Up 17 this week

The Counselor (2013)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  25 October 2013 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.4/10 from 75,771 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.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins
Robin Hood (2010)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Macfadyen
Runner Runner (2013)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When a poor college student who cracks an online poker game goes bust, he arranges a face-to-face with the man he thinks cheated him, a sly offshore entrepreneur.

Director: Brad Furman
Stars: Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton
Body of Lies (2008)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong
Prometheus I (2012)
Adventure | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Following clues to the origin of mankind a team journey across the universe and find a structure on a distant planet containing a monolithic statue of a humanoid head and stone cylinders of alien blood but they soon find they are not alone.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard
The Mexican (2001)
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A man tries to transport an ancient gun called The Mexican, believed to carry a curse, back across the border, while his girlfriend pressures him to give up his criminal ways.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, James Gandolfini
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley
Hannibal (2001)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Living in exile, Hannibal Lecter tries to reconnect with now disgraced FBI agent Clarice Starling and finds himself a target for revenge from a powerful victim.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman
A Good Year (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Russell Crowe, Abbie Cornish, Albert Finney
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn't follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice.

Director: Scott Cooper
Stars: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana


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?


This film is dedicated "In Memory of Matthew Baker" (as Matt Baker). Baker was the Second Assistant Director of Ridley Scott on The Counselor (2013), Prometheus (2012) and Robin Hood (2010) and died on March 4th 2013 during post-production. Ridley Scott dedicated his next film Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) to his late brother Tony Scott who died on August 19th 2012: The story of the biblical epic features two brothers as lead characters. See more »


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 »


[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 »


References Body Heat (1981) See more »


Sweet Georgia Brown
Written by Ben Bernie, Kenneth Casey and Maceo Pinkard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Who Should Be The One Counseling?
26 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Normally, I fully appreciate bleak films with utterly despicable characters that leave you thinking rather than leaving the theater with a smile on your face, joyous to the fact that the hero saved the day yet again. Sorry, that's not my kind of story as overdone as it is. I prefer brutal realism where humanity is depicted in a much less phony manner. That's exactly what The Counselor promises as its characters take fairly regrettable paths- flawed people that make mistakes in a criminal environment. Some are more oblivious to it (or outright merciless), and some are much more humane in their methods. At first glance, it seems as if it's impossible for The Counselor to be proved a disappointment from the looks of its amazing cast (the likes of Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, and Penelope Cruz), exceptional director with a credible resume, and a totally prestigious author signed on for his first screenplay. In addition, it appears to be a crime thriller, which definitely commences my adrenaline rush because it's personally my favorite genre.

Unfortunately, this film is a perfect example of "don't judge a book by its cover" (whether positively or negatively; people just love positivism so they usually associate the idiom with negativism). To simply put it, the story is a complete mess right from the start. We have our main character who goes by "Counselor" (played by one of my favorites, Michael Fassbender) confusingly dropped into this situation. How did he end up in this predicament? Why did he choose to pursue such a perilous and illicit path? Basically, the movie never explains anything. You're left in wonderment, attempting to figure out who is on whose side. Who wants to kill them exactly? Characters end up in random places, and the story never even bothers to explain how the two characters even know each other. The script just conveniently places two movie stars in one scene without an effectively developed context to service it. What follows are countless scenes where characters engage in conversation, vaguely discussing the circumstances.

The dialogue also feels vastly strange because the characters don't talk like actual people do in reality. Their speech sounds quite literary as they spout metaphor after metaphor, coupled with complex vocabulary. With that being said, I had no issue with it at first. In that, I mean I held no issue with the style of speech. What I did have an issue with was the way the characters spoke in a way that fully befuddled the viewers. It's like only the characters are in on it the entire way without the audience's understanding. In essence, it makes for an inconvenient and confusing experience.

Speaking of the cast, Javier Bardem was really the only one that stood out to me. Frankly, Cameron Diaz had me bewildered. She's supposed to be from Barbados with an accent- See, I wasn't even sure whether she was sporting an accent or not. At times, it felt like she had an accent going on, and then in other moments, she was speaking fluent and clear English; so I have no idea what was going on there. Even then, the film could've easily hidden all these flaws by presenting us with a thrilling and suspenseful plot, but it actually turned out to be incredibly uneventful. The scope didn't feel as exciting as it was supposed to be, and it definitely wasted an incredible amount of potential. So yes, I'm absolutely saddened; this was one of my most anticipated films of this year, if not my most anticipated, and it ended up falling embarrassingly flat.

There were a few disturbingly violent scenes that boosted the film's tone, for lack of a better term, literally, and reminded us of the excellence of No Country for Old Men. You're also met with an outrageous sex scene that's equally disturbing and sexy for some, and those scenes might be the only snippets of The Counselor remembered down the road. The ending was also not very reassuring, cutting to the credits unexpectedly shortly after another monotonous and ambiguous conversation. The only decent element of this movie was its soundtrack, but then again, its quality could've just been determined in comparison to the oddity and nuisance that the rest of the film consisted of. In sum, the best way to describe The Counselor is "brutally unsatisfying." I felt no sense of satisfaction by the time it drew to a close, and everything simply felt so meaningless and forgettable. There's no question that it left a bad taste in my mouth, and I sincerely hope that Ridley Scott ups his game sometime soon.

263 of 356 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Wow. starshower776
Discuss The Counselor (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: