Killing Them Softly

Movie review by Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media
Killing Them Softly Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

Brad Pitt is magnetic in smart, cynical, bloody crime movie.

R 2012 97 minutes

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+

Based on 4 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 12+

More Realist than Cynical, Though No-less American

Jackie Cogan is not so much a cynic as he is a hard realist. His means of income notwithstanding, he is no less a tradesman; an American professional who acknowledges the conditions and consequences of the enterprise system of business and government that shapes the daily lives of so many other Americans.                                              That Cogan acknowledges that "America is a business, not a country" only relieves him of having to justify himself against the false pretenses of "civil justice", "moral equality" and the "rule of law" that have subdued most Americans and betrayed many more, especially those in the impoverished communities Cogan frequents. Moral plays and appeals to the ideal have seldom appeased the taxman, truth be told.                                              Enter the backdrop of the 2008 presidential election, a time defined by the height of America's most recent economic collapse due to fraudulent banking, sub-prime mortgage fraud and illegal public bailouts of the same private banks responsible for the collapse.                                              The parallels drawn against the collapse of the local criminal economy when mob-run gambling is suspended are not only brilliant, it justly reflects the nature of Wall Street. "Who's running things," wonders Cogan, to which a lawyer, the "corporate" go-between the streets and the mob bosses, reminds him of their "total corporate mindset" from his luxury sedan.                                              Remarkably, the foils between so many characters and circumstances are what reveal Writer/ Director Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly" to be a rather considered and intellectually-driven story. Although Cogan and the lawyer are often at odds with each other, they are essentially the same character: one an enforcer on the street, the other an enforcer in the court. Eventually, after brief and entertaining philosophical differences, they no-less always arrive at a complimentary consensus: violence works!                                               "Killing Them Softly" is an accomplished and distinguished film whose time will surely come to be appreciated for its unapologetic and disillusioned portrait of the American condition entering the twenty-first century... just as soon as its critics take off their rose-tinted blinders!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
age 18+

Too gritty and too real, with needlessly coarse vulgarity as a cherry on top.

Extreme language and extreme and needlessly lengthy coarse and vulgar discussions of sex and sexual excapades were enough to make me get up and leave after 20 minutes or so. I can't judge or grade the rest of the movie, but this should let some people know whether or not they want to bother with this slow paced mob and crime movie. I would recommend spending the $10 on some other film, but I'm sure this movie's gritty realism is fine for some among us, and the acting was as excellent as expected from such as Pitt and Liotta, as well as from the less well known supporting cast.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Movie Details

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