Killing Them Softly

This movie was not as good as I hoped it would be.  It was not terrible but it won’t make my list of top ten movies of the year.  I am not sure what went wrong.   I am not sure if I regret going to see it.

Brad Pitt stars as Jackie, a hitman.  He has been brought in to find, and kill, people who robbed a mob card game.  RIchard Jenkins stars as the man who hired Jackie.  James Gandolffini has a few scenes as an older hired killer recruited to help Pitt but really doesn’t.  Ray Liotta co-stars as  a man who masterminded the robbing of a mob card game he ran and is suspected of being involved in this new robbery.

This movie is based on a 1974 novel, Cogan’s Trade, by George V, Higgens.  It was set in Boston but the movie is updated to 2008 and it is supposed to be set in New Orleans.  This might be the least distinctive New Orleans I’ve ever seen on film or TV.  I had to check a review to make it sure was set in New Orleans.

I think setting it during the 2008 financial crisis and presidential election might have been a mistake.  I think the movie is straining to be relevant but it really isn’t.  At least, I didn’t think the background speeches of Bush and Obama  helped the movie and neither did Roger Ebert.

This movie had some nice performances by Pitt, Jenkins, and Gandolffini.  This is not as good as Moneyball, Pitt’s last movie.  Perhaps his next movie will be better.


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