Killing The Softly arrives our screens at 5 Drive-In Theatre Oakville, on November 30, 2012.
The film starring Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer is directed by Andrew Dominik, co-produced by Brad Pitt and is based on the 1974 novel “Cogan’s Trade” by George V. Higgins. Set in New Orleans, the film also features a host of other actors including Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Vincent Curatola, Max Casella and Sam Shepard.
The movie received positive reviews when it premièred in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Review By Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
REVIEW: 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.
Writer-director Andrew Dominik, whose extraordinary Western “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” proved too long and arty for the masses, repositions George V. Higgins’ 1974 Boston mob-world novel as a metaphor for the ills of American capitalism circa 2008, a neatly provocative tactic. But he also shamelessly shows off his directorial acumen; unlike the leading character, who’s all business, Dominik makes sure you notice all his moves. Tight, absorbing and entertainingly performed by a virtually all-male cast topped by Brad Pitt, this Weinstein Co. release should generate solid numbers.
A lawyer, professor and assistant U.S. Attorney who long investigated organized crime in addition to writing 27 novels, Higgins knew well of what he wrote. His first novel, “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” was made into a fine film and his third, “Cogan’s Trade,” the basis of this one, consists of torrents of exceptionally vivid Beantown wiseguy dialogue with bits of plot tucked almost incidentally into the chatter.
What matter more are style and attitude, which Dominik ladles on like sauce on ribs. Russell’s drug-addled disorientation is represented by multiple distortions of time, visual perception and sound; the pursuit of one victim is imaginatively covered entirely from the outside of the building in which the chase is consummated; Cogan arrives on the scene to the accompaniment of Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around”; the just-scraping-by 21st century hoods drive late-‘60s/early-‘70s cars like a Riviera and Toronado; and one man’s execution is rendered from many angles in a slow-motion explosion of breaking glass and penetrating bullets so elaborate and prolonged that it resembles a self-standing art installation.
The film is terribly smart in every respect, with ne’er-a-false note performances and superb craft work from top to bottom, but it never lets you forget it, from Pitt’s pithy excoriation of Thomas Jefferson’s hypocrisy right down to his “Crime is the business of America” final line that is bound to be widely quoted.
The film noir crime dramas of the late 1940s and early 1950s were about a palpable unease in the country, but this remained a subtext rather than the overt subject of the films. Here, Dominik explicitly articulates his intended meanings, which have to do with money, institutional rot and what happens when you don’t keep your economic house in order. Either approach is valid but, perhaps in this day and age, audiences need their messages to be quick and direct. “Killing Them Softly” delivers them that way.