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Killing Them Softly [Blu-ray]

Brad Pitt , Scoot McNairy , Andrew Dominik    Suitable for 18 years and over   Blu-ray
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
Price: 6.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta
  • Directors: Andrew Dominik
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Entertainment in Video
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Feb 2013
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00A6VGLI8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,928 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Based on Killing Them Softly's somewhat misleading promotional campaign, expectant audiences may have thought they were in for an action-driven crime thriller. There's plenty of grit, street life, gangland lingo, and nuts-and-bolts criminal insiderism, but the overall tone is more akin to a David Mamet play than a rollicking Hollywood shoot-'em-up.

The movie is an adaptation of the fine George V. Higgins novel Cogan's Trade, and it nicely transposes the tone and delivery of Higgins's spare prose into a visual style that keeps a long, lingering gaze on its unlovable bad guys. It also holds an attentive ear to the rhythm and pattern of their speech, turning the extended stretches of dialogue into unique tableaux of stylish exchanges between hit men, lowlife punks, and middle management gangsters. These scenes of hushed talk are infused with deeper meaning, not to mention lots of wit, and they make up the bulk of the film, whether in cars, bars, or hotel rooms or on street corners.

Brad Pitt is a sleek and enigmatic presence as Jackie Cogan, a professional killer who's as exasperated by the stupidity around him as he is obsessed with the details of doing his job right. After an odd couple of hapless losers (Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn, who are a hoot) hit a mob-run card game, Jackie is called in to clean up the mess. Richard Jenkins is in terrific form as the befuddled mob accountant who reluctantly gives him the assignment. Thinking he'll need help with the job, Jackie enlists his long-time associate Mickey. But as inhabited by James Gandolfini, Mickey turns out to be a slovenly mess who Jackie clearly sees is past his prime. There are two long, highly oblique scenes between Pitt and Gandolfini that crackle with greatness. Also in the soup of clouded meaning and distinctive formal structure is Ray Liotta as Markie, the boob who runs the card game. A rain-soaked scene that has Markie at the four-fisted end of a brutal beat-down is one of the most vicious and visually poetic fights ever seen.

The master of all the talking, fleeting sequences of grisly violence and philosophizing about financial downfall and change (the movie is set on the cusp of 2008's economic crisis and presidential campaign) is director Andrew Dominik. Much as he did in 2007's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (also starring Brad Pitt), Dominik is much more interested in the nuanced detail of manner and attitude than the physical action that results. That's not to say that Killing Them Softly doesn't excel at the remarkable execution of classic crime-drama set pieces. But the movie and its characters take a lot of time to hang back and observe and listen to get at the real meaning of how things happen and why. It's a process that's fascinating to watch, no matter how trivial the detail or how shocking the result. --Ted Fry

Product Description

Killing Them Softly

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOPE AND CHANGE: THE METAPHOR 14 May 2013
By The Movie Guy TOP 500 REVIEWER
Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola) runs a dry cleaning business and is a low level crime entrepreneur. He hires two guys to rob a poker game filled with organized criminals. Frankie (Scoot McNairy) is the lead robber, a man who is a Steve Buscemi type. He has help from an unkempt Australian junkie friend named Russell (Ben Mendelsohn), who walks pets for a living. He hopes to be a drug dealer to change his life.

The reason why they believe they can get away with the job is because Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta) had done this job once before. He will surely be blamed. After the job is pulled, hitman Jackie (Brad Pitt) is brought in to sort things out and make things right. Jackie is thoughtful, soft spoken, and cynical. Since he knows Johnny, he hires Mickey (James Gandolfini) to do the job, a man who has multiple issues.

There are a number of things which set this film apart from other crime movies. First is the dialouge. It is clear the people are uneducated, except for Jackie who speaks as if he lives in two worlds. The ignorance of the robbers is brought to light when they wear bright yellow cleaning gloves to perform their task.

The second aspect is the background sound on both the radio, TV, and jukeboxes. It is the macrocosm of what is happening on the screen, and sometimes in an ironic fashion. The time period is the 2008 election season during the financial collapse. We hear "restore confidence in the financial system" and "it's all too familiar" on the radio when Markie is about to take the fall. Every time "B" actor Ray Liotta got punched or kicked, I would think, This is for "Entitled" or This is for "Ticket Out." Here is one for "The Son of No One."

The symbolism of the background announcements is brought to light at the end, in case you failed to catch it in the opening scene. A smart film for people who enjoy crime dramas.

