Killing Them Softly – 2 stars


The Assassination of Jesse James was an impressive American debut by director Andrew Dominik, but the director’s dreamlike, meditative style does not lend itself to a basic, gritty crime story. This tale of a hitman (Brad Pitt) laboring under the fiscal corner-cutting and meddling of his employers on a pedestrian job is dull, and no amount of admittedly pretty slow-motion photography can change that fact. The story is awkwardly juxtaposed against the 2008 financial crisis and the ascendance of Obama, all for one killer line by star Pitt that closes the film, though the line is not near as reflective or profound as producer Pitt might believe.

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