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Killing Them Softly

  R HD Closed Captioning

Andrew Dominik

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Plot Summary

During the economic turmoil of 2008, Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, FIGHT CLUB), an enforcer, is hired to restore order after three idiots rob a mob-protected poker game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Also starring James Gandolfini (TV's THE SOPRANOS, 8MM), Richard Jenkins (THE VISITOR, STEP BROTHERS), and Ray Liotta (GOODFELLAS, IDENTITY).

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 213
  • Fresh: 159
  • Rotten: 54
  • Average Rating: 6.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: 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, Nov 30, 2012

Fresh: 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, Nov 29, 2012

Fresh: 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,, Nov 29, 2012

Rotten: 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, Nov 30, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


I rarely ever feel the desire to walk out of a movie, but "Killing Them Softly" nearly compelled me to do just that. I haven't the slightest clue as to why so many professional critics praised this flick because it's honestly one of the worst experiences I've had at the theater in 2012. Based on the trailer alone, it seemed like a smart, engaging crime drama full of top-notch performances, darkly comic humor, and a decent amount of realistic violence. What I got instead was an overly pretentious mob movie with completely underdeveloped characters, inconsistent storytelling, disparaging political allegories, and countless conversational scenes that drag on for what feels like an eternity. The story's main goal is to shed a light on the economic crisis of 2008 from the point of view of the criminal underground. Sounds like a solid premise, right? Well, the problem is that the screenplay moves at a brutal snail-like pace and focuses on explaining every single little detail of what the main characters are up to before we even get to the action. It doesn't help that director Andrew Dominik constantly uses numerous radio and TV excerpts from the financial crisis and Barack Obama's election speeches to diminishing effect. But despite its several drawbacks, there are some things this flick does get right. The casting, for one, is impressive, with Brad Pitt turning in a terrific lead performance as Jackie Cogan, a mob enforcer with a specific set of rules. Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, and Ray Liotta all do the best they can with their weak characters, but even their collective talents simply aren't enough to make up for the sessions of endless dialogue that completely overtake the movie. As for the violence, I'm not gonna lie. It's extremely graphic, nearly to the point where it just strives to make the audience wince for the sake of wincing. In the end, "Killing Them Softly" is a disappointing mess of a thriller with a jumbled story full of unmemorable characters and a weary screenplay that loses its momentum right before it even begins. Despite some solid performances and a killer last line from Brad Pitt, this is certainly not a movie I would voluntarily ever choose to see again. Unless you enjoy pretentious crime-thrillers that deliver their heavy-handed messages with brutal force, this film will most likely leave you severely unsatisfied.

Dont believe the reviews

The real crime that took place was not the robbery depicted in the film -- It was when you and I bought our tickets hoping to be entertained --- Unreal boring dialogue and monotone characters -- A simplistic plot made intolerable by the numerous long winded and pointless exchanges between characters. A few lines of intelligent political commentary in the final 2 minutes of the film do not make up for the previous 95 minutes of utter garbage --- My advice -- take your money and buy a box of cereal and read the back panel -- you'll find it much more satisfying --


This movie will kill you softly for sure...... of a boring death!

Killing Them Softly
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  • $7.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings