Critic Reviews



Based on 42 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The Counselor achieves the almost unheard-of daily double of giving us the most outrageous sex scene of the year AND the most unforgettably brutal murder of the year. This is a badass journey from start to finish.
In its cross-cultural breadth, director Ridley Scott's smart and violent film merits comparison to Steven Soderbergh's “Traffic,” but the dialogue delivered by the stellar cast is incomparably McCarthy's.
It would have been nice if the movie didn't veer so dangerously close to outright misogyny. Besides the hero's saintly damsel of a love interest (Penelope Cruz), the only other prominent female character is the vamping bisexual moll of Bardem's businessman, played by a severely miscast Cameron Diaz.
This one has more in common with Scott's “Thelma & Louise” in the memorable way it escalates, inevitably but also unexpectedly, into a spin through wilder country, and a meditation on bigger themes.
McCarthy's voice comes through strongly enough to excuse the film's excesses and cast its more generic plot elements in a new light.
A darkly tense drama that rarely hits anything resembling an emotional beat.
Fassbender, though, gets the kudos (again) as the man who has everything but loses it all - thanks partly to a slyly cast Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) and, more important, to the character's moral compass that points wherever he feels it should, until, of course, it points due south of heaven.
The film doesn't temper enough of Cormac McCarthy's excesses, but Ridley Scott and his ensemble find enough meat in his scenario to make for diverting, bloody pleasure.
McCarthy's screenplay, a tangle of doublecrosses and dead men, has just been published. Those who really want to know what's going on would be advised to buy a copy.
If The Counselor is a failure, it's at least a fascinating one. Much of the reason for that is time spent in the theater examining why the film isn't working.
Oddly, the published screenplay - while far from McCarthy's top-drawer - reads better than it plays. What's onscreen recalls a line from No Country: "It's a mess, ain't it, Sheriff?"
Ultimately, this dull tour of a thieving, primal underworld is just a lot of high-talking hogwash.
USA Today
The overwritten script and the ridiculous plot combine to make The Counselor a frustrating experience.
Despite its scaldingly hot cast and formidable writer/director combination, The Counselor is simply not a very likable or gratifying film. In fact, it's a bummer.
It's possible there has never been anything like it. It contains memorable dialogue, vivid characters and several superb scenes, and yet it still manages to be wrong, a complete miscalculation.
What's missing is dramatic subtext and surprise, as well as any playfulness that might have kept us guessing about the plot.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for The Counselor (2013) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Message Board