IMDb > Killing Them Softly (2012)
Killing Them Softly
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Killing Them Softly (2012) More at IMDbPro »

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Killing Them Softly -- During the economic turmoil of 2008, Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt), an enforcer, is hired to restore order after three idiots rob a mob-protected poker game.
Killing Them Softly -- Jackie Cogan is a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game.
Killing Them Softly -- Watch a clip from Killing Them Softly.
Killing Them Softly -- Watch a TV spot for Silver Linings Playbook.
Killing Them Softly -- Watch a clip from Killing Them Softly.


User Rating:
6.2/10   104,475 votes »
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Up 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Andrew Dominik (screenplay)
George V. Higgins (based on the novel "Cogan's Trade" by)
View company contact information for Killing Them Softly on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 November 2012 (USA) See more »
In America you're on your own
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
3 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A forceful socio-political commentary See more (354 total) »


  (in credits order)

Brad Pitt ... Jackie

Scoot McNairy ... Frankie

Ben Mendelsohn ... Russell

James Gandolfini ... Mickey

Richard Jenkins ... Driver

Vincent Curatola ... Johnny Amato

Ray Liotta ... Markie Trattman

Trevor Long ... Steve Caprio

Max Casella ... Barry Caprio

Sam Shepard ... Dillon

Slaine ... Kenny Gill

Linara Washington ... Hooker

Ross Brodar ... Poker Guy

Wade Allen ... Business Suit Agent

Christopher Berry ... Cab Driver Agent
Kenneth Brown Jr. ... Security Force Agent

Mustafa Harris ... Bartender #1
Dared Wright ... Waiter
John McConnell ... Bartender #2
Bryan Billingsley ... Bar Patron #1
Shannon Brewer ... Bar Patron #2
Roger Pfeiffer ... Bar Patron #3 (as Roger L. Pfeiffer Jr.)

Joe Chrest ... Business Suit Agent
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julia Adams ... Maid (uncredited)
Rhonda Floyd Aguillard ... Pedestrian (uncredited)

George W. Bush ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Julio Castillo ... Miss Annie (uncredited)
Edward J. Clare ... Prison Doctor (uncredited)
Peter A. DeFazio ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Garret Dillahunt ... Eddie Mattie (uncredited)
Gregory Allen Gabroy ... Reveler (uncredited)

Oscar Gale ... Sweet Melinda (uncredited)
Joshua Joseph Gillum ... Murderer (uncredited)
Gene Kevin Hames Jr. ... Poker Dealer #1 (uncredited)

Kirk Jordan ... DEA Agent (uncredited)

Wendy Clarice Jordan ... Pink Pants (uncredited)
John C. Klein ... Traveler (uncredited)
Shadoe Knight ... Mafia Poker Player (uncredited)
Raymond Lapino ... Elderly Poker Player (uncredited)
Cynthia LeBlanc ... AMTRAK / Greyhound Bus patron (uncredited)
Elton LeBlanc ... AMTRAK / Greyhound Bus patron (uncredited)

David Joseph Martinez ... Pablo (uncredited)

John McCain ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Barack Obama ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Henry Paulson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Adam Sibley ... Naked Guy (uncredited)
Logan Douglas Smith ... Bus Station Constrution Worker (uncredited)
Daniel Vincent ... Evicted Husband (uncredited)
Glen Warner ... Construction Worker (uncredited)
Elvin Yoshida ... Asian Poker Player (uncredited)

Directed by
Andrew Dominik 
Writing credits
Andrew Dominik (screenplay)

George V. Higgins (based on the novel "Cogan's Trade" by)

