Film Fans give 'The Counselor' mixed reviews


Brad Pitt stars in “The Counselor.” (20th Century Fox)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: “The Counselor.” Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

1 out of 4 stars

“The Counselor” is a titillating dark glimpse into the world of one drug cartel showing what happens when you play with fire and get burned up. I was dragged into this movie by the insistence of my wife wanting to see all these actors: Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Ruben Blades, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo — and oh well, just Brad Pitt. The director is Ridley Scott who recently has done “Prometheus,” which I did enjoy, so when the opportunity came to review this film, I went ahead. I should have stayed home.

This movie had some promise but the farther it got on film, the more confused I became since there was no beef! It was kind of a raw play about greed. Greed not like Wall Street greed — just plain greed involving drugs and the seedy characters that are part of it, all seen though the perspective of the Counselor. I don’t know if the performances of any of the mentioned actors were good, but I do know they had to be well paid for this meaningless movie. This was all about a drug deal gone bad and how the cartel got even. Somewhere in the drum inside the sewage truck from the film is a message and it stinks.

— Alfred Richner, Duluth

4 out of 4 stars

“The Counselor” is a well-made film, but it is so deeply disturbing I just cannot recommend it without reservation. The story pits the criminally bad versus the purely evil in a case of a drug delivery gone wrong. What do you get when the greedy make the mistake of getting involved with people who enjoy torturing and killing for the pure pleasure of it? You get fear, blood and pain.

Some of the lines in the movie were so beautiful I found myself wanting to write them down. But this movie is a reminder that beauty is not always born out of light and goodness. This movie is worth seeing, but I would not recommend viewing it on date night.

— Deborah Guy, Bethelehem

1/2 out of 4 stars

I knew it was a bad sign when on opening weekend, there were just a handful of people in the theater, and that was before two or three left during the first half of the movie.

So, before I get to the nitty-gritty, just say “no.” No to full price, matinee price and no even to Redbox price, which is a shame considering the star studded cast of Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz. Each shines in a well-directed movie with a good plot and good script, but none of that happened. Scenes switched quickly, along with countries and new actors quickly being “introduced,” only to be killed off. This was a bloody movie, which I really wasn’t anticipating.

“The Counselor” was — ironically — continually asking pretty much everyone what he should do in his given situation. Cruz played his naïve fiancé, Diaz played a heartless coldly unemotional psychopath and Pitt played a savvy character with a good heart.

I wanted to see this movie, because after watching various trailers, I still didn’t know what the movie was about. I saw the movie, and can say I still feel like there were large critical pieces missing.

— Cathryn Veal, Lawrenceville