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2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6 out of 5 stars
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on 18 December 2015
Firstly, i have to say that there should be a rating for "I don't know if I liked it or not." That is the immediate reaction elicited by this film. In provoking a troublesome confusion, however, I think it has achieved its purpose, If you want Hollywood simplicity, the victory of good over evil, or just a good old fashioned neat resolution, look elsewhere - or prepare to be disappointed.

Here's the thing, though (and I'll try not to completely spoil it if you're reading this before watching): the viewer is left to contemplate the the unresolved situation of the protagonist. He is probably, to coin a phrase, a dead man walking. Perhaps, though, he is not. Not in the sense that his imminent death is inevitable, but that he believes it to be the case. Furthermore, he has lost all that he valued and is left walking alone in a horrible that is partly of his own creation; which is pretty much what the bad guy on the end of the phone tells him when he begs for help. Perhaps this is his fate; to spend his days fearing a retributional death that is not coming and in doing so, forfeiting any real life?

The message is probably as complex, or as simple as you wish to make it, like life and the human condition. On the one hand you might invite yourself to consider the complexities of illegal markets in the 21st century and the spider's web of victims that suffer because the spiders of this world always want more money, On the other hand you can simply accept that bad stuff happens if you get involved in dealing drugs. All very Shakespearian, in a way, except with guns, cars and diamond wearing cheetahs instead of iambic pentameter and choreographed swordplay.

Nobody complains that Banqo's ghost is never seen to take satisfaction from Macbeth's demise, or that Gloucester's cruel eye gauging is forgiven once King Lear's madness finally gets him to see sense, but people seem to expect this film to resolve all the problems it poses. I suspect, though, that the whole point was to highlight the problems to which nobody has yet found a solution. Perhaps that is why it is a tough film to like, but does that make it a bad film, or just a film about badness?
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on 14 December 2015
With such an A list cast and Ridley Scott at the helm, you could be excused for making the assumption that this could be a decent film.
However this is absolutely not the case, since the plot and the screenplay are such self-indulgent, narcissistic and frankly boring twaddle.
The plot such as it is revolves around Michael Fassbender becoming inexplicably involved in a Mexican drug run presumably because of his status as a 'Counselor' or lawyer and inside information he has gained from this, although this is never properly revealed and how and what his part actually is in the deal is extremely dubious. The involvement of Javier Bardem is equally vague as he gads around with his badass 'cheetah girl' girlfriend Cameron Diaz hunting hares with their pet cheetahs. He has endless soliloquies with the protagonist Fassbender on various philosophical issues mainly revolving around his girlfriend and in particular one incident involving her having sex with his yellow Ferrari which he describes as like watching a low life bottom sucker catfish, no kidding. Brad Pitt has more of a cameo role wearing a ten gallon hat and eulogizing about how he has foreseen bad times coming and will eventually get away from it all and escape to a monastery which he fails to accomplish due to a mechanical garrote. Other than Cameron Diaz failing in her attempt to hijack the drug run with her sidekicks which also involves garroting a motor cyclist and poor innocent Penelope Cruz (Fassbenders girlfriend) coming to a sticky end there is something about diamonds I never really got and more interminably naff philosophical gangster chat. Half way through the film I had lost patience but my partner felt that it would all be explained at the end, needless to say it wasn't. If any of this sounds appealing I can assure you the overall result is just pointless. Think more Waiting for Godot than Tarantino or Breaking Bad.
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on 12 December 2015
If there was a plot it escaped me. It's not clear who knows what about whom. The villains are stereotypical thugs or philosophical dons while the central character wanders through the film apparently unharmed and incredibly oblivious to everything around him. The saddest comment is that I kept watching to the bitter end expecting that one of the stellar cast would actually shine. They didn't.
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on 18 January 2016
The screenplay for this film is by Cormac McCarthy, who also wrote the novels No Country for Old Men and The Road. The makers must have thought that this film would gain the same level of plaudits and recognition that those books and the films based on them did. It didn't. It pretty much passed me by when in the cinema and it was by chance that I noticed the list of actors and Ridley Scott's being the director and watched the film. McCarthy is pretty cynical about people- none of the characters in the film really have any saving graces so it is hard to care about their fate. Fassbender is a lawyer who, it appears, has decided to get in on the action of the drug trade and its immense profits...but things go wrong (wouldjabelieveit?) There are some scenes that will stick in the mind, but they are subsumed in lots of verbiage, especially unbelievable when coming from cartel chiefs, who do not tend to have benefited from the best education in the world, philosophizing at length like some Oxbridge don. I gave it 3 stars only because I don't think it quite as bad as many have suggested.
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on 3 February 2016
Quality film, with some very suave and sophisticated characters in it, it's pretty slick,
and being the working class type that I am, it stills feels distant to the life I lead,
as it has fast cars, mansions, and lots of party animals with loads of money, in high status jobs,

It's a very good under rated film, with a few plot twists, and some more darker, unpleasant stuff in it,
But I will need to watch it again, to make a proper opinion...
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on 10 April 2016
Warning -- think Kafka before you see this movie! The protagonist finds himself in a dead end - not just him but all associated with him. As viewers we don't find out exactly what went wrong and when -- at least I couldn't figure that out. The world as a whole, especially in Mexico, is a messed-up world where life counts for very little. And there is pure evil by way of Cameron Diaz' character - she is brilliant playing a villain. There are long philosophical dialogs, and some, like Tarantino, between men about women. The cinematography is pure genius. Certainly an ambitious movie but definitely not in the sense of an action-packed thriller with a drug-deal-gone-bad.
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on 13 December 2015
Ok after seeing all the cast involved, I thought this was going to be a great movie. Halfway through I fell asleep. I woke up and thought " Oh perhaps I was just tired." The movie simply didn't get out of first gear. Was there anything thrilling about the movie? ABSOLUTELY NO!!
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on 11 December 2015
This is a movie that has no idea what its doing or why its doing it, thing is I saw this at the cinema loved it and bought the blu ray and I must have seen it 7 maybe as many as 10 times and something just keeps drawing me back.
Fessbender is faultless, slick and smoother than a brand new duvet set on your bed (as always) Brad Pitt is awesome as always, Cameron Diaz is meh!!! But the film all round despite the incredibly poor reception its received in general is entertaining and very cool, Enjoy!!!
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on 9 December 2015
This film can be criticised on so many levels. It is derivative and phoney with a creaky plot. And yet I have watched it five times and will probably watch it again. I suppose on reflection the reason is threefold. Firstly the actors do a very professional job with the little material they have to hand. Second there is the pevasive evil throughout the film of the manipulative Cameron Diaz character. Probably spurred by the boredom of riches she is merciless in achieving her immoral ambitions. We have all probably encountered such a person to some degree and in hindsight consider ourselves lucky to have escaped any lasting damage. Lastly the film exhibits graphically the sometimes sad and irreversible consequences of greed which can also affect those innocently but closely associated with the greedy.
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on 27 December 2015
I don't know why this movie gets so much hate, its escapist enjoyment, suspense filled, comical and the acting is top notch. The storyline may not be as high brow as some would like but it does what it is supposed to do, entertain, enthrall and offer a welcome escape.
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