Killing Them Softly will hit theaters this Friday (Nov. 30). The crime film features Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, and several actors from HBO's The Sopranos, including James Gandolfini, Vincent Curatola and Max Casella. If the cast isn't reason enough to head to the theater this weekend, maybe the following five non-spoilery tidbits will peak your interest.
Fans will be hard pressed to find someone to cheer for in this movie. Director Andrew Domink, who linked with Pitt in the past for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, paints none of the characters in an appealing light. You will have to make your own "lesser-of-evils" judgments on each character.
A dark undercurrent runs through this film. Oddly enough, it isn't the killing that makes the film dark (though a few scenes do get messy); it's the killers' apathetic nature. Hits are ordered up through phone calls and carried out in an equally uncaring manner. No one is particularly happy about the business at hand, but they all accept it as part of their world.
There's nothing worse than talking with friends about the great new movie you've just seen, when one smug know-it-all responds, "yeah, it was based on a great novel from long ago, didn't you know?" This time around, spare yourself the embarrassment. Killing Them Softly pulls its inspiration from the 1974 crime novel, Cogan's Trade, by George V. Higgens. The movie isn't quite a full-on adaptation, however—it strays heavily from the book in terms of the overall theme.
Politics play a large role in the movie. Snippets from the 2008 presidential election are featured throughout, and Pitt's character's cynical take on the world is attributed in part to the gross discrepancy between American society and the promises of its leaders. In one scene, Pitt's character reacts to something candidate Barack Obama says on TV by saying, "This guys wants to tell me we're living in a community. I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just business."
Forget for a minute, if you can, those horrible unintelligible commercials for Chanel No. 5. That is not the Brad Pitt you see in this film. This Pitt is dark, violent and eerily calm. His character calls to mind his work in Fight Club more than anything else he has attempted in recent years.