A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
Killing Them Softly
In America you're on your own.
Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse.
So this is a film about (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) a couple of low life criminals that (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) rob a poker game and get their come uppance. It´s also about (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) the guy going after the two low life (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) criminals that robbed the poker game. It's also about a guy with glasses (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) who screws hookers and drinks a lot and serves (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) no other purpose. It's also about another guy with glasses who (WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!) sits in a car most of the time.
Beautifully shot, sometimes funny, sometimes very violent film that keeps screaming in my face that it has a message instead of making that message relevant.
(WE'RE IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS!!)
The December Project: Film #2
How this film plays with people will depend on whether or not you like your films subtle or not. Killing Them Softly isn't interested in letting its message sink in slowly. No, it's out to punch you. In the gut. Because you're fucking scum. And you deserve it, you worthless piece of shit.
Yes, Killing Them Softly is currently underperforming at the box office, and it also has a CinemaScore of F. But I'm not surprised. Killing Them Softly is an angry film. It's angry about politicians shoving bullshit down your throat. It's angry about how the economy sucks. It's a pissed off wild dog and it's about to shove its rabies down your throat…
Director, Andrew Dominik’s last film - Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - was one of the finest movies of the last decade which makes his latest effort all the more disappointing. Brad Pitt plays an enforcer who is hired to sort out a problem when two opportunistic wasters rob a protected card game. The thought of Dominik tackling a contemporary and socially relevant crime film sounded like a potent and exciting mix yet Killing Them Softly is a film that is rarely as insightful as it believes it is.
As a film it is aesthetically reminiscent of the grimy ‘70s crime dramas rather than the modern glorification of gangster culture. Barring a stylishly choreographed slow-motion centrepiece…
In spite of the central message not fully gelling with me, Killing Them Softly is a mesmerizing work of genius musical ques, powerhouse dialogue that flows like lava, and performances that are as subtle as they are deeply potent. It's a film that is the equivalent of a spider crawling around in your room at night. It moves slowly, but surely; focused on one goal as it crawls inevitably towards a knockout conclusion. This is one film that deserves to be called a 'gem'.
And the set-piece moments are absolutely nuts.
A sort of mumble-noir that, save for bursts of intense violence, crawls through its narrative with talky languorousness, Andre Dominik's "Killing Them Softly" is a slow rolling crime thriller that is sometimes smart and sometimes uninvolving. The film is a meditation on the late 2000s American economic state of being, using the mob as its representative symbol, but it can not muster the energy to drive a narrative to be more than just occasionally interesting.
Revolving around hitmen, the instability of crime syndicates, and the need to clean up each, "Killing Them Softly" has enough gunfire, violence, and long passages of dialogue to make things interesting. Unfortunately, the film has a meandering sensibility and little sense of urgency. It is…
"Why are you being so fucking strident?
"Okay. Um, you should leave."
first time i saw this i was all, "lay off the horn, i get it with your neat little analogy." but on a rewatch that's quantitatively so little of the whole. instead, focus on the relentless momentum (both of words and actions), the efficient translation of Higgins' gangland socioeconomy, the ostentatious formal flourishes, and the idiosyncratic performances. yeah, smugly makes its themes thuddingly obvious, but compared to the current glut of AmerIndie crime thrillers this might even be another THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, quite the novel jewel. using the Velvet Undergound's "Heroin" over the scene of the guy shooting heroin is simultaneously an incredible and incredibly mistaken set of balls.
Subtlety is not a factor of this message movie disguised as a crime thriller.
Is Brad Pitt supposed to be Obama?
Very well shot and edited, as each scene comes and goes as fast as the slow-mo is slow, but the motif (if you can even call it that) of the 2008 election and financial catastrophe that our country was going through was a bit heavy-handed, if not downright obnoxious. In a film containing just a few plot points, some of the sub-plot points seemed to be repeated, not so much for dramatic effect or character building as much as it was in case you didn't catch it the first time. I could probably find some more nit-picky stuff about which I could complain for 200 more words, but honestly, this was a pretty fun movie outside of the political stuff. Edit all that stuff out, you have a "very good" 95 minute movie. Leave it in, and stay underwhelmed and annoyed at the politics of a teenage boy.
It's a pity that a movie that is as stylish and sophisticated as this one feels the need to beat its point into the ground. Still, atmospheric, tense and performed to perfection.
There is so much that I like about this film, it ends up being a shame that I don't ultimately like the movie itself very much at all. The plot is fairly simple. Two guys rob a mob run poker game and a hit man is brought in by the higher ups to fix the situation. The film doesn't care a whole lot about this plot. It unfolds gradually, and it's handled well, but most of the screen time is taken up by conversations between characters that don't have a lot to do with this plot. A lot of actors do superb work here. Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy play the two guys who rob the game, and they each…
Strange film really...great cast, some nice snappy dialogue. But it's not as good as it thinks it is.
drunk rewatch, ABSOLUTE GRIME. Dirtiest, best American crime flick since Eddie Coyle. Pitt rolls in like the biggest rockstar of all time, gives maybe his best performance. Razor sharp script, brilliant camera magic, just a straight up MASTERWORK
Beautifully shot and very nice sound design and editing.
Thematic elements are a but too on the nose (I didn't know C-SPAN was such a constant presence in gangster life) in this gritty and violent depiction of mob life (or struggle for life) as metaphor for America.
Films where their style fills the screen so absolutely, substance is but an afterthought.
Only added some that I've seen,…