Counselor

The Counselor

4.0 1
Director: Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz

Cast: Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz

     
 

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Ridley Scott's The Counselor, from a script by Cormac McCarthy, stars Michael Fassbender as the title character, a slick lawyer who is madly in love with Laura (Penelope Cruz). He asks her to marry him, and she agrees, though she is unaware that serious financial troubles have prompted him to fund a drug deal with a shady but established middle man named

Overview

Ridley Scott's The Counselor, from a script by Cormac McCarthy, stars Michael Fassbender as the title character, a slick lawyer who is madly in love with Laura (Penelope Cruz). He asks her to marry him, and she agrees, though she is unaware that serious financial troubles have prompted him to fund a drug deal with a shady but established middle man named Westray (Brad Pitt), that could bring in millions. Part of the counselor's financial troubles stem from the fact that he's investing in a club being opened by his best friend Reiner (Javier Bardem), a hedonist and occasional client who has attained his wealth by any means necessary, and likes to keep his wife, Malkina (Cameron Diaz) covered in all the accoutrements the wealthy enjoy. However, when the drug deal starts to go wrong, the counselor finds himself unprepared to deal with the fallout, and soon he's trying to protect his bride-to-be as well as himself from the wrath of a drug cartel that has no qualms about exacting revenge.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Sometimes when artists with wildly different aesthetic styles collaborate, the resulting work melds those competing sensibilities into something wholly unique. Other times, no artistic middle ground can be found and you're stuck with a Frankenstein's monster. The Counselor, a film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Cormac McCarthy, is far more the latter than the former. Michael Fassbender stars as the title character, a slick lawyer who is madly in love with Laura (Penélope Cruz). He asks her to marry him and she agrees, though she is unaware that serious financial troubles have prompted him to fund a drug deal with a shady but established middleman named Westray (Brad Pitt) that could bring in millions. The counselor's money woes stem from the fact that he's investing in a club opened by his best friend Reiner (Javier Bardem), a hedonist and occasional client who has attained his wealth by any means necessary, and who likes to keep his wife Malkina (Cameron Diaz) covered in all of the accoutrements the rich enjoy. But the counselor is unprepared to deal with the fallout when the drug deal starts to go wrong, and soon he's trying to protect himself and his bride-to-be from the wrath of a cartel that has no qualms about exacting revenge. With its high quotient of graphic violence, pulpy narrative, and mostly excellent casting, it's tempting to think of The Counselor as Ridley Scott's version of a Tony Scott movie. Yet that's not to say that this looks or feels like anything other than a Ridley picture; it's cool, elegant, and emotionally distant, whereas his younger brother made films that were hot, frenetic, and aimed to give his audience a visceral experience. The bloodshed here has no kick -- it's the most tasteful carnage you can imagine -- and the stateliness is underscored by McCarthy's windy, biblically tinged dialogue and the single-mindedness of his overriding theme of guilt. Despite being packed with ominous violence, the movie is a talkfest. Each scene seems to be a ten-minute conversation between characters who don't speak in a way that could be considered remotely normal. Although highly stylized verbiage can lead to poetic heights -- think of the Coen brothers or Tarantino -- it requires an ear for the beauty of spoken language, and McCarthy, while surely a wordsmith of the highest order, spent his career writing novels. This makes every single character come off, at best, as a symbol, or at worst, as a mouthpiece for the writer to lay out verbose explanations about the moral order of the universe. McCarthy is assisted by a cast who are mostly up to the challenge. Fassbender can shift from dead-eyed shark to end-of-his-tether victim with ease; it's honestly hard to think of many actors who could play a part this difficult this well. Yet while he's the center of the whole film, you always want more time with Bardem, an actor who has the ability to make any line of dialogue sound not only natural but immediate -- as if the character just thought of it himself. He gets the most entertaining monologue in the entire movie -- it involves something Malkina did to his car that he can't forget -- and the picture is more engaging when he's onscreen. Sadly, Cameron Diaz is way out of her element here. She's not an untalented performer, but she's miscast in this material -- she doesn't have the gravitas to sell the more pretentious lines she's forced to deliver. While The Counselor certainly has passages that are memorable, it's also readily apparent that its style doesn't mesh with its content. McCarthy requires grit, and it's hard to think of a less gritty director than Ridley Scott. Together, the duo is less like peanut butter and chocolate than sushi and beans -- two great tastes that don't taste great together.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/11/2014
UPC:
0024543900047
Original Release:
2013
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:57:00
Sales rank:
25,172

Special Features

Closed Caption; Viral Pieces: uncut - laura (never-before-seen); The counselor; Malkina and reiner

