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


Ridley Scott


Cormac McCarthy
2,726 ( 152)
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





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


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. See more »


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 »

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 his car, on the phone with the Cartel lawyer, the mobile phone is upside down. 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 »

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 »


Roll Up
Performed by 'Baby Bash' and Lucky Luciano
Courtesy of Bashtown Music LLC
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User Reviews

Proof that a good cast doesn't always result in a good film
11 February 2015 | by jimbo-53-186511See all my reviews


Michael Fassbender plays The Counsellor, a wealthy lawyer who is due to marry his fiancée Laura (Penelope Cruz). However, these plans go on the back burner when The Counsellor gets involved in a drug trafficking operation. A serious of events occur which puts him and everyone around him on the wrong side of The Cartel.

Even though the idea behind this film isn't particularly new, I'm not the sort of person who will put the boot into a film just because it isn't original. However if it isn't original then the writers should try to help their audience forget this by at least telling their story in a way that is both entertaining and interesting - this fails on both counts.

For me, the story is far too talky and nonsensical. The first hour probably consisted of about 55 minutes of rambling and about 5 minutes of plot development (that's probably being generous as well). There were lots of scenes that were either drawn out or pointless (or both on some occasions) - the scene where The Counsellor buys a diamond ring, the scene with Diaz and Bardem and the Ferrari. You could also add the opening scene as being a long drawn out pointless scene, but I'm prepared to let that one slide because Penelope Cruz is hot. There was so much rambling and pointless dialogue with very little plot development that it pretty much gets to the point where you're past caring what's happening.

Brad Pitt is supposed to be an integral part of the operation, but he's probably only on screen for about a fifth of the running time (and most of that time is towards the end of the film).

The film's very basic strengths are in that it is ultra cool and slick. The cast are all cool and the film is also quite well-made and also contains some rather nice cinematography.

Sadly though, a handsome cast and some pretty visuals & sets aren't going to be enough for most viewers and unfortunately without these things you're left with a rather incoherent rambling mess of a film that takes so long to go anywhere that you'll find yourself past caring long before the film ends. It's a bit like looking at a really beautiful painting - you'll start off looking at it, enjoy looking at it for a short while, but eventually you'll get fed up and walk away. Those were pretty much my exact feelings when the film ended. A bit of a waste really.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Spanish | Dutch

Release Date:

25 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Counselor See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,842,930, 27 October 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (unrated extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby Digital | SDDS (uncredited)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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