Prairie Miller - WBAI Radio
While Dominik flourishes when it comes to the picture's excessive violence, he seems to be unable to balance those sequences with the drawn-out scenes of dialogue, which, while delivered nicely, kill any momentum the film might have had.
Jeremy Wheeler - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Good actors and unimpeachable source material hampered by faulty chatter, leading to thumb-twiddling.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Director Andrew Dominik controls the clock
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Weary and familiar foray in to gangster turf
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
It's a rollercoaster: long talky tete a tetes, punctuated with shocking violence (both of which are masterfully presented).
Staci Layne Wilson - StaciWilson.com
Killing Them Softly finds its own rhythm and eventually its own way of building dread, punctuated by bravura cinematic moments that won't soon be forgotten
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
The completely obvious comparison to the mobster world and our American economic system is a welcome, straight-forward surprise for storytelling.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
The pace is deliberate, yet that simmering sociopolitical undercurrent gives Killing Them Softly more weight than its rather conventional concept might suggest.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
Jackie Cogan understands his fate in a way that the other smart guys don't quite, an understanding that makes him seem somehow smarter.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopPolitics.com
Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) understands his fate in a way that the other smart guys don't quite, an understanding that makes him seem somehow smarter.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Killing Them Softly positions itself as a heady piece of entertainment, but it's ultimately no more intelligent than The Pet Goat.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
It's a pleasure to watch Pitt work in dialogue-rich, subversively comic film noir.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Another one of those films that makes you wish Quentin Tarantino had taken up hotel and restaurant management.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Ray Liotta gets his butt super kicked in this one. It's actually quite scary.
Bob Grimm - Reno News and Review
Emerging director Andrew Dominick comes out swinging in this nonsensical gangland farce.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
Another misfire for Brad Pitt. This hit man story is overly talkative and lacking in entertainment value
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
The closing punchline is such a knockout, you might forgive the lack of subtlety preceding it.
Brett Michel - Boston Phoenix
Absent poppy dialogue and a few terrifically well-staged action scenes, the director doesn't seem very alive to the material.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Pitt's best work in years. His final, show-stopping speech is phenomenal.
Ed Gibbs - The National
Killing Them Softly has jumped to the top of my list of worst movies of 2012
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
More bullets-and-bloodshed that's stylish, cynical - and unappealing.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
You may find yourself wishing these hooligans would raise a little more hell and watch a little less C-SPAN.
Rick Kisonak - Film Threat
Killing Them Softly is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore, but fails to provide an invitation to join the outrage.
Brian Orndorf - Blu-ray.com
A masterclass in precise, auteurist cinema ... Short, sharp, talky, lean, and almost completely inhabited by men, Killing The Softly is cerebral, nasty, and hugely entertaining.
CJ Johnson - ABC Radio (Australia)
Terrific performances, but it too often feels like a referendum on Brad Pitt's disappointment in President Obama, much like George Clooney's "The Ides of March." Unlike "Ides," it strains mightily to Say Something Big about political bread & circus.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
[Dominik's] major misstep is grafting this story to modern politics (specifically, the 2008 Wall Street bailout) with a heavy-handed analogy that equates the dumb hoodlums to greedy hedge-fund operators.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Routine crime drama made gripping by effective acting, great characterizations and a snappy dialogue like in Pulp Fiction.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Killing Them Softly" is a package mix of 'The Departed' and 'Pulp Fiction', something you have seen before with very little improvement.
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
The anvils of obviousness rain down so hard and fast in New Zealand-born/Australian-based director Andrew Dominik's meditation on low-rent crime and American decline, that it might as well be a Coyote-Road Runner cartoon
Cary Darling - Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
America's 'just a business,' and business is bad.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Brad Pitt's hit man yarn keeps getting interrupted by political talking points as well as director Andrew Dominik's obsession with Tarantino-style tics.
Christian Toto - Big Hollywood
How about a movie about gangsters set in an unnamed place but they all sound like they are from Boston. Here's the twist, these mobsters will talk a LOT but do very little. Needed less talking, more killing.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
The degree to which Killing Them Softly ultimately peters out is, to put it mildly, somewhat disappointing...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Dominik insere o filme no movimento tematico iniciado pelo Cinema norte-americano do pos 11 de Setembro que constantemente enxerga as grandes corporacoes como vilas em funcao da falta de carater e humanidade de seus lideres e lobistas.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
So this is our fate, it seems: the endless bureaucratization of every aspect of life, even down to the illegal.
