[Killing Them Softly
Written & Directed by Andrew Dominik
Starring: Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, and James Gandolfini
MPAA: R – For Violence, Sexual References, Pervasive Language, and some Drug Use]
My mantra for reviewing movies has always been to judge and critique something based on its own merits instead of based on expectations, source material, other films, etc. This is so I could, of course, keep a very balanced viewpoint that judges the film on its qualities and weaknesses, and those alone. This is, of course, how I view criticism for games, books, the like. So let it be said that when I end up disliking a movie that I was previously anticipating, it’s without a doubt not a form of “disappointment”. It’s just me judging the movie for what it is.
Still though, it should be said that Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is what I like to consider a modern masterpiece. A brilliant, deliberately paced, thoughtful, and gorgeous character study/western epic that packed an emotional punch. So when it was announced that Dominik would be reuniting with Brad Pitt for his next movie Killing Them Softly, I got pretty stoked. And there’s certainly a lot to like in the film; it’s just a shame that the finished project is appallingly dull, forced, and heavy-handed.