Cinematic Releases: The Counselor

Ridley Scott directs the worst film of his illustrious career with the complete dramatic misfire, The Counselor. 

The Counselor is a deeply flawed drama that lacks character development, a strong script, and the performances that we all know these actors can deliver. Although the film is extremely pretty to look at, it's the first time that audiences will be questioning Scott's choices in this two hour unfocused snooze fest. After Prometheus, it was expected that Ridley would return to the world of unbridled realism with The Counselor. No one could see or would expect this drastic of a mess coming from one of the best directors of our time.

Having a powerhouse cast featuring Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz truly had my expectations soaring. Sadly, none of them are put to use in The Counselor. While each of them do to their best to make their parts noteworthy, the script never lends itself to the performances we've come to expect from each of them. The characters are dry, boring and ultimately never fully realized. We're given no back story, no character development, and are treated to terrible monologue after terrible monologue, each with a message that is completely unclear and unfocused. Again, The Counselor looks as great as this stellar cast, but the story is a predictable botch job that will have you nodding your head in confusion. What happened to the Ridley Scott that audiences know and love?

Whether the death of his brother had some effect on the production of this movie is unknown. But, The Counselor is one of the worst movies of 2013 and definitely a step in the wrong direction for Ridley Scott. Previews presented this as an edge of your seat crime thriller with a who's who cast of today's top actors. Instead, the movie is a tragic display of exactly how to manipulate and bore your audience with a movie that is tedious, strangely directed, and sadly a departure from form for a highly skilled man that made some of the greatest movies of the last thirty years.

It is with a heavy heart that this movie is not recommended. Some would say you can't win them all. Hopefully, this is the case with The Counselor. Maybe Ridley will be the comeback kid with his Blade Runner sequel. But for now, I have to say that he may have lost his magic touch.

-Review by Chris George