Produced by
Matthew Budman .... co-producer (as Matt Budman)
Marc Butan .... executive producer
Megan Ellison .... executive producer
Will French .... co-producer
Dede Gardner .... producer
Bill Johnson .... executive producer
Anthony Katagas .... producer
Brad Pitt .... producer
Stephen Roberts .... co-producer
Scott Robertson .... associate producer (as Scott Andrew Robertson)
Douglas Saylor Jr. .... co-producer
Paula Mae Schwartz .... producer
Roger Schwartz .... co-producer
Steve Schwartz .... producer
Jim Seibel .... executive producer
Adi Shankar .... executive producer
Spencer Silna .... executive producer
Cinematography by
Greig Fraser (director of photography)
Film Editing by
John Paul Horstmann (co-editor)
Brian A. Kates 
Casting by
Francine Maisler 
Production Design by
Patricia Norris 
Set Decoration by
Leslie Morales 
Costume Design by
Patricia Norris 
Makeup Department
Erin Dell'amore .... lifecast assistant to Kazuhiro Tsuji
Chad Engel .... lab assistant
Michael Ezell .... lead makeup special effects mold maker
Robin Myriah Hatcher .... special makeup effects production coordinator: Tinsley Studio
Adruitha Lee .... department head hair
Dennis Liddiard .... makeup department head
Aimee Macabeo .... lead hair
Mike Mekash .... special makeup effects artist
Kent Richard .... additional hair
Aimee Stuit .... key makeup artist
Christien Tinsley .... special makeup effects designer and creator
Kazuhiro Tsuji .... makeup concept designer: Brad Pitt
Hiroshi Yada .... special makeup effects artist: Tinsley Studio
Production Management
John Fedynich .... production supervisor
Anthony Katagas .... unit production manager
James Masi .... post-production supervisor
Cynthia Nicolella .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jason Altieri .... first assistant director: second unit
Renee Marsella .... additional second second assistant director
Cali Pomes .... second second assistant director
Scott Robertson .... first assistant director
Jonas Spaccarotelli .... second assistant director
Mark C. Stevens .... additional key second assistant director
Darrin Prescott .... second unit director (uncredited)
Art Department
Scott C. Bivona .... lead greensman
William Burck .... set dresser
Gregory T. Geniusz .... set dresser
Michael A. Johnson .... leadman
Heather Korman .... props
Kristin Lekki .... graphic artist
Jordan Lightner .... greensman
Michael S. Martin .... property master
Mariah Mills .... buyer
Ruffin Moye .... greensman
Alixandra Petrovich .... on-set dresser
Brad Quintana .... painter
John Richoux .... on-set greensman
Victoria St. Pierre .... lead scenic
Michael Tvten .... construction coordinator (as Michael Tvetan)
Taylor Weeks .... scenic
Darry Young .... set decoration buyer
Sound Department
Wade Barnett .... adr recordist
Patrick Christensen .... adr recordist
Jesse Ehredt .... sound recordist
Kirk Francis .... sound mixer
Justin Herman .... sound engineer
Ellen Heuer .... foley artist
Robert Jackson .... supervising sound editor (as Robert C. Jackson)
Jason Johnston .... boom operator
Sang Kim .... assistant sound editor
Tim Limer .... sound recordist
Travis MacKay .... adr mixer
Thomas O'Neil Younkman .... supervising sound editor
Jordan O'Neill .... datasat sound consultant
A. Josh Reinhardt .... sound effects editor (as Joshua Reinhardt)
Leslie Shatz .... sound designer
Leslie Shatz .... sound re-recording mixer
Dirk Stout .... sound utility
Callie Thurman .... assistant sound editor
Mandell Winter .... sound effects editor
Special Effects by
John S. Baker .... special effects foreman
Marshall T. Broyles .... special effects technician
Mark Hava .... special effects foreman
David Nash .... special effects technician
Bob Riggs .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Andrey Drogobetski .... compositor
Kyle Gray .... compositor
Elbert Irving IV .... visual effects coordinator: Wildfire VFX
Tom Lamb .... digital compositor
Diva Magpayo .... digital intermediate editor
Greg-Paul Malone .... Flame artist (as Greg Paul Malone)
Caleb Owens .... digital compositor
Mitch Paulson .... digital colorist
Ryan J. Quinlan .... compositor (as Ryan Quinlan)
Lauren Ritchie .... visual effects producer: Wildfire VFX
Dottie Starling .... visual effects supervisor: Wildfire VFX
David B. Wolgemuth II .... digital compositor
Steven Young .... assistant visual effects production coordinator
Steven Young .... visual effects coordinator
Denise Ballantyne .... visual effects consultant (uncredited)
Jason Jue .... digital compositor: Hirota Paint Industries (uncredited)
Rhonda Floyd Aguillard .... precision driver
Wade Allen .... stunt coordinator
Stanton Barrett .... stunt double: Brad Pitt
Hunter Baxley .... stunt performer
Eddie Braun .... stunt driver
Holland Diaz .... stunt double: Bobby
Alexander Eldimiati .... stunt driver (as Alex Eldimiati)
Jeff Galpin .... stunt performer
Regis Harrington .... stunt double
Raion Hill .... stunts
Antal Kalik .... stunts
David Mueller .... stunt double
Robert Nagle .... stunt driver
Jim Palmer .... stunt double: Slaine
Darrin Prescott .... stunt coordinator
Tom Proctor .... stunt performer
Buster Reeves .... stunt performer
Bill Scharpf .... stunt driver
Michelle Torres .... precision driver
Camera and Electrical Department
Austin Alward .... additional first assistant camera
Webster Batista .... assistant camera
Adam Beard .... grip
Jeff Bettis .... key rigging grip
Autumn Boh .... first assistant camera
Wesley Bryant .... lamp operator
Michael Ciancio .... phantom camera technician
Larry Cottrill .... electrician
Dan Furst .... video assist
Melinda Sue Gordon .... still photographer
Shane E. Gros .... grip
Keith Gruchala .... camera operator: second unit
Ian Hanna .... dolly grip
John C. Hoffler Jr. .... camera loader
Zachary Holmes .... video utility
Andrew Johnson .... AR rig operator
Andrew Johnson .... camera operator: "a" camera
McKay Johnson .... camera technician: Phantom
Larron Rome Julian .... assistant camera
Larron Rome Julian .... camera loader
Alan Keffer .... first assistant camera: second unit
Gary Kelso .... best boy grip
Jay Kemp .... gaffer
Michael D. Kennedy .... second assistant camera
Kurt Kornemann .... key grip
Charles C. Lee .... set lighting
Lisa Long .... second assistant camera: second unit
Griffin McCann .... second assistant camera: second unit
Mason McGuire .... rigging electric best boy
