Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Killing Them Softly Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Collection improves a bit on its predecessor.

by | November 29, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an efficient enforcer (Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt and Richard Jenkins) and a methodical madman (The Collection starring Emma Fitzpatrick and Josh Stewart). What do the critics have to say?

Killing Them Softly


The economic collapse of 2008 didn’t just deep six Wall Street — it put the squeeze on the underground economy as well. That’s the theme of Killing Them Softly, a twisty crime thriller that critics say is sharply written and visually striking, though it occasionally pushes its big ideas too hard. After a couple of incompetent crooks steal from a mafia-sanctioned poker game, the family sends Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) to rub them out. However, the mafia’s corporation-like structure makes Jackie’s task more complicated at nearly every turn. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Killing Them Softly doesn’t always match its outsized ambitions, but it’s still a thoughtful, visceral foray into gangland built around Pitt’s magnetic performance. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Pitt’s best-reviewed movies.)

The Collection

The Collection is a sequel to the 2009 frightfest The Collector, and critics say it’s an improvement — it’s a sleek, twisted, and well acted, though it intermittently gets bogged down in predictability and gratuitous bloodiness. Thinking she’s going to a party, Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) is taken to a mysterious location, only to wind up in the clutches of the murderous Collector. In order to retrieve her, a rescue squad turns to Arkin (Josh Stewart), the only one to ever escape the Collector’s clutches. The pundits say The Collection will please gorehounds with its grisly inventiveness, but others are likely to blanch at its over-the-top violence.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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