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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

When the sewage truck stops at the gate in Chicago (at about 1 hour, 49 min), you can see mountains in the background. There are no mountains in Chicago. 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

Featured 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

 
The Counselor is so in love with itself that it gives no one else a reason to love it, let alone care.
6 March 2016 | by lnvictaSee all my reviews

The Counselor is one of the most bizarre movies I've ever seen. Ever since it came out I was intrigued how it got very mixed reviews when it had such an amazing cast and crew. But now I know. I'll start with the positives because there actually is plenty to like in this movie. The acting first and foremost is phenomenal, particularly Fassbender and Bardem. It's the only reason you care about anything that's happening. The directing is slick and stylish, and there are a few scenes that are actually brilliant to see unfold. Some lines of dialogue are powerful. Cameron Diaz was good. I'm already running out of positive things to say so let's get right into it.

This movie is a hot mess. There are a hundred characters in this damn thing, it's over 2 hours long when it shouldn't have been, every scene could've been cut in half and the movie would've been all the better for it. It's hard to keep up with all the crap going on because it's so scatterbrained in its storytelling. And that's weird to say because Bardem's character tells some really captivating and hilarious stories. But the movie itself is so wordy and self-indulgent that even if you want to keep up with everything that's happening, there's no good reason to. It's an exercise in tedium after a while. It's like the writer said, "Let's see how many words I can squeeze into this scene before the audience has no idea what the f*ck it's about," and he did that for every damn scene. And again, there are glimmers of brilliance, hell the actual story is really interesting, but goddamn that just makes it all the more frustrating.

The plot can be boiled down to a lawyer getting himself in a bad situation with drug guys and how he tries to get out of it. It sounds like a focused plot, but the movie complicates it beyond comprehension. One minute I'm totally entranced by what's happening on screen, anxiously awaiting what's going to happen next, and then the movie will jump to a scene with random characters we've never seen before talking about nonsense, and they just keep talking and talking until I forget what I was entranced with in the first place. Seriously, if every scene in the movie was cut in half, it could be an excellent crime thriller. There are some truly brutal moments in the movie, and some thought-provoking ones, but they get stretched out and morphed to the point of bewilderment. Some of the lines in this movie are cringe-worthy. Like, did they really have to repeat what the other person said in five different ways? No? That's what I thought. And that's why this movie pisses me off.

The Counselor will definitely impress some people. If you can handle an absolute clusterf*ck of a movie with a few amazing scenes and superb acting then you'll probably enjoy it. But even that makes it sound better than it is, because the great scenes are so few and far between you're left thinking, "Why on earth did they go in this direction? They had something great here!" It's a baffling movie, really, and the more I think about it the more it upsets me because of how great it could've been. Its potential was so clear, it's like they tried to make it as convoluted and stupid as possible.

Worst of all, the movie takes itself dead seriously. It thinks it's so great, and again for the millionth time, IT COULD'VE BEEN. But no, The Counselor refuses to take other people into consideration. It's so in love with itself it gives no one else a reason to love it, let alone care. Watch at your own risk.


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