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Killing Them Softly (2012)

R  |   |  Crime, Thriller  |  30 November 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 106,025 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 357 user | 407 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

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.



(screenplay), (based on the novel "Cogan's Trade" by)
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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Amato
Markie Trattman
Steve Caprio
Barry Caprio
Kenny Gill
Poker Guy
Business Suit Agent
Cab Driver Agent


Three amateurs stickup a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Brad Pitt plays the hitman hired to track them down and restore order. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In America you're on your own


Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexual references, pervasive language, and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

30 November 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cogan's Trade  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,812,900 (USA) (30 November 2012)


$14,938,570 (USA) (11 January 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Richard Jenkins's character is never seen standing. He is either sitting in his car or sitting on a bar stool. See more »


The movie is set in 2008, as evidenced by political ads, but a late model (2009 or later) white Mazda sedan can be seen on the street in one of the scenes. See more »


Jackie Cogan: Now, aside from The Squirrel, we got the kids. Two kids. One of them's the motor-mouth; drove to Florida with Kenny, Kenny Gill. Our Kenny, the guy he knows works for Dillon. Starts bragging about how he's a big-time operator that just knocked over this guy's game for 100K.
Driver: [chuckles] You serious?
Jackie Cogan: I don't know what it is with these guys; they can't keep their mouths shut about nothin'. And Kenny - Kenny's just as dumb. The way I found out was, this guy's investing his money in a couple ounces of...
See more »


Featured in Bad Movie Beatdown: Review of 2012 (2013) See more »


The Windmills of Your Mind
Written by Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Published by EMI U Catalog, Inc. (ASCAP)
Performed by Petula Clark
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User Reviews

As gritty and grimy as crime heists come!
15 March 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Yet another great film being given a bad name by "reviewers trying to do us a favour" (really??? like you're a shepherd and we're all sheep here???). If you're going to read a review, here's one that speaks in all fairness and without trying to glorify it.

'Killing Them Softly' is a contemporary multi-narrative crime drama that oversees what crime has become to the mafia since we've seen what years of recession have done to America, post 9/11. It's a film you have to settle into and to watch and listen carefully, yet it provides us with storytelling style very similar to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and classic Danny Boyle.

It also makes good use of some classic conventions and you may notice a little bit of Mean Streets, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Chopper, Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting etc.

When ex-convict Frankie and his Australian heroin-addict friend Russell are employed to hold up a mafia poker game in their rundown dead end town, they get away with it, though causing the local economy to collapse and putting mob boss Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta) in the frame.

The dons send mob enforcer Jackie (Brad Pitt) over to deal with it and to set an example, he methodically sets about cleaning up in due fashion.

That is the plot, pure and simple, but aside from that, 'Killing Them Softly' is more a film about the bleak, harsh reality of crime in the modern day American towns that the government has all but abandoned and it is therefore about the sheer dead-end desperation of a certain breed of people.

Unemployment, recession, drug addiction, violence, desperation, failing health, wilful self-destruction and the disgusting manner in which people regard each other with - it all adds up to one great stark reality. The only way that the government has succeeded in destroying organised crime is by destroying its own country's economy. Desperate people will do anything to survive knowing that, if they give up, they are as good as dead. And that sets the tone for this movie from beginning to end.

Not surprisingly in hindsight, this film has no real lead characters, but universally supporting characters that serve the story until its bitter ending where we are treated to a summary in words between two characters. This helps to give a sense that nobody is of any real importance to each other, which is true to the nature of most of its characters.

If you like your crime movies real, you'll love this. I'm so surprised at how seamless it is, and also how easy it is to watch despite how well acted and intense it becomes. Dark, gritty, grimy, filthy, absurd, depressing and yet bold with a few good laughs!

43 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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