Parental Guide: F-bombs, no sex, no nudity. Blood splatter, killing, beatings.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars killing them softly 8 Oct 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
a very odd film but very good all the same. it has an amazing cast list and it shows the underside of a us national organisation
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's only money 22 April 2013
I should really pan this film on account of the gratuitous violence (with one especially awful scene). But the script was good, the acting brilliant and I have to confess I really enjoyed it.

It has a Pulp Fiction feel about it in that it is mainly about the characters and dialogue, the story being secondary. Brad Pitt does what he does best, i.e. playing the laid back key player who takes everything in his stride. James Gandolfini plays the alcoholic wacker who has lost his way with great panache and of course Ray Liotta (always reliable) shines as the poor schmuck who pulled the ultimate short straw in this sorry saga.

Yes it's violent, it glorifies America's underbelly and it's hardly uplifting, but it has something about it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviews are way too negative 11 Aug 2013
By C. Jack
This is a character and dialogue driven mob movie, if you don't like that sort of film you won't enjoy it. Luckily I do and found it superb, I can't think of any recent similiar films which is great, sometimes its nice that a film tries something different. So in summary this is sombre and gritty but superby entertaining in its own way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars America Is Not A Country, It 's A Business 29 May 2013
This was a film like no other. What we have here is the Mob, killers for hire, low men looking for easy money, and in the background, Barack Obama speaking of the country that needs to unite into one community. This is a recession, and in the city of New Orleans.

I did not find any of these characters attractive, not in to be around, just grim and deadly. Brad Pitt plays a hitman, come to town to take care of three characters who mussed up the works. A poker game was hit and the minions who pulled the job need to be taken care of. Marie Trattman played by Ray Liotta is a man with a big problem. Richard Jenkins plays the driver, some sort of middle man who makes the deals. He hires Pitt and James Gandolfini as the hitman to make the mark. Gandolfini is havering relationship problems and is so depressed,he is drinking himself into a mess. Action needs to occur and Pitt is there to make sure it does.

The message of this film appears to be two fold. One: America is a business, just like the Mob. Two: the Mob and Politics are sometimes one and the same. When there is a financial Depression, the Mob suffers as much as the country. Make if this what you will. Superb acting by all. Plenty of blood and violence for all looking for this sort of thing.

Recommended. prisrob 05-29-13
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1.0 out of 5 stars What begins with F and rhymes with eeble? 6 Sep 2014
At least I'm not entirely out of kilter here as there are more one star than five star reviews. I really don't know what movie those high star reviewers were watching, or what they saw in this that I didn't.

So here it is:

Story: almost completely predictable and linear, nothing new.
Loads of swearing-probably accurate, but, well, like Tim Minchin, it that's the best vocabulary you have and all that.
Acting- well, Brad Pitt, just about tolerable, but nothing special-can do much better; here he's in a role more suited to Colin Farrel, who you know is going to let you down. James Gandolfini-I didn't watch "The Soprano's", and he's hardly stood out in any movie I've seen (I had to look him up to find out if I'd seen even him before); simply a complete waste of space. Ray Liotta, just about tolerable, which is pretty much the norm; again someone who's hardly made any impression on my movie watching.

Overall, a very poor excuse for a movie, but thankfully short.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Never knew hitmen could talk so much!
I think I get the underline message of this movie - 'America is not a country, it's a business'; it's dirty business like a mob!? Read more
Published 10 days ago by Jac Knight
4.0 out of 5 stars This is definitely a movie to watch more than once.
All the standard ingredients to make an American mob movie smoothly mixed together and perfectly cooked with a little extra flavouring. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Sir Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good value & ggod condition
Published 28 days ago by Richard Hallas
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really very entertaining
Not really very entertaining, Brad Pitt was his usual self. Some of the shooting scenes were interesting in slow motion. I wouldn't recommend this movie.
Published 1 month ago by Wendy Mounty
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great film, enjoyed the dialogue and story
Published 1 month ago by gplionel
1.0 out of 5 stars Shockley bad, can't believe brad pit agreed to such a ...
Shockley bad , can't believe brad pit agreed to such a bad script ..
.don't waste your life watching this
Published 1 month ago by B1zle
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An action packed movie
Published 2 months ago by david foenander
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Implausible plot, meandering narrative, unpleasant film with a clever clever ending
Published 2 months ago by Richard Ewbank
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great dvd
Published 2 months ago by s a norvall
1.0 out of 5 stars dead film
the worst brad pit film ive ever seen..i fell your self a favour and save your money ...the film is dead from the start
Published 3 months ago by the professor
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