The Counsellor (2013) Review

A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.

Now the best way to start this review has to be by saying that this film really made me head hurt. About 30-40 minutes into the film I really had no clue what was going on, as it was all over the place. But it does (eventually) come together (well kinda) I think.

So anyway the basic plot is pretty simple that the counsellor (Fassbender) gets involved in the drug business with his friend Reiner (Bardem) but everything isn’t as it seems as Westray (Pitt) tries to warn him. The clever talk about having to watch the women is especially true when it comes to Malkina (Diaz).

The film has many different sub-plots which are talked about throughout but all stem from the drug trafficking. Quite a lot of talk comes around sex but other than the opening scene (and one you won’t actually quite believe) that’s the only physical acts. I thought a scene involving a priest was very random and could have been left out of the film and it still would have made sense.

Our main character is very much the Counsellor who as writing this review I realised we don’t actually get to find out his real name. He is just referred to as the counsellor, I dread to think how many times Brad Pitt says that during the film as it was a lot! The problem with the counsellor himself is that he not very likeable at all, so as a viewer I was not really bothered about what happened to him. I am sure others will feel the same way as well. He probably deserves a lot of what he actually gets. Not taking anything away from a good performance from Fassbender but he is not a nice man.

Cameron Diaz annoyed me throughout not even just because of her character as I think she was actually quite interesting, but what is actually wrong with her face now? Something really looks strange about it in this film. I know that’s probably an odd thing to comment on but it did not look normal at all during the whole film. Something about her mouth? Very strange indeed and rather off-putting at times. Anyone agree with that?

So it is a very strange film to watch (and try and review, struggling with this one) and sum up what it is all about. But we do get how the counsellor must deal with the decisions he has made to try and make more money in an illegal way and he really does pay a big price for that! Something that he cannot deal with but does he put up enough fight in the end?

Javier Bardem is kinda a toned down version of his Bond villain that was very over the top and camp. Which is a bit of a shame really as he is such a fantastic actor we could have had something different from him instead of the same mould. Brad Pitt has to have the most random character in Westray and pops up in the film when you just forget about him.

I am therefore not actually sure if I liked this film or not. It just left me confused and baffled to what I had just witness for the previous two hours. It was too all over the place and not nailed down for me to really get into. I was actually wondering how long it had been on and if it was going to be over soon. Will be shocked if this manages to get many Oscar nominations, thoughts?

10 thoughts on “The Counsellor (2013) Review

  1. Good review Caz. The rest of the movie may be a mess, but at least the cast do all that they can. Some fair-off better than others (looking at you, Diaz), but they all keep it somewhat interesting to watch and see how all plays out.


    • It certainly is a strange one but you do end up wanting to know how it is going to finish. Still think it was lacking something, as it had a very interesting script!


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