Niagara Gazette — “The Counselor” is the first theatrical feature written by McCarthy, famous for his novels and penchant for nihilism. His lethargic screenplay gets the nihilism right, but he’s gotten himself bogged down by ennui. The characters keep talking past each other. There are many moments when cast members look away from the person to whom they’re speaking, sometimes completely beyond the frame.
Who was standing there? Director Ridley Scott whispering “give me style, because we’ve got no substance?” McCarthy and Scott fail their cast. Fassbender and Pitt try their best, but not even they can energize the proceedings.
Things fall apart because of paranoia, not actual events. It’s supposed to be ironic. It isn’t.Michael Calleri reviews films for Night and Day. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.