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The Counselor (2013)

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

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writer:

Cormac McCarthy
Reviews
Popularity
1,830 ( 628)
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Fassbender ... Counselor
Penélope Cruz ... Laura
Cameron Diaz ... Malkina
Javier Bardem ... Reiner
Cesar Aguirre Cesar Aguirre ... Truck Driver #1 (as César Aguirre)
Daniel Holguín ... Truck Driver #2 (as Daniel Holguin)
Chris Obi ... Malkina's Bodyguard
Bruno Ganz ... Diamond Dealer
Richard Cabral ... Young Biker
Provence Maydew Provence Maydew ... Woman in Grocery Store
Brad Pitt ... Westray
Paris Jefferson ... Waitress
Dar Dash ... Barman
Rosie Perez ... Ruth
Alex Hafner ... Highway Patrolman
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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

Taglines:

Sin Is A Choice. See more »

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Dutch

Release Date:

25 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El abogado del crimen See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,842,930, 27 October 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$16,973,715, 8 August 2014

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,009,334, 8 August 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut) | (unrated extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby | SDDS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Angelina Jolie was originally cast as Malkina but dropped out. She was replaced by Cameron Diaz. 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?
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Alternate Versions

The 'Unrated Extended Cut' is 20 minutes longer than the 'Theatrical Cut'(117 min.) and runs nearly 138 minutes. It features new scenes, extended scenes and a little alternative footage. Some scenes are extended substantially, for example the philosophical dialogue between the Counselor and the Diamond Dealer and between the Counselor and the Cartel Leader. In this version the Diamond Dealer is characterized as a Sephardic Jew from Spain with a tragic past involving a deceased woman. The Cartel Leader's extended monologue gains nearly apocalyptic qualities. The sex scene at the beginning is longer and contains stronger sexual activity from Laura. The sexually ambiguous relationship between Laura and Malkina is explored deeper in an additional scene. Reiner tells more anecdotes about his former girlfriends, friends and what he 'learned' about women. The dialogue scenes with Westray contain more details about the unpredictable dangers of the drug trade. The notorious death scene of Westray is extended and more graphic. The 'Unrated Extended Cut' contains in general more profanity and sexual references than the R-rated 'Theatrical Cut'. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film '72: Episode dated 10 December 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Territorio
Written by Camilo Lara
Performed by Instituto Mexicano de Sonido (as Mexican Institute of Sound)
Courtesy of Nacional Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Drowns under the weight of cryptic dialogue and abstract storytelling.
24 October 2013 | by BrentHankinsSee all my reviews

With three of his novels being adapted into critically acclaimed films, Cormac McCarthy has opted to try his hand at screen writing, and the fruits of his labor can be seen in The Counselor. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film stars Michael Fassbender as a high-priced lawyer who decides to dabble in something a bit less than legal in order to make some extra cash.

Against the advice of associates Reiner (Javier Bardem) and Westray (Brad Pitt), The Counselor (whose name is never mentioned) has somehow gotten himself involved in the drug trafficking business, although the film remains ambiguous about the specifics. Motivated by the love of a beautiful woman (Penelope Cruz) and the desire to maintain the lifestyle he's enjoyed for so long, he never takes into account the sort of consequences he may be subjected to, should things not go according to plan.

As the trailers for the film make abundantly clear, things do not, in fact, go according to plan - at least, that's what we're led to believe, since the details of The Counselor's involvement in said plan are never actually revealed. Despite being warned about this scenario from the very beginning, by nearly every other character in the film, The Counselor remains inexplicably shocked and stunned when things begin to unravel.

Ridley Scott's latest directorial effort is peppered with lengthy scenes that find The Counselor engaged in conversations with other characters as they try to impart kernels of wisdom, truth and philosophy. Unfortunately, first-time screenwriter McCarthy fails to realize that he's not writing a novel here. Despite the brilliance of his literary works, he doesn't take into account the fact that living, breathing people rarely speak in monologues, and there's scarcely an ounce of naturally delivered dialogue in any of these exchanges.

Indeed, if you watch closely you can actually see the actors struggling to wrap their heads (and mouths) around these complex conversations that are surely meant to sound intelligent, but come across as anything but. It's hard to find fault with the talented cast, but when working with such messy material, it's difficult to be at the top of your game.

Despite the script's shortcomings, The Counselor provides enough intrigue to keep things moving along for about 90 minutes or so. The problem, of course, is that the film grinds to a complete and utter halt with another half hour still left in the tank, and the final 30 minutes is some of the most excruciatingly boring cinema I've seen this year. It's a frustrating and befuddling experience, and I left the theater wondering exactly what the hell had happened, both in front of the camera and behind it.

-- Brent Hankins, www.nerdrep.com


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