Andrew Peck .... second assistant camera
Ahmad Powell .... grip (as Ahmad Big Thirsty Powell)
Dave Quinlan .... electrician
Dawn Spatz .... camera intern
Eric Swanek .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Eric Swanek .... steadicam assistant
Michael Trejo .... grip
Sergio Villegas .... lighting technician
Adam Ward .... camera operator: second unit
David Wexler .... phantom camera technician
Earl Woods .... rigging gaffer
Andrew Johnson .... cinematographer: second unit (uncredited)
Casting Department
Robin Batherson .... casting director: extras
Lauren Grey .... casting associate
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
Jason Landry .... extras casting
Meagan Lewis .... location casting: New Orleans
Olivia Vestina Torres .... extras casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Meghan Cornay .... set costumer
Annette Farnsworth .... set costumer
Bridget Fenlason .... wardrobe supervisor
Andree Fortier .... ager/dyer
Heidi Howell .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Alexander Anderson .... editorial intern
Robyn A. Cole .... editorial intern
Tara Fidler .... first assistant editor
Olivier Fontenay .... colorist
Vanessa Galvez .... project manager
Jake King .... digital intermediate colorist assist
Joel McWilliams .... digital intermediate color assist
Harry Muller .... color timer
George Papuashvili .... additional post-production services
George Papuashvili .... editor: video
Mitch Paulson .... digital intermediate colorist
Andrew Jon Wallace .... editorial production assistant
Music Department
Rachel Fox .... music supervisor
Marc Streitenfeld .... composer: musicial ambiences
Marc Streitenfeld .... musician: piano pieces
Brian A. Kates .... music editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Dawn Cook .... driver
Greg Faucett .... transportation coordinator
Travis Hux .... transportation captain
Brad Lips .... fuel truck driver
Daniel Woodcock .... driver
James Yeates .... transportation captain
Other crew
Alan Abrams .... production legal
Joaquin Aragon .... production assistant
Frank Barnett .... additional set production assistant
Nicole Barton .... production executive
Jupiter Baudot .... production assistant
Kacie Baxter .... additional production assistant
Ashley Bearden .... production coordinator
Jennifer Benton .... production assistant
Erin Rhea Berson .... assistant: Anthony Katagas
Preston Bishop .... stand-in: Ben Mendelsohn
Bret Borgeson .... travel coordinator
Zoe Bower .... post facilities manager
Tom Bubrig .... stand-in/photo double
Dottie Buck .... craft service
Ruth Caffery .... assistant location manager
Lisa M. Calhoun .... additional production assistant
Andrew Carlson .... production assistant
Batou Chandler .... location manager
Felder Charbonnet .... stand-in: Vincent Curatola
Chris Clinton .... additional set production assistant
Jeff Dash .... production accountant
Tana David .... post facilities coordinator
Angel De La Vina .... additional set production assistant
Brittney Diez .... production assistant
Meg Dudley .... additional production assistant
Johnny Dunn .... creative executive: Annapurna Pictures
Evan Eastham .... location assistant
Mary Frances Eglin .... script supervisor
Anne Fader .... production secretary
Matt Flanders .... assistant to producer
Jay Floyd .... clearances
Will French .... executive in charge of financing
Gregory Allen Gabroy .... stand-in
Bernadette Gonzales .... assistant production coordinator
Shane Grady .... stand-in
Shane Grady .... stand-in: Sam Shepard
Bill Grantham .... finance legal
Daphne A. Guichard .... on-set medic
Mustafa Harris .... key set production assistant
Elias Heartnet .... production assistant
Andre Herrera .... production assistant
Robert Hornak .... production intern (as Rob Hornak)
Natalie Hottle .... production legal: Costa Abrams & Coate
Kim Ju .... second assistant accountant
Ted Kantrow .... caterer: Location Gourmet
Nazia Khan .... assistant to mr. pitt
Chris Kibler .... second assistant accountant
Andrew Kim .... production staff
Stephen Kinigopoulos .... production assistant
Iran Kuykendall .... key set production assistant
John Landers .... key craft service
Liz Landers .... key craft service
Larissa Martinez .... accounting assistant
Wayne Douglas Morgan .... stand-in: Slaine
Kimberly Murphy .... assistant locations manager
Christina Oh .... assistant: Dede Gardner
Chris Quackenbush .... location assistant (as Christopher J. Quackenbush)
Dave Rhodes .... stand-in
Stephen Roberts .... executive in charge of financing
Ryan Robison .... production assistant
Brett Roedel .... stand-in
Wes Rossi .... assistant location manager
Maritza Sanchez .... additional production assistant
Gregory Santoro .... production assistant
Mark S. Schneider .... production legal services (as Mark Schneider, Esq.)
Laura Sevier .... script clearances
Tim Sigur .... production assistant
Diane Slattery .... unit publicist
Aaron J. Stone .... basecamp production assistant
Adam M. Stone .... product placement coordinator (as Adam Stone)
Cat Stone .... product placement coordinator
Philip J. Strina .... business affairs: Inferno
Shelley Tassin .... assistant: Andrew Dominik
Abby Taylor .... production assistant
Spencer Taylor .... additional set production assistant
Niraj Trivedi .... production assistant
Ryder Washburn .... armorer
Jonathan Wester .... stand-in
Melissa Wiseman .... assistant accountant
Darren Alberti .... stand-in (uncredited)
D.V. DeVincentis .... special thanks (as Daniel Vincent DeVincentis)
Garret Dillahunt .... special thanks
Bella Heathcote .... special thanks
Wynton Marsalis .... special thanks
Hal Willner .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Jackie Cogan" - Japan (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
Rated R for violence, sexual references, pervasive language, and some drug use
97 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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 »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At one point in the movie Frankie mentions a bar in Haverhill. He pronounces it "haver-hill" but anyone living in new England know it is pronounced "have-rill".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 smack. Once Kenny comes in with him, Kenny comes to me and wants to know what I think about that.
See more »
Movie Connections:
I Think This Town Is NervousSee more »


