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Why I Saw It: The cast of THE COUNSELOR has some good names in it (Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Dean Norris), and it’s a Ridley Scott film. Plenty of potential to go around.

Rating: 7.6 out of 10
This had the makings of a much better film, but at some point someone should’ve realized that THE COUNSELOR was being too cryptic and philosophical.

Memorable Performances

Javier Bardem was awesome in the film and plays a very interesting character. Though I wouldn’t say she did an excellent job, it’ll certainly be hard to forget what Cameron Diaz brought to the film.

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Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • Best Supporting Actor – Javier Bardem

Favorite Parts: The scene where Javier Bardem is telling Michael Fassbender about what Cameron Diaz did to his car? Hilarious and awesome in a few different ways. It was soo funny that I had to try to find a way to stop laughing as the scene was ending, it was hot, and it certainly gave you some great insight into two of the film’s characters. At least two of the killings I remember from the film were clever in their execution (no pun intended).

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The Regrettable Aspects

The dialogue was a double-edged sword. Although at times it was great, there were certain parts where they tried to be too cryptic and too philosophical, and when the movie is already keeping you on your toes and keeping you guessing at some things, dialogue which should be straight-forward but ends up too “elevated” just gets frustrating, especially when there aren’t too many other aspects of the dialogue in that scene nor the actions which surround them are giving you clues as to what’s going on. Perhaps for fans of Shakespeare, you’d have a better understanding of how things are playing out between the characters in those spots, but I’m also guessing that most people who love Shakespeare would find considerable reason to dislike this film. Some of the dialogue comes off really well, but at other times the characters seem completely unnatural delivering their lines.

Would I watch it again? At some point, I’ll catch THE COUNSELOR at home when it doesn’t cost me anything to rewatch it. I’d really like to better understand some of the things that are going on, and the motivations of several of the characters, but given some of the other aspects of the film that I won’t talk about here, I’m not going to be seeking it out for entertainment purposes.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  Anyone who likes to think a lot while watching a movie, and reflect on it after a viewing, should give THE COUNSELOR a try. Especially if they don’t mind cryptic dialogue.

Other Recommendations:

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN - An easy recommendation to make here, because it’s a great performance from Javier Bardem, and it’s written by Cormac McCarthy, both of whom are involved in THE COUNSELOR.

SHAME - Though it wasn’t my favorite, it certainly had a great performance by Michael Fassbender which is just as emotional (in a different way) as what you get from him in the final act of THE COUNSELOR.

MAN ON FIRE - There are aspects of this film which I wish THE COUNSELOR had incorporated, It’s directed by the late Tony Scott, the brother of Ridley Scott (who directs The Counselor).

If you’ve got recommendations for alternatives to THE COUNSELOR, or for other similar films, let me know!

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Because Rob reviews around 100 films each year, not all of them new to the theater like THE COUNSELOR, he maintains a separate website for the movies he’s reviewing in his annual film quest.

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