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Killing Them Softly | 2012 | R | - 5.7.10

A professional Mob enforcer (Brad Pitt) is hired to clean up a mess after a dry cleaner persuades two witless thieves to rob a Mob-sponsored poker game. Also with Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Vincent Curatola and Sam Shepard. Directed by Andrew Dominik. [1:37]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - In a hotel room, the camera focuses on a prostitute's body profile in close-up as we see her clothed buttocks and partial bare thighs, the man who hired her is drinking heavily and tells her to take money from his wallet, saying, "There's $283 in there and afterwards, there should be $183" and when she frowns he says that an old man will cut her up for her bad attitude (please see the Substance Use category for more details); she makes a crude remark and he replies with a crude sexually suggestive remark about anal sex.
 One man tells a male friend on a street corner about a neighborhood woman, "I wouldn't rape her, but all the plumbing works." A man says that he went to a woman's house, she answered the door naked, and they went to the bedroom; while they had sex, she moaned and groaned and made turkey noises (he makes gobbling sounds) and then she threatened to kill herself and another man says, "Aw, they all do that." An older man tells a younger male colleague at a lunch meeting that he knows his third wife is seeing another man and that whenever he goes to prison (which is often), his wife and the other man spend a lot of time having sex; he says that it happened with the first two wives as well, ending in two sets of divorce papers. A man describes his substantial erection and says that he could have had sex with five women when he first saw his current wife, because she is a beautiful Jewish woman. A man makes a sexually suggestive remark about his wife in comparison to many other women that he has had sex with and another man tells him no more sex or booze and to "Take a bath and go to bed!" A man accuses a younger male colleague of sleeping with his wife back home, but the younger man denies it (please see the Substance Use category for more details). A man tells another man, "When you go to prison, find yourself a nice, clean older man," suggesting a way to protect himself from rougher men and rape in prison. A man puts on a rubber glove and says it makes him feel like he has a condom on his hand.
 Two men in a meeting plan to have an inept older colleague arrested by setting him up with a hotel prostitute that will create a loud disturbance that draws the police to the scene; we later hear that this occurred and the older colleague is in jail.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A slow motion sequence shows a man in a car fire a handgun at the driver of another car, emptying the gun; we see shots hit the driver's side glass and enter the driver's head, bloodying it. and we see a close-up of the driver's face in a screaming expression as his car drifts into the intersection and is hit by a flatbed truck that backs up and hits him twice more (we later hear that he died).
 A man aims a shotgun at another man and fires, we see the man bloodied and lying in a pool of blood, moaning and crying as he crawls away, the gunman walks up and fires several more times, we see sparks hit the body, the gunman jumps into a car and the driver speeds away erratically, they pull into a parking garage and park, the gunman walks to the driver's side, points his pistol at the driver and pulls the trigger (we see a massive amount of blood shoot out the right side of the driver's head); the gunman wipes his prints off the car handles and walks off screen.
 A man with a handgun drawn walks down an alley with another man, they knock on a door and when a third man answers, they shove him inside, break out a window and kidnap the man: they take the man to isolated train tracks, pull him from the car and beat him furiously with punches and kicks, finally kicking him in the abdomen four times when he is down on the ground, crying (we see his bloody nose, face, chin and throat dripping with blood) and we see him vomit blood (we see bloody vomit and yellow matter); he is beaten again and left on the ground (we hear that he has broken ribs, nose, jaw and teeth).
 Two men in a stolen car drive up to a restaurant and park, and they put on stocking caps, pull black stockings over their faces and put on rubber gloves: they carry a handgun and a sawed off shotgun into the basement of a restaurant and threaten several men playing cards until another man enters the room and is taken at gunpoint to the back where he pulls out two briefcases of money and turns it over to the thieves while telling them, "You know they're gonna kill you"; one thief hits him hard on the collarbone with a handgun (he groans and doubles over).
 We see the bodies of two men in close-up from waist to head in a morgue; their faces and heads are bloody and an attendant puts a toe tag on each body and slides both into refrigerated compartments.
 In three daytime scenes on streets, we hear men argue loudly in the background followed by two or three gunshots; we do not see the outcome of the shootings. Two men drive a stolen car full of stolen dogs to Florida to sell the dogs and afterward they take the car to an isolated road, set a rag stuck under the gas cap on fire and it explodes; the car backs into one of the men standing near it, knocking him down but not injuring him.
 A man at a bar demands payment for a hit from another man and implies that the man will be killed for nonpayment as the scene ends. A man enters a tavern and threatens a man sitting at the bar to come with him to murder a small businessman in the neighborhood, or that the man at the bar might die otherwise; the first man slaps the second man and he agrees to join him.
 A Mob hit man carries a short shotgun, a large automatic handgun and two pistols. Two thieves carry an automatic handgun and a sawed off shotgun, but never use them.
 A Mob hit man coordinator (enforcer) meets several times with a businessman in a car that they park under a bridge while planning the beating of a Mob card game operator and the murders of three other men. Two men argue about performing a robbery on a group of card players at a Mob poker game and after several minutes of cursing, one man agrees to talk a friend into participating in the robbery with him. A hit man says that doing murders himself is disagreeable because the hits are too emotional: crying, pleading, begging, soiling themselves, calling for their mothers. A man says that two other men smell like dirty animals. An ex-felon says that he was arrested for having a shotgun in his car for hunting geese. Throughout the film we hear and see news clips of President George W. Bush's announcements and then-Senator Barack Obama's speeches on the American economy playing on radios and on TV screens.
 A man walks down an empty street filled with vacant lots through which garbage and trash blow and we see empty factories with broken windows and dilapidated houses; the man meets a friend and they both complain about not having work (they are both dressed shabbily and are dirty and unkempt).