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48 out of 76 people found the following review useful.
A forceful socio-political commentary, 29 November 2012
Author: freemantle_uk from United Kingdom

The idea of film being used as a medium for political themes and socio-economic commentary is nothing new, even recently with films such as Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Margin Call aiming to tackle the 2008 financial crisis. But few films have been as unsubtle as Killing Them Softly.

Set to the backdrop of the 2008 election, the criminal underworld of an American city has been hit by its own financial crisis after a mob poker game is robbed by two criminals (Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn). With no trades or money being moved, a mob manager (Richard Jenkins) brings in a fixer, Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt), to solve the situation. But none of his actions brings back confidence, whether right or wrong.

Writer/director Andrew Dominik admirably uses a gangster story as a metaphor for the financial crisis, but the handling was atrocious. Dominik has no faith in his audience to draw these connections, and even worse, come away with its own conclusions; he opts to spoon-feed us the cliff notes as we watch.

This is most evident with the constant use of speeches by George W. Bush and Barack Obama made at time, enforcing the parallels Dominik wanted to make. There are constant references to terminology used at the time, particularly the theme of bringing back confidence to the world, the theme that public perspective is more important than actual actions and we are reminded that the gangster world's situation is the same as the financial world's one. This forceful approach does not allow us to see a natural story.

Killing Them Softly is a very dialogue-driven film that breaks the old cinematic maxim of "show, don't tell." We are told that the mob has turned corporate and that there is a crisis, but we do not get to see it. It would have been more interesting to see mob bosses arguing and coming up with theories and seeing that gangsters were unwilling to make any deals in the midst of the crisis. Killing Them Softly ends up rather dull as a result.

There are some moments that show what Dominik is capable of: the robbery scene was filled with tension and things felt like they would actually kick off. Whenever violence was used in general, it was incredibly grim and brutal. There is a highly stylised moment when Cogan commits his first assassination, completely played out in slow motion — a brilliant little sequence. The film hits hardest in these scenes.

The big saving grace of Killing Them Softly is the acting. There is a great cast with Pitt, Jenkins and James Gandolfini being the biggest draws. They were committed actors doing the best they could, elevating the dry material provided with excellent delivery and chemistry. Pitt and McNairy played the most likable (and I use that term loosely) characters, and were the most well-drawn and conflicted characters in the film. McNairy was the most human, reacting naturally to his situation, and Pitt is able to be cold-hearted and professional when he acts upon his deadly task.

Killing Them Softly is a film that feels its political parallels are enough of a mask for it to be seen as an intelligential masterpiece, but it feels too demeaning to have everything spelled out like that, which was made worse given the story played second fiddle to these political parallels. There was potential for a great film if there was a good re-write, but it ends up being one of biggest disappointments of 2012.

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