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The Counselor (2013)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  25 October 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 75,816 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 419 user | 329 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.



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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Diamond Dealer
Priest (as Edgar Ramírez)
Highway Patrolman
Watching Girl


A rich and successful lawyer, the Counselor, is about to get married to his fiancée but soon becomes entangled in a complex drug plot with a middle-man known as Westray. The plan ends up taking a horrible twist and he must protect himself and his soon to be bride as the truth of the drug business is uncovered and targets are eliminated. Written by DJDC

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sin Is A Choice.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic violence, some grisly images, strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

25 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El abogado del crimen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,842,930 (USA) (25 October 2013)


$16,969,390 (USA) (10 January 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Natalie Portman was considered for the role of Laura. See more »


The Counselor drives a 2011 - present model year Bentley Continental GT Coupe in Moonbeam Silver for the majority of the film, however in two scenes the car is instead a 2003-2011 model year Bentley Continental GT with tinted rear headlights. The car is also finished in Moonbeam Silver, however the new model can easily be distinguished by the smaller outer front headlights, squared off haunches and more acute-angled rear 3/4 windows. See more »


[first lines]
Laura: Are you awake?
Counselor: No. What time is it?
Laura: Two o'clock. Almost two o'clock.
Counselor: AM or PM?
See more »


Referenced in NCIS: Choke Hold (2014) See more »


Zapata Se Queda
Written by Lila Downs and Paul Cohen
Performed by Lila Downs Con Celso Piña Y Toto La Momposina
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment México, S.A. De C.V.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Counseling the Counselor
14 November 2013 | by (Quezon City, Philippines) – See all my reviews

When I first heard about this film and its pedigreed credentials: Director Ridley Scott, Starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt, I was excited to see it. However, because of the very poor reviews and box office performance Stateside, I have tempered my expectations before I went to see it. And so should you.

"The Counselor" refers to the nameless character played by Michael Fassbender. He appears to be a very successful lawyer, happily engaged to a gorgeous, church-going girl (Penelope Cruz). However, for some reason this film never really completely discloses, he still felt the need to get himself involved with a Mexican drug cartel for additional cash, peppered with colorful characters, like the wild-haired Reiner (Javier Bardem), his slinky girlfriend Malkina (Cameron Diaz) and the urban cowboy Westray (Brad Pitt). Will the Counselor get away with both the girl and cash?

When I saw in the opening credits that the script was by Cormac McCarthy, who was responsible for "No Country for Old Men" (which I did not exactly like), I braced myself for one puzzling and boring ride.

However, it was not exactly all boring after all. There were those pockets of incredible tension and violence involving necks which you will not soon forget.

Michael Fassbender was okay as the titular Counselor, but there was nothing about his character which was fully-explored. He is obviously greedy enough to risk everything he had to get himself involved in nefarious criminal activities, but we do not see why. So we end up not caring at all about him. We actually see other characters counsel him, than him counseling others.

Cameron Diaz's femme fatale character Malkina was unexpectedly well- developed. She is certainly no dumb blond bimbo here. Her scenes though were the most perplexing as to where she was coming from. She has a scene on the windshield of a luxury car that was as head-scratching as it was sensually acrobatic.

Javier Bardem is really very comfortable playing these cool sinister types. Penelope Cruz is too good to be true. I expected more out of their characters than what ended up in the final edit we saw, which was disappointing.

I found the character of Brad Pitt the most interesting one of all. Every time Westray was on the screen, the story perks up and even the long conversations he has with the Counselor actually made sense. Too bad Pitt was only in about a third of the film or less.

"The Counselor" comes across as a slick action-filled crime caper film at first glance. However as you watch it, you will realize that it was actually mostly long-winded, unrealistically philosophical conversations and monologues from the most unlikely of characters. I think the main problem is the turgid and generally lifeless script which the talents of the director nor the actors could save.

62 of 111 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What was the point? cashmccall
Why did Laura park so far from the exit of the parking deck? buttergotch
The Counselor huge movie fullmoon9
Malkina's motivation? raven_dark64
Penelope, the polo match, the ring, and crumbs RoyHobbs
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