Brad Pitt leads a great cast in 'Killing Them Softly' (+video)
While the recessionary context is a bit overdone, the 'Killing Them Softly' features sharp dialogue and performances.
Lovers of the crime novels of George V. Higgins will likely get a kick out of â€śKilling Them Softly,â€ť a recession-era reworking of his â€śCoganâ€™s Tradeâ€ť starring a (literally) bang-up cast that includes Brad Pitt as a cucumber-cool mob enforcer, Ray Liotta as a mob-protected card-game dealer, Richard Jenkins as a button-down mob go-between, and James Gandolfini as a hit man on the skids.
The recessionary context is a bit overdone â€“ too many clips of George W. Bush and President Obama delivering pronouncements â€“ and the conceit that crime is a business like any other business is timeworn. Also, the filmâ€™s violence quotient is, I think, a notch too high for its purposes.
But the dialogue is sharp and so are the performances. Andrew Dominik directed this neo-noir in a low-key comic style thatâ€™s alternately gritty and fancy. The gritty stuff is best. Grade: B+ (Rated R for violence, sexual references, pervasive language, and some drug use.)