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The Counsellor (2013)

The Counselor (original title)
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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
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Popularity
2,331 ( 455)
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

Gross USA:

$16,973,715

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,009,334
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby | SDDS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the refurbished nightclub the camera shifts focus from the Counselor to a large b/w photo of actor Steve McQueen in a sailor's uniform. It's a still from The Sand Pebbles (1966). McQueen shot Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway (1972) in El Paso, Texas where this scene of The Counsellor (2013) is set and died nearby in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on November 7, 1980 after a risky and unsuccessful cancer surgery. Except from the still photo there is also a verbal reference to McQueen himself: He remarked once on his lifelong love of motor racing: "Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting." Screenwriter Cormac McCarthy adapted McQueen's well-known quote into the following line of dialogue: "Life is being in bed with you. Everything else is just waiting." See more »

Goofs

The Counselor drives a 2011 - present model year Bentley Continental GT Coupe in Moonbeam Silver for the majority of the film, however in two scenes the car is instead a 2003-2011 model year Bentley Continental GT with tinted rear headlights. The car is also finished in Moonbeam Silver, however the new model can easily be distinguished by the smaller outer front headlights, squared off haunches and more acute-angled rear 3/4 windows. 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?
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 »

Connections

Referenced in NCIS: Choke Hold (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Fe
Written by Zach Condon
Performed by Beirut
Courtesy of Pompeii Records
By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Poorly-scripted drug trafficking drama
15 May 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

THE COUNSELLOR is an odd film from director Ridley Scott. While his direction remains exemplary and is difficult to fault, the script from novelist Cormac McCarthy (THE ROAD) is very poor and difficult to fathom. I don't think it's a good idea for novelists to attempt to write such scripts, because novels are nothing like screenplays and such films sometimes come across feeling false and too wordy. That's the case here.

Although the plotting in this film isn't too convoluted, it's the dialogue that really drags this down and makes everything feel twice as long as it really takes. Everyone in here is some kind of moral philosopher, given to sitting down and spouting long treaties to the other characters. None of what they say is very interesting, and much of it is rather dull. Hollywood seems to have a real problem in making films about drug trafficking; like SAVAGES, this one misses the mark.

The problem lies with the characters; there are a lot of them, often played by popular actors, but none are good. Michael Fassbender's lead feels extraneous in the story and is one-dimensional throughout. Cameron Diaz is miscast and really struggling, and Penelope Cruz is there for the glamour alone. The only one who comes out of it with his head held high is Brad Pitt, who makes things feel as effortless as ever. The rest of the cast seem to show up to do a scene and then disappear again for good. This isn't what film-making is about.


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