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home : columnists and contributors : columnists and contributors May 28, 2016

10/30/2013 12:01:00 AM
Movie Review: The Counselor
Cynthia Morse Zumbaugh

When I first heard about this movie, I was very anxious to see it. Directed by Ridley Scott, written by Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men) and with a cast to die for, it seemed like a slam dunk. To be honest, it seems to be a film that you either love or hate; I've spoken with people who loved it but I'm not one of them.

Michael Fassbender plays a very successful attorney known only as The Counselor. Even though it appears he should be making enough money to be fine, he comes up a little short when purchasing an engagement ring for Laura (Penelope Cruz) and he agrees to help run some drugs in from Mexico. All does not go as planned and he winds up being pursued by Mexican drug lords, so he goes for help from a local nightclub owner (Javier Bardem.)

I can't complain about any of the performances in this movie. Bardem is great, as is Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz does her best acting in a long time, Brad Pitt offers the only hint of lightness that the movie has to offer and Fassbender is good in the title role. Yet somehow, it doesn't all work together. The script is too slow, it is trying too hard to shock, on both the sex and violence fronts and although it does improve in pace toward the end of the movie, by then I was bored and confused and I really no longer cared what happened.

Rated R, this is not for children, end of story. It has constant profanity, very bloody violent scenes and sex and sexual situations/conversation.

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