Review: The Counselor

Greed.
 
Greed is literally the only motivation I have for why the characters in this film do the things they do. They really don't give us any other explanation.
 
The Counselor (Michael Fassbender) seems to be living the high life. He's seemingly rich, he's just proposed to his gorgeous girlfriend, Laura (Penelope Cruz) with a gigantic diamond. Yet, he wants to try his hand at drug trafficking for more money. He works with his friend, Reiner, (Javier Barden) an eccentric man with expensive taste, and a mysterious high maintenance girlfriend Malkina (Cameron Diaz) to match. Their middle man is Westray (Brad Pitt) who warns him about what he's getting into. Obviously, things go wrong.
 
My immediate reaction to The Counselor was ".....what the hell?" when I was done watching it. Now that I've had a little time to think about it, it's not that the screenplay is deliberately confusing, it just doesn't string together well. Everything happened so fast. Really, there are three scenes in this movie that make it worth watching. Two are gigantic spoilers, so I won't get into those. The other is Javier Bardem's delivery of the infamous car scene in this movie. You've probably read about it, but he's hilarious in this scene. 
 
I feel that ultimately, the screenplay let this film down. Ridley Scott is a good director. They had an all-star cast who all seemed to own their roles. (Though I seriously wonder how much they paid Natalie Dormer and Dean Norris for their combined 2 minutes of screen time. At least there was a slight Breaking Bad reference in there for Norris) but at the end of the day, everything just felt underwhelming.
 
Recommended: Yes. It's still worth a watch in my opinion, it's just not as great as it could be.
 
Grade: C+
 
Memorable Quote: "She looks down at me to make sure that I'm watching, like I'd be checking my fucking e-mail or something.." - Reiner (Javier Bardem)

15 comments:

  1. Good review Brittani. The cast is what makes this worth watching. Everything else is pretty messy, but worth watching just to form your own opinions on, as is the deal with most movies that are so oddly mixed such as this.

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    1. Definitely. The cast was great. I'm not disappointed that I saw it, I just wanted it to be a little better.

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    1. It really is. I had high hopes. I still think it's worth a watch though.

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  3. I'm currently reading the screenplay it's based on (or maybe they used the exact screenplay?) so reserving my observations until I finish the material. Nonetheless, good review. I'd see it for the cast alone.

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    1. This screenplay must be very readily available on the net. I've heard so many people say they've read the script before seeing the movie.

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  4. Agreeing with Candice here - I was really hoping for a damn great film. Well, I'm hoping the cast will make it worthwhile anyway.

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    1. I think it's still worth a watch. Like I said, there's a few scenes that make it worth seeing for sure.

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  5. I'm seeing this this week and I'm fairly certain it's exactly 50/50 I'd either hate it or love it :)

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  6. Interestingly, your review has encouraged me to see this one, I need to see what all the fuss is about and if it is in fact as bad as many are saying (or as you mentioned, just not as good as it could be)

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  7. It's very messy, there's a lot of good and bad things about this film. I still enjoyed it though.

    How would you rank the cast?

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    1. I thought the cast was one of the higher points. They were all great in my opinion. Especially Bardem.

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  8. I'd probably give it a B/B-, but I mostly agree. I think most of the film was on point, except for the screenplay. It's too bad the cast didn't have more to work with.

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    1. At least Bardem has some awesome facial expressions.

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