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October 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The movie may be directed by three-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy, and star Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt, but all that star power simply doesn’t gel in The Counselor, according to most reviewers, who genuinely seem surprised that it doesn’t. For example, Mick LaSalle writes in the San Francisco Chronicle: “It contains memorable dialogue, vivid characters and several superb scenes, and yet it still manages to be wrong, a complete miscalculation.” Lou Lumenick in the New York Post writes that it is “great-looking and star-filled but lethally pretentious, talky, lethargic.” The language of the screenplay, comments Claudia Puig in USA Today, is “awash in gaudy psycho-blather and Yoda-like observations.” And Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times writes that the famed director and his equally renowned actors “seem to realize that the gem they are so assiduously polishing is pure cubic zirconia and not the real thing. That’s because everyone here is the prisoner of … screenwriter Cormac McCarthy. Yes, that Cormac McCarthy, who’s apparently been eager to write directly for the screen for some time but should have stifled the impulse.” On the other hand, Manohla Dargis in the New York Times observes that director “Scott’s seriousness isn’t always well served by the scripts he films, but in Mr. McCarthy he has found a partner with convictions about good and evil rather than canned formula.” And Peter Howell in the Toronto Star finds the script “uncommonly erudite.”