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Andrew Dominik is a strange phenomenon: only one movie I have seen of him, “The Assassination…”, but already I was looking forward to his next project as if he was one of the old guard, established through decades of exciting movie-making. Why is that? I think because that first film showed so much style, pacing, camerawork, actors’ guidance that it was hard to conceive that this was coincidence. It was a film by somebody who has found his style as auteur. “Killing them Softly” is evidence of this. Again the pace is very controlled, despite the plot around a plan to get rid of a bunch of crooks who conned the wrong people. This could be a hectic chase, but it is rather directed as alternating between morons plotting their deed, and the controlled business of solving a problem within the system. This is violent, and cool, and …. Interesting (for lack of a better word). It is sometimes also a bit ridden with the feeling that it serves a continuity in Dominik’s CV more than the urge to tell a story in a way suitable to that very story. Might be a change in pace and style would have been a good thing for this young director, to show he is capable  of following the needs of a story rather than fulfilling expectations. As it is, the great cast has little to do, but Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini in particular bring their movie history to the screen to good effect.  Actually, it is the young actors (Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelson, both I did not know before, I think) who have to bear the burden of making the film come alive, break out of its cool but static self. They do that very well, even though I could not help but think that people who get very agitated and excited tend to not fare well in the world of Andrew Dominik…


  1. I really loved Pitt and Dominik’s last film but found this one a bit disappointing. It looked cool visually but I found the barrage of political commentary distracting. Maybe if that aspect was a bit more subtle this would have turned out better.

  2. I came to comment and then realized I already did weeks ago lol

  3. the more the merrier 🙂

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