Pete Vonder Haar - Houston Press
The entire cast is brilliant. But I found the constant background drone of the 2008 presidential election vastly annoying.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
It's not easy recommending a film of this nature. But it would be a disservice to the genre not to.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
It's the cinematic equivalent of a comedian retelling the same joke on stage ad nauseam and then taking the last five minutes of his set to explain the joke in great detail.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
A convincing allegorical portrait of the recession-era crime business.
Robert Levin - amNewYork
'Killing Them Softly' a knockout
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Nothing soft about Killing Them Softly. Think early Quentin Tarantino in plot and dialogue structure and you get the picture. Gruesome. Yes. But oh, so well done.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
This is a movie that literally explains everything, which walks us through every minor detail of life on the wrong side of the law... and none of it is very entertaining or interesting.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Talky noir with overbearing political agenda.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
The movie succeeds in it's comparison of the 2008 economic crisis to the scaling back of wages for even the jobs we wish didn't exist. It is a bit slow and dialogue heavy and because of that I ended up merely liking it when I wanted to love it.
Kristian Harloff - Schmoes Know
An intense little crime thumper from writer-director Andrew Dominik, who excels at sweaty realism.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Pitt's last line of dialogue is a thing of pure beauty, razor sharp and darkly hilarious.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
"Killing Them Soflty" will hold you in it's desperate grip, and ensure that you leave happy about whatever line of work you chose to pursue (killers excluded).
Mark Ellis - Schmoes Know
What with personal problems and a bad economy, mob hitmen are just like us. Only more violent.
Rebecca Cusey - Patheos
Not only is it a mob movie with intelligence, but it oozes modern relevance from its every pore.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
Like its source material, the movie is stylish, profane, intelligent, and eminently diverting. But as much as it is a delight that Dominik has disinterred Higgins's work, it is a mild disappointment that the result is not more substantial.
Christopher Orr - The Atlantic
A political harangue with the blunt force of a shotgun stock to the temple, couched inelegantly into a generic tale of gangland justice and revenge; yet recognizing and even growing annoyed with its deficiences, I still sort of loved it.
Ian Buckwalter - The Washingtonian
These fellows are hardened criminals, but they're often darkly hilarious and mesmerizing when viewed from the safety of the big screen.
Dan Lybarger - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
A disappointing, derivative noir that gets its spark from Pitt and Gandolfini's performances. Slight and pulpy, but it's aiming for arty and trenchant.
Caryn James - James on screenS
Everything comes together, the performances turning the stylized dialogue into a just-right blend of gilded grunge, and the scenery serving as a handsome peek at downscale New Orleans.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
He's got the vibe down. Same with the attitude, dialogue, origins and scenery, but he didn't quite get his hands wrapped around the storytelling element.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Slower and more 'talky' than most mob movies, Killing Them Softly nonetheless offers a lot intriguing visual stimuli and food for thought.
Kofi Outlaw - ScreenRant
For all the guys who get whacked in gloriously grisly and stylized ways, there wasn't one moment when I cared even slightly who came out of it alive.
Alison Gang - San Diego Union-Tribune
A crime thriller that plays comedic in the moment but dark, bleak and fiendishly stylish in retrospect.
Annlee Ellingson - Paste Magazine
Dominik ... expertly captures the flavor of his Higgins source material.
Soren Anderson - Seattle Times
As with "The Assassination of Jesse James," "Killing Them Softly" indulges in a hyper-stylish approach that both demythologizes and romanticizes its milieu.
Tim Grierson - Back Stage
An oppressively cynical cinematic Motorhead song about the scum-covered nutsack of society. What it lacks in nuance it makes up for in brutal purity.
Vincent Mancini - FilmDrunk
The dialogue is sharp and so are the performances. Andrew Dominik directed this neo-noir in a low-key comic style that's alternately gritty and fancy. The gritty stuff is best.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
It is a character study set among scumbags -- one of them played with dazzling charisma by Brad Pitt.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
...outstanding acting does not overcome the repugnant prolific profanity and excessive graphic violence.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
The movie calls to mind ominous Scorsese heavies menacing with their fearless gravitas and quick-mouthed Tarantino featherweights exchanging verbal barbs in a slowly enclosing ring.
Matthew Odam - Austin American-Statesman
If those cynical politics don't fit yours, you can also enjoy the film as simply a bit of stylishly shot, nicely acted, hardboiled noir.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
It's all rather self-indulgent and certainly on-the-nose, but also knows how to keep the viewer's attention. It starts by grabbing for the jugular.
