5.3/10
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The Counselor (2013)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writer:

Cormac McCarthy
Reviews
Popularity
1,889 ( 353)
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:

Want it all. Risk it all. Lose it all. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The outfit in the final scene of Cameron Diaz had no hood which was specifically added on her request. See more »

Goofs

When arriving on the golf court in the Ferrari, the roof of the car is visibly closed. When Malkina is on top of the windshield and does the famous split, the cars roof is now open. And Malkinas order to Rainer to leave the door open, doesn't make any sense with the roof now open, as Rainer can hear her through the open roof... 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

References The Green Hornet (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Woman, When I've Raised Hell
Written and Performed by Josh T. Pearson
Courtesy of Mute Artists Limited
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User Reviews

 
Counseling the Counselor
14 November 2013 | by 3xHCCHSee 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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Dutch

Release Date:

25 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Counselor 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

Gross USA:

$16,973,715

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,009,334
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby | SDDS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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