Movie Review: The Counselor

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 2/5 Stars

Bottom Line: Great acting and some incredible dialogue will not prevent you from asking yourself what the heck it was you just watched.

Subtitled Bottom Line:  Warning!  Cormac McCarthy movie ahead!

One thing I am certain of after watching “The Counselor” is that things definitely happened in it.  I am not sure what happened or how things were connected but, yep, things happened.  The plot, as far as I could follow it is such: This lawyer guy who is distractingly only called Counselor throughout the entire movie needs a lot of money because of…something.  In order to get that money, the Counselor decides to broker a drug deal using his drug dealing friends (clients?) that will net him millions of dollars.  A series of events that I am sure must be related to the drug deal because they bothered to put them in the movie then occur leading the Cartel to believe that the Counselor has stolen their drugs.  A lot of deaths follow which may or may not have been related to the previous series of events.

The first half of the movie really allows all the top talent actors to flex their A-list muscles.  This is certainly helped by Cormac McCarthy’s ability to write cerebral dialogue that can somehow come off as both deep and aloof at the same time.  If I were of a mind to watch this movie over and over again, which I am not, there are many gems of dialogue that would be certain to make it into my vernacular.

The second half of the movie is kind of a mess.  I was never really certain what was going on and how things were connected.  Everyone seemed to have a preternatural ability to know where the individual they want will be.  I was also never quite sure of who was on what side or how many double crosses were going on at any given time.  It would have been nice if the movie credits featured a Venn diagram of whose side everyone was on or maybe a flow chart of events to clarify some of the murkiness.

This movie is proof that a well written, well acted movie can still be pretty crappy.  My advice would be this:  If you’re going to see this movie, ignore the plot completely.  Look at it as a series of vingettes with some incredibly clever and witty dialogue.  Also, leave half way through the movie.

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