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Fassbender Counselor
Penélope Cruz Laura
Cameron Diaz Malkina
Javier Bardem Reiner
Brad Pitt Westray
Dean Norris Buyer
John Leguizamo Actor
Natalie Dormer Blonde
Goran Visnjic Banker
César Aguirre Truck Driver #1
Daniel Holguin Truck Driver #2
Christopher Obi Malkina's Bodyguard
Bruno Ganz Diamond Dealer
Paris Jefferson Waitress
Dar Dash Barman
Richard Cabral Young Biker
Rosie Perez Ruth
Alex Hafner Highway Patrolman
Andrea Deck Watching Girl
Sam Spruell Wireman
Toby Kebbell Tony
Emma Rigby Tony's Girlfriend
Edgar Ramirez Priest
Eben Young Bike Clerk
Richard Brake Second Man
Barbara Durkin Cafe Waitress
Giannina Facio Women With Mobile Phone
Velibor Topic Sedan Man
Jose Juan Rodriguez Junkyard Man
Alexander Biggie Junkyard Boy #1
Pablo Paredes Junkyard Boy #2
Cavassa Ventura Third Man Killer
Frank Spano Man With Bar
Alejandro Marzal Man With Pistol
Gerard Monaco Hotel Waiter
Fernando Cayo Abogado
Carlos Julio Molina Workman
Rubén Blades Jefe
Donna Air Chauffeur
Marco Tulio Luna Ramirez Cafe Man
Lida Cardona Mourning Lady
Roger Dalmases Delivery Boy
Julien Vialon Maitre'd

Technical Credits
Ridley Scott Director,Producer
Alex Cameron Art Director
Michael Costigan Executive Producer
Sara Desmond Production Manager
Alejandro Fernandez Art Director
Nina Gold Casting
Graham Hall Camera Operator
Mark Huffam Executive Producer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Max Keene Asst. Director
Teresa Kelly Associate Producer
Daniele Massaccesi Camera Operator
Arthur Max Production Designer
Cormac McCarthy Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Julian Morson Camera Operator
Ben Munro Art Director
Luis San Narciso Casting
Daniel Pemberton Score Composer
Pietro Scalia Editor
Pietro Scalia Musical Direction/Supervision
Michael Schaefer Executive Producer
Steve Schwartz Producer
Paula Mae Schwartz Producer
Stefan Stankowski Camera Operator
Oliver Tarney Sound/Sound Designer
Nick Wechsler Producer
Dariusz Wolski Cinematographer
Janty Yates Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Counselor
1. Chapter 1 [4:44]
2. Chapter 2 [:29]
3. Chapter 3 [2:39]
4. Chapter 4 [1:55]
5. Chapter 5 [:23]
6. Chapter 6 [3:32]
7. Chapter 7 [1:19]
8. Chapter 8 [5:02]
9. Chapter 9 [:42]
10. Chapter 10 [3:03]
11. Chapter 11 [1:15]
12. Chapter 12 [1:23]
13. Chapter 13 [3:37]
14. Chapter 14 [4:00]
15. Chapter 15 [:56]
16. Chapter 16 [4:24]
17. Chapter 17 [1:03]
18. Chapter 18 [4:31]
19. Chapter 19 [:33]
20. Chapter 20 [2:42]
21. Chapter 21 [1:44]
22. Chapter 22 [3:58]
23. Chapter 23 [1:26]
24. Chapter 24 [3:15]
25. Chapter 25 [1:42]
26. Chapter 26 [:35]
27. Chapter 27 [5:21]
28. Chapter 28 [1:59]
29. Chapter 29 [2:54]
30. Chapter 30 [1:33]
31. Chapter 31 [3:17]
32. Chapter 32 [:58]
33. Chapter 33 [3:12]
34. Chapter 34 [1:49]
35. Chapter 35 [1:15]
36. Chapter 36 [2:27]
37. Chapter 37 [1:12]
38. Chapter 38 [3:19]
39. Chapter 39 [1:44]
40. Chapter 40 [1:02]
41. Chapter 41 [3:54]
42. Chapter 42 [1:13]
43. Chapter 43 [2:52]
44. Chapter 44 [2:11]
45. Chapter 45 [2:57]
46. Chapter 46 [:46]
47. Chapter 47 [:28]
48. Chapter 48 [2:05]
49. Chapter 49 [2:36]
50. Chapter 50 [:48]
51. Chapter 51 [4:03]

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The Counselor 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great movie with a few hard to watch parts. (decapitation by wire)