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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.


Ridley Scott


Cormac McCarthy
2,651 ( 821)
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


Want it all. Risk it all. Lose it all. 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 »





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 »


Box Office


$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


| (extended cut) | (unrated extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby | SDDS (uncredited)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz previously starred together in "Vanilla Sky" (2001). See more »


(at around 50 mins) When Malkina is driving the yellow Ferrari California on the golf course, the cables used for the internal cabin lights are clearly visible going through Reiner's passenger door. 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 »


References Body Heat (1981) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Might of the Monologues
27 May 2014 | by bowmanblueSee all my reviews

'The Counsellor' is an all-star cast, comprising of Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz (excluding the numerous cameos by other well-known actors). Not only is it completely 'A-list,' but it's also directed by Sir Ridley Scott. With a cinematic pedigree like that, how could it fail? Well, it does its best.

It's far to say that most people who have watched it have hated it. And it's not hard to see why. For a start, if you've seen the trailer, you may feel a little mislead. The trailer markets it (or at least a fair proportion of it) on 'action.' However, if you've watched the trailer, you've basically seen every car chase, punch and gunshot the movie contains. Basically, it's over two hours of people talking to each other.

Michael Fassbender plays the titular character, known only as 'Counsellor.' We never learn his name. Why? No idea. He's *surprisingly* a counsellor, but has decided to do a drug deal. Why? No idea. So he travels around the world talking to one dodgy character after the next. And when I say talk, I really mean TALK. He doesn't just chat, he does a form of monologue which, in real life, is completely alien to how normal people interact with each other. Then, when he's finally shut up, the person he's come to see responds with an equally cryptic speech. And so it goes on, occasionally interspersed with *seemingly* random characters doing their own plot line.

It's a tough film to watch all right. You really have to be in the mood for something totally 'talkie.' Yes, the actors are as good as their reputations suggest, but the dialogue they're forced to speak does come across as a little forced, even from them. The film is pretty watchable as the multiple monologues to lend a certain depth to our understanding of the characters, but, after a while, it does wear a little thin. The film is over two hours in length and the last half an hour is an even harder watch than what's gone before.

Just don't expect wall-to-wall excitement and make sure you're in the mood for a slow two hours if you possibly hope to get the maximum out of this (although, fans of Cameron Diaz may get a little bonus when they see what she does with yellow sports cars!).


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