Based on the 1974 novel Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins, Andrew Dominik's 'Killing Them Softly' is Brutal! A Hard-Hitting Neo-Noir Crime Film, that speaks its own language without any inhibitions whatsoever! The narrative is difficult to stomach, but the overall impact, is stunning.
'Killing Them Softly' Synopsis: Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse.
'Killing Them Softly' deals with brutality & freedom of speech. Its about the inner demons & the monsters that give them that "push" to come out fiercely. Dominik's Adapted Screenplay is hardcore. It narrates an unforgiving, unforgettable story, about people, whom we can relate to, but not sympathize particularly. Dominik's Direction, on the other-hand, is raw & rustic. Cinematography & Editing deserve a special mention.
Performance-Wise: Brad Pitt steals the show. After 'Moneyball', this is a yet another knockout performance by the Screen Icon. Ray Liotta hasn't been this good in a really long time. Richard Jenkins is excellent. James Gandolfini is mesmerizing in a brief, but significant role. Scoot McNairy & Ben Mendelsohn are fabulous. Sam Shepard shines.
On the whole, 'Killing Them Softly' is a wonder of a film. Two Thumbs Up!
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