"THE COUNSELOR" from 20th Century Fox opens Fri., Oct. 25, 2013.
STARRING: Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz.
DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott ("Prometheus", "Alien", "Blade Runner", "Legend")
An intense drug thriller about an attorney (Fassbender), a good man in need of money who decides to dabble in the cocaine trade. He teams up with a rich acquaintance (Bardem) which also brings in a shady type (Pitt). As one might expect, things do not go as planned.
Having the name Ridley Scott attached usually guarantees a certain built-in fan base. After all, he's directed some excellent films in his career and deserves the respect his name commands. This one is as good as some of his previous work although not on as grand a scale as some. It's dedicated to the memory of his brother, Tony Scott, whose death during the filming must have made this a difficult project for Ridley.
Scott is always able to get the best possible performance out of his actors and this time he gets a great performance out of Brad Pitt. Not since "The Devil's Own" has Pitt portrayed such an edgy psychopath with so few redeeming qualities. Pitt always seems to be at his best when playing this type of individual and this is better than "Inglorious Bastards".
Likewise, Cameron Diaz manages to be more than her usual useless persona. How many ways can one spin the stereotypical dumb blond with an adequate body? Um, how many films has she done? There's your answer. This is her best work since "Very Bad Things" and she, too, is somewhat left of center in this one.
The standout performance will be Fassbender's fish-out-of-water as a greedy lawyer who thinks he can make a quick score, sell a lot of drugs for a lot of money and everything will be hunky-dory. Wrong. There's always a price and this boy learns that the hard way.