Killing Them Softly

Director: Andrew Dominik
Year Released: 2012
Rating: 1.5

Amidst economic hardships in America (made ever-so-obvious by the inclusion of Bush Jr. and Obama speaking), the mob, too is going through hard times (poor babies), so when Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola) hires two losers (Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn) to knock over an underground card game run by Trattman (Ray Liotta), a hitman (Brad Pitt) is dragged in to straighten things out. All this basically amounts to is Scum Killing Scum with a weak-wristed attempt at political subtext: it's more confident of its ability to show a face blown apart in slow-motion than 'bigger issues' in society (recession! Change and hope!), and its nefarious hoods (particularly James Gandolfini's whore-hungry hitman) are given one too many scenes to ramble aimlessly (only in a sub-Mametian manner). A single episode of The Sopranos had more texture and nuance than this (one can't help but think of The Sopranos with the inclusion of Curatola and Gandolfini), and it's only a shame the Pitt character doesn't get knocked off as well (he gets short-changed some money, boo hoo).