Movie Review: 'Killing Them Softly' Falls Short Despite Brad Pitt's Performance
Critics seem to agree the film focuses too much on a parallel between the world of street thugs and hit men and that of bankers and financiers, with a story about a crisis of confidence in a small gambling market in the fall of 2008.
"Killing Them Softly," which is rated R and runs 1 hour and 37 minutes, is playing at 12:45, 4:45, 7:30 and 9:50 on Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1 at Gateway Cinemas 12 in Bethlehem.
And Sharkey isn't the only critic singing Pitt's praises as he takes on the role of a hit man with an an idea for how to get people gambling again.
"This is an actor who is never better and never happier than when he gets to be seedy, slick his hair back and wear a leather jacket," movie critic Mick LaSalle writes for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Read what Sharkey, LaSalle and other critics had to say about the film.
"Killing Them Softly" is not a masterpiece on ["The Assassination of Jesse James"] scale, but it's safe to say that 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
... in adapting George V. Higgins' novel "Cogan's Trade," 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
The plotting is wobbly, the narrative runs out of steam - and seriously, all the banking stuff gets unbearable after a while. (Mobsters apparently watch "Charlie Rose" and C-Span 24/7, if this movie is to be believed.) — Alonso Duralde, Reuters
Murder is just another day at the office for corporate America, and the film hammers that theme home with diminishing returns. But the acting is aces, especially Pitt mixing it up with the superb James Gandolfini, as an assassin losing his game to hooch and hookers. Hang on. They make this movie a potently nasty provocation. — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Much of the dialogue in "Killing Them Softly" concerns financial difficulties experienced by contract killers as well as the shady characters employing them. ... 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