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LANGUAGE 10 - About 173 F-words and its derivatives, 1 obscene hand gesture, 6 sexual references, 39 scatological terms, 10 anatomical terms, 11 mild obscenities, exclamations (shut up), name-calling (retarded, stupid, Lurch, trick, hooker, wiseguy), stereotypical references to corporations, the poor, the Mob, hit men, the mentally challenged, the Chinese, Jewish women, waiters, prostitutes, inexperienced thieves, 9 religious profanities, 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man sitting in an apartment removes a thick rubber band from his bicep (suggesting that he injected drugs, but we see no drugs or a needle) and the scene becomes blurry and sounds muffled each time another man tries to speak to him, a man tells another man about wanting to buy a "house of smack" and we later see him place a plastic-wrapped package of heroin in a bus station locker, and a man retrieves a package of heroin from a locker and staggers into two police detectives who arrest him (we hear that he was imprisoned for drug trafficking). An older man has developed a drinking problem and we see him at a restaurant meeting where he chugs a Martini and his colleague's glass of beer as he orders another of each and drinks another Martini causing him to become drunk, a man drinks a bottle of beer at an empty bar and a man in the background at a table drinks from a bottle of beer, a man criticizes another man for drinking heavily and the other man becomes angry, a man drinks glass after glass of vodka in his hotel room, and we see three men in a neighborhood bar drinking beer and a fourth man with a cocktail in front of him. A man smokes several cigarettes in several scenes, several other men smoke cigarettes while they drink beer in several scenes, one man tells another man not to smoke in the car as the second man lights up and smokes a cigarette, a man in a bar leaves a cigarette in an ash tray and another man puts out the cigarette, bar scenes have significant amounts of cigarette smoke, and two men smoke cigarettes while sitting in a dirty abandoned apartment on an old couch and broken chair.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Corporate America, recession, the poor, organized crime, paid murder, crime and consequences, drug trafficking, heavy drinking, keeping business promises.

MESSAGE - Both corporations and the Mafia are deadly serious about business.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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