"Killing Them Softly" has style and substance but not much soul and no real center.
David Frese - Kansas City Star
...a clever-enough idea - ratty criminal enterprise as the American economy in miniature - but the movie hammers its theme home, repeatedly.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
The film is like a lion stalking its prey. It slowly creeps up on you the entire film until it chooses to pounce and show its true colors. Killing Them Softly is a volatile piece of crime cinema that is ferocious and violent as hell.
Chris Sawin - Examiner.com
While he may have captured something of outlaw culture in "Killing Them Softly," Dominik's portrait of America seems myopic, cynical and coldblooded.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Everything about the loaded-with-lowlives crime flick is elongated, extended to the very precipice of its expiration date.
Erick Weber - NECN
While the cast is consistently watchable and on-point, Dominik disappoints as both scenarist and filmmaker.
A black comedy at its most stygian, a parade of sad-sacks, no-hopers, sellouts, screw-ups and basket cases:
Maitland McDonagh - Film Journal International
While it isn't unusual for nasty little genre movies like Dominik's stylish heist thriller to smuggle such themes under the surface, Killing Them Softly makes them startlingly explicit.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
There is not one moment in the film that doesn't represent the director's carefully considered thought, whether we're talking about acting values, camera placement, sound or style of presentation.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
... a procession of shoot-ups and beat-downs filmed with fetish. If you're into seeing people die stylishly messy, this is the movie for you.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
A crime saga with personality plus.
Matt Pais - RedEye
Dominkiks 2007's Pitt starring Western was a great film. "Killing Them Softly" is minor and disjointed, but fun underneath its pretensions.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A character-driven gangster drama exposing the shadow side of America as nothing more than a business ruled by money, power, and violence.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Pitt dials this hitman down a few notches, keeping the guy as realistic as the movie around him.
We get it, we get it, the real crooks are on Wall Street and in Washington. Balletic blood spatters juxtaposed with songs are ironic. Or something like that.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Finds a pretty creative way to tell a generally conventional gangster story. It's when it moves beyond that that it runs into trouble.
Stephen Silver - EntertainmentTell
It's the characters, and their words, that drive the story here, and Dominik preserves all their scruffy colors ...
Stephanie Zacharek - NPR
Dominik's ideas get the better of his creative handiwork as he throws off his pacing to follow points he has already made.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Movies like this frustrate me. There are many moments of genius to be found here, but the movie is just too uneven for me to recommend as a whole.
Austin Kennedy - Film Geek Central
There is dark humor galore - a scene where one particularly dumb mobster torches a car gets my laugh every time I see it - mixed in with the violence...
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Its characters may be desperate low-lifes, but Dominik's bold filmmaking sends you out of the theater on an exhilarating high.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
...perfect for those who prefer down-and-dirty crime films to overstuffed costumed productions.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
Killing Them Softly is well made, written, and acted, but the allegorical story and repulsive characters are too one-note and unpleasant to enjoy or recommend.
Jonathan Lack - We Got This Covered
Dominik turns this potentially gritty crime flick into a soggy political metaphor for the 2008 financial crisis.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
Killing Them Softly is attentive to its characters' driving philosophies ... and challenges those oftentimes twisted principles under harsh, unforgiving circumstances.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Pitt doesn't do much with his role, poised uneasily between smirking bad boy and implacable, fatal force.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
Dominik shows an open appreciation for his actors and for the way tough guys, aspiring and genuine, talk to each other - and Killing Them Softly is as much centered around talking as it is action.
Alison Willmore - Movieline
It could have been the start of a new wave of modern era mob movies, but it's merely competent instead of trend-setting.
Jeffrey Lyles - Lyles' Movie Files
Like the politicians it tries to pull into the big picture, "Killing Them Softly" promises more than it delivers.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Can be heavy-handed at times, but it's still moodily effective.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Delivers some striking elements that never add up to a cohesive whole.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
The scenes between Pitt and Gandolfini are the highlights of "Killing," with the two actors pivoting off each other with the ease and precision of gymnasts.
Randy Myers - San Jose Mercury News
By making it feel like less of a gangster movie, Killing Them Softly feels oddly more genuine as a result.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
An art film rather than a thriller - but one in which the action is always startling and always packs a punch.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
I didn't want it to end. An amazing gangster flick in line with classics like THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
[T]urns a very American mythology of crime and violence in on itself and from that inversion yanks out a mirror with which to show us a startling reflection of America...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Puffed up with cynical pretension ...
