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.
A movie that tries too hard to be pretentious but fails to pace the movie properly. You will feel like checking your watch, even though the movie has a less than two hour runtime. Brad Pitt's smug attitude doesn't help either.
Really nicely edited and shot, sometimes too heavy handed with the political parallels but nonetheless v enjoyable.
Like BLACK MASS? Or OUT OF THE FURNACE? Besides arty flourishes, Dominik's is a plain, gritty noir. Gandolfini delivers a great long monologue. Puts the politics more in the central background than the side background (like OLD JOY, I suppose). Getting bigger, reaching, trying to dance more? Wow. Indie-flecked, great-performed crap.
Me encanta esta peli :)
Putting me to sleep softly.
This is a jarringly dumb film, a mountain of organized crime clichés (with both Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini in the cast!) set against sledgehammer sociopolitical messaging and a painfully earnest level of forced irony. (You see, America is actually... a business!) But it's stupid to the point that it's kind of delightful, in a premium cable at 4:00am sort of way. With clumsy but occasionally inspired direction and an almost Ed Wood-like sense of budget-imposed isolation, it reminded me vaguely of Drive and Cosmopolis but is better than either since it's trying desperately to be hip instead of already being wholly convinced of its own hipness. Endless macho ball-busting talk that goes nowhere! Laughably insipid characterizations, including but not…
A sprawling, small stakes crime drama, Killing Them Softly is wonderfully character-driven. The dynamite cast fills the roles perfectly even when they feel like glorified cameos (Sam Shepherd, Max Casella).
The political messaging does feel a bit heavy-handed as presidential speeches overtake the dialogue on several occasions and some on-the-nose monologuing pops up here and there. It only borders on the obnoxious though since the rest of the story overpowers it. Regardless, it's a joyously vicious little genre piece.
Definitely underrated, but not without it's issues.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…