27 November 2012 4:37 AM, PST | www.flickfilosopher.com | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

You think it’s gonna be just another hitman action movie: Look, it’s Brad Pitt with slicked-back hair and an evil goatee and a shotgun! And it’s called Killing Them Softly, fer pete’s sake, so maybe Brad’s gonna be some sort of philosophical hitman or something, but that’s as far as it’ll go, right? But then you learn it’s from writer-director Andrew Dominik, the guy who made The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which also sounded like it was gonna be kickass and bloody but instead turned out to be a cool, dreamy meditation on celebrity. Dominik pulls that trick again, turns a very American mythology of crime and violence in on itself and from that inversion yanks out a mirror with which to show us a startling reflection of America. The image shining darkly from Killing Them Softly is not very flattering, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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