Killing Them Softly Directed by: Andrew Dominik Starring: Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Scoot McNairy Rating: R Release Date: October 19, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 9/10
Thoughts by TSR: Andrew Domink’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is one of my favorite films of the last decade (and probably among my all-time favorites), so to say I’ve been looking forward to what he does next is a bit of an understatement. Reteaming with Brad Pitt and surrounding him with a terrific cast that features James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, and Scoot McNairy (who seem to be doing uniformly excellent work) only boosted my excitement. I was a bit surprised by the tone – there is more humor in this trailer than I was expecting, not that that’s a bad thing – but what comes as no surprise is that Killing Them Softly looks fantastic.
I will admit I didn’t fall in love with this trailer immediately. While the opening scene with McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn was amusing, a lot of it looked fairly generic. Any film in which Brad Pitt plays a mob enforcer is one I’m going to see no matter what, but I was left wanting more. All that faded away, however, by the time Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around” kicked in. Dominik’s directorial skills were on full display here. There are a number of striking images, from the shot of Pitt blowing smoke while driving to all the action that takes place in the rain. It will be near impossible to live up to Roger Deakins’ all-time work in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but Killing Them Softly looks stylishly great in its own right.