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The Counselor (2013)

5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 54,868 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 354 user | 308 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
...
...
Waitress
...
Barman
...
Young Biker
...
...
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:

El abogado del crimen  »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Angelina Jolie was originally cast as Malkina but dropped out, and was replaced by Cameron Diaz. See more »

Goofs

When the Counselor is in Amsterdam, the diamond dealer tells him an Asscher cut diamond is a "modern version of the old mine cut." In fact, old mine cuts are early versions of round brilliants (and sometimes look like modern cushions). An Asscher, by contrast, is a step cut, sometimes called a square emerald cut. 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

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #22.15 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Fe
Written by Zach Condon
Performed by Beirut
Courtesy of Pompeii Records
By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I'm not a contrarian, but…
26 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

With a star studded cast, featuring the likes of Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt, and directed by Ridley Scott, with a script from one of the greatest American novelists alive, Cormac McCarthy, obviously I went to see "The Counselor" on face value alone. Admittedly, aside from the fact that this is not a very cinematic endeavor, the first half of this film is pretty bad. That is to say the first act and a half is far too cryptic for its own good, with dialogue that is in love with its own double entendres and lines which sound as though they would be more at home in a novel than spoken aloud by human beings. But, if you're patient enough to stay with this film until the second hour, you will be rewarded by witnessing how McCarthy and Scott weave this almost action-less tale together, quietly guiding audiences into a brilliantly disturbing and hypnotic finale.

The performances (the standout coming from Bardem) are all fine here. These are all great actors, so what else would you expect? Same goes for the direction. The wildcard with "The Counselor" was always McCarthy's transition from novel to feature film scriptwriting; a transition that was a first act failure on the grounds of dialogue alone. In that same breath, his high caliber story of a lawyer who gets involved in drug trafficking and his masterful construction redeems him almost entirely by the time it's all said and done.

As I alluded to before, there is not much action here, which may give the illusion to some that sequences are occurring but nothing is progressing, which may also promote watch checking. But within this conversation based film, as much as I would have preferred the dialogue to have been handled with more subtlety, the subtext is always interesting, gaining its momentum from the converging stories within the second half.

Final Thought: "The Counselor" is the film equivalent of an artichoke. You either like it or you don't. And both are understandable. Maybe one day, once all of the critical heat dies down, history will look more kindly on this movie. But for now, there will be flaws within it that a majority of mainstream audiences just won't be able to forgive.

Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland


71 of 105 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did ppl actually see the movie...? graulaw
Ruben Blades conversation with the Counselor etruw-1
Foreshadowing--one works, two don't leaglebob
Watched twice--Cartel is 'dumb' = Plot Hole or Explain? leaglebob
What is Cormac Mccarthy saying? objviewer
Surprised almost no one is defending this alexdelliott
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