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Grimly amusing then shockingly brutal.
Though the film has contemporary resonance, the structure is rambling and the audience wonders: who did what?
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
The message is so unrelenting that it soon drowns out all the films' strengths in an ocean of fashionable nihilism and socially conscious outrage.
Tom Clift - Moviedex
The film's cynicism, like everything else, is nothing more than empty posturing, a fashionable pose adopted to ingratiate itself with a disenfranchised public.
Calum Marsh - Slant Magazine
The worlds of Wall Street and Goodfellas collide beautifully in this violent, witty and hugely entertaining film about a crumbling mafia empire.
Andy Lea - Daily Star
One of the ten best films of 2012, Andrew Dominik's cold-blooded satire of American corporate-political-capitalism cuts through its subject like a freshly sharpened guillotine blade.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
A compellingly languorous genre picture that doesn't indict the American system so much as call it out for what it is
Mark Keizer - Boxoffice Magazine
This wily, cliche-averse crime film is far from the blastfest one might expect. [Director Andrew] Dominik proves his sharp ear for dialogue as characters desperately try talking their way through or out of increasingly sticky situations.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
Gritty, tense, funny, moving... one of the best, and saddest, of the year.
Matt Glasby - Flicks.co.nz
Irritating as the throughline's lack of subtlety may be, it's still about the least worst thing you can say about a film that is unashamedly designed for the multiplex.
Fiona Williams - sbs.com.au
It doesn't always hit its marks, and its extensive, accomplished cast doesn't gel seamlessly, but Brad Pitt's Jackie is a well conceived centre to the drama, because he remains a riddle.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
For me this is the least of the three of his films. And I still think it's pretty good because I thought the others were wonderful.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
Beautifully shot by Australian Greig Fraser, this is a different sort of crime thriller, and a particularly fine one.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
Dominik's film is bleak but nonetheless perceptive and arresting. Crime still pays, just not like it used to.
Craig Mathieson - The Sunday Age
As a perverse portrait of management issues and the challenges of ''getting the job done'', it is sure-footed, dark and comic.
Philippa Hawker - The Age (Australia)
While the aggression on-screen undoubtedly gets in your face at the time of viewing, there is also a cynical honesty that plays on your mind for some time afterwards.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
While partially empty and mostly cynical, Killing Them Softly is still a solidly produced and visually enjoyable film.
Grant McAvaney - MovieFIX
A blisteringly original take on the American crime movie that's as thrilling as it is sobering.
Erin Free - FILMINK (Australia)
Killing Them Softly is an engrossing vision of hell where status, money and image have become the ultimate goals and human life is just another commodity to be traded.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
It's dark, it's smart, and it's destined to become a classic piece of cinema.
Alice Tynan - Limelight
Killing Them Softly is a caustic commentary on America's chilly economic climate, and writer-director Andrew Dominik is unafraid of underlining that point repeatedly throughout his movie's taut 97-minute runtime.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
A grimy, well orchestrated, coiled-spring crime drama that morphs into a pessimistic disquisition on the systemic nature of corruption in unregulated markets.
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
With its focus on American capitalism played out in the mean streets of Boston, Killing Them Softly establishes itself as a new crime classic that is as thought provoking as it is visually and narratively absorbing.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
A movie about crooks and the Mob which presents itself as a hard hitting crime drama, yet it quickly evolves into something of an art movie with dark comedic undercurrent
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Juxtaposes a wry humour as human foibles are bared before the business of slaughter begins. It all starts with relationships
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
The dialogue is salty, stylised and beautifully performed. Yet the air of menace is never absent for long and when the violence comes it's sudden and savage.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
A totally enthralling verbal conquest from the word go, complete with some very fine acting from all involved.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - HeyUGuys
Gripping crime drama strained by forced politics
Cameron Williams - The Popcorn Junkie
Killing Them Softly is a brutal and sublimely crafted thriller, elevated by a stalwart ensemble and an insightful, timely social commentary.
Will Chadwick - We Got This Covered
Killing Them Softly may not be a perfect film, but it is something almost as good: thrillingly alive.
