Cannes Movie Review: KILLING THEM SOFTLY

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in "Killing Them Softly"

Written and Directed by: Andrew Dominik
Starring: Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta 

In 2008, the American economy is so bad that even hit men have to take a hit … financially, that is. Perhaps they’d better spend a few more hours taking target practice at the shooting range because, after all, bullets don’t grow on trees.

Blaring the theme of a faltering economy that’s endemic to every facet of American life, Killing Them Softly opens up on a scrawny ex-con (Scoot McNairy’s Frankie) wearing a thin jacket, hunching over from the cold. Maybe if that idealistic senator from Chicago with the funny name wins the election, Frankie will be able to afford a better, warmer coat.

At first, we think that writer/director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) is simply setting a particular timeframe. But after the first fistful of references, the air thick with the conflagration of Wall Street, it’s obvious that Dominik is pitching old-school gangster tradition against an inescapable new-school frugality. In a scene in which two men haggle over discounted prices on a hit in “these times,” with the idea that some out-of-town talent will have to fly coach, Dominik’s dialogue is, shall we say, right on the money.

For the full review and Kimberly’s to-die-for rating, please click here

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