“The Counselor” is full of death, drugs, betrayal and gore.
However, while “The Counselor” has many great actors, it lacks an engaging plot.
A lawyer (Michael Fassbender) called Counselor is looking for a little extra money. He gets engaged to Laura (Penelope Cruz), and buys a 3.9 karat diamond. For more money, he gets involved with drug traffickers, and together they look to make $20 million on one truck-full of cocaine.
Counselor goes to Reiner (Javier Bardem), a club owner, for help joining the trafficking market. He then meets up with Westray (Brad Pitt), who is also part of the trafficking.
Things soon start to go south as the truck disappears, and Counselor is left to figure out how to get out of trafficking or get the truck back.
I wish I had known even just a little bit of the story going into the movie. Throughout the entire film I was trying to figure out what the point was. I realized after seeing the movie that the point was to kill off a few people in various ways, show a lot of blood, and make a few dirty jokes.
The movie had so much potential from top to bottom. It has Ridley Scott, an Academy Awards three-time best director nominee, Pitt, Cameron Diaz and Cruz.
The acting was phenomenal and I expected that out of the cast, but the characters weren’t explained well enough. Fassbender was perfectly cast as the emotional yet tough lawyer. Pitt wasn’t in the film much, but he owned the stage every time he was on-screen.
The biggest surprise for me was the acting of Diaz. I’m a fan of hers anyway, but in the film she played a tough, manipulative woman who always gets what she wants. She was perfect for the role.
The movie left me confused as to what was going on. The producers attempted to leave the film on a cliffhanger but didn’t do so well. The story didn’t have a good resolution, and Counselor’s ending point was left unexplained.
The movie was fast-paced with little explanation as to why random characters were important. The ending was abrupt and the producers killed a lot of characters just to show off a couple of new and intense ways to kill someone.
“The Counselor” deserves a C based on its lack of depth and story. it only eluded a D because of awesome acting.
Matthew has a different take
It’s true. I hadn’t read up on “The Counselor” much before seeing the movie. It looked intriguing enough, but I went into the theater completely oblivious to plot and cast.
Like Jordan, I was wholly confused for a good portion of the film. What the heck was going on? But like a fine wine, I had to savor this movie for a few hours before I realized how good it actually was.
Fassbender can do nothing wrong. Ever since he rocked my world as Magneto in “X-Men: First Class,” I’ve become increasingly fond of his work. He even made the so-so “Prometheus” watchable. I thought he executed (pun intended) his role beautifully in this film.
The acting was great all around, in fact. The weakest link in the cast was probably Brad Pitt; all I saw was his character from “Ocean’s 11.” But he’s not featured too much in the film, so it’s OK.
It takes a daring director to do what Ridley Scott did. I’ve only seen this type of filmmaking from the Coen brothers. The plot is highly dense, there is a confusing number of characters, and the storyline doesn’t wrap up nicely in a neat little package.
It’s a movie that dares the audience to figure it out. It doesn’t rely on cheap dialogue and visual gimmicks to lead an idiotic viewer along. It didn’t treat me like a third grader. It figured the audience would be smart enough to figure it out eventually.
And if not, then too bad for the audience.
It’s a smart film. It was directed smartly. It’s full of smart acting. Will it win any awards? If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is smart, then it will.
“The Counselor” gets an A from my end. I’d go for broke and make it an A+, but I’m going to remain grounded; I’m not going to lose my head.