Adam Ross - The Aristocrat
Killing Them Softly is visually sublime. The characters collide against each other in powerfully authentic exchanges; political structures echo in criminal establishment; and the violence stings and disgusts, as it should.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
Dominik keeps us off-balance with an unexpected structure, which gives the film an exhilaratingly offbeat rhythm
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Dominik deliver a properly exciting drama that - even without those nods towards the 2008 meltdown - conveys sobering truths about the American experience.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
The film, shot in wrecked New Orleans, looks great, the killings are lovingly worked, the desperation undeviating.
David Sexton - This is London
There are a few stumbles along the way but with Brad Pitt and the cast in such fine form it is still a pretty memorable ride.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
Far from the sinuous crime epic we might have expected, it's more like a caustic but thoroughly impressive kick in the teeth.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
At the heart of it all is the phenomenal Pitt. His charm makes what should be an abhorrent character worryingly likeable.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Brad Pitt is terrific in this super-stylish crime drama that relishes its brutal mob storyline, inner-city locations and oddball characters.
Mark Adams - Daily Mirror [UK]
Sparky dialogue lends the film some fantastically funny moments, but the violence is not for the faint-hearted.
Claudia Connell - Daily Mail [UK]
The film increasingly resembles Hamlet in cockle-headed collision with The Sopranos.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Dominik ... has not only crafted a first-rate gangster noir but reached out to coldly lampoon the morality-free world of Wall Street economics.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a highly entertaining, pleasingly literate thriller with terrific performances from a note-perfect cast.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Hopefully it will be the start of enduring partnership because [Dominik] could be Scorsese to Pitt's De Niro/DiCaprio, Soderbergh to his Clooney.
Alison Jones - Birmingham Post
The film places us in a world of creeping failure, a country in irredeemable decline, a country where even the criminal fraternity lack energy, imagination and balls.
John Bleasdale - Electric Sheep
A good, efficient crime thriller, let down by clunky social commentary but lifted by excellent performances, including perhaps Brad Pitt's recent best.
Damon Wise - Empire Magazine
It's this terrific ensemble that offers real bang for your buck here - Mendelsohn's skaghead Aussie is a brilliant creation - as Dominik builds a grimy world of bad men, brutal violence and stylish cinematics.
Jonathan Crocker - Total Film
Dominik's frontal critique of US-style capitalism may be facile, but it gives the movie a bristling anger and a more lasting burn than other recent offerings in the same genre.
Jon Frosch - The Atlantic
Though the references to the unstable '08 economy are a bit heavy-handed, the film's smart script and unique characters about hit men having to take financial hits pays off handsomely.
Kimberly Gadette - Doddle
The film's reference to contemporary politics and the economic downturn gives it a unique and thought-provoking edge...
Gail Tolley - The List
Killing Them Softly has the rigor and poise of the great American crime pictures of the 1970s.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
Killing Them Softly is an artfully crafted, occasionally very funny satire dressed up in tough-guy leathers and packing a knuckle duster punch.
Simon Gallagher - Film School Rejects
In its own miasmatic way, the film is arresting and original.
Geoffrey Macnab - Independent
It's a much better hitman movie than an economic critique. In fact, Dominik calls it a comedy.
Jonathan Crocker - Digital Spy
Dominik's aim for allegory of American capitalism is not effective: What elevate his tale above its routine plot are the cynical dialogue, nihilistic tone, and Brad Pitt's effortless star turn as a sociopathic hitman.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Built on dynamic set pieces and jet black humour, it's reminiscent of last year's Drive. It's a shame then, that Dominik saddles the film with a heavy-handed political subtext that would echo much louder if it spoke a little quieter.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
It pulls off the clever trick of operating as a gangster movie - featuring characters with missions to complete and people to kill - while at the same time sarkily undermining these same folk, attributing them with a heavy dose of incompetence.
Dave Calhoun - Time Out
Dominik's compositional flair and kinetic directorial style make for a visceral, visually arresting pulp noir that is by turns darkly funny and poetically violent. But... Dominik clots his hardboiled parable with stodgy political soaboxing
Adam Woodward - Little White Lies
A deliciously stylish hard-boiled crime drama, Andrew Dominik's violent and bleakly funny film is a grimly nihilistic film that revels in its harsh and brutal urban landscape.
Mark Adams - Screen International
"Killing Them Softly" pleases as an exercise in both surface style and tangy verbiage, but it's the rare genre entertainment one wishes would think a bit less.
Guy Lodge - HitFix
It is outstandingly watchable, superbly and casually pessimistic, a world of slot-mouthed professional and semi-professional criminals always complaining about cleaning up the mess made by other screwups.