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The Counselor (2013)

5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 45,415 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 306 user | 293 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: The Counselor (2013)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Cesar Aguirre ...
Truck Driver #1 (as César Aguirre)
Daniel Holguín ...
Truck Driver #2 (as Daniel Holguin)
...
Malkina's Bodyguard (as Chris Obi)
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Diamond Dealer
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...
Waitress
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Barman
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Young Biker
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Ruth
...
Highway Patrolman
...
Watching Girl
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Storyline

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

Genres:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Counselor  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the night club Reiner and the Counselor are buying/remodeling, the camera shifts focus from the Counselor to a large black and white photo of Steve McQueen in a sailor's uniform. The picture is a still from the movie "The Sand Pebbles", which is set in the early 20th Century awakening dragon, China. See more »

Goofs

Westray is reading a newspaper in a hotel lobby. When the Counselor sits down next to him, Westray tosses a fully-opened paper to the Counselor, but the paper is folded in the next shot just before the Counselor goes to pick it up. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #22.21 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
Written by Ben Bernie, Kenneth Casey and Maceo Pinkard
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.


33 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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