Brad Pitt stars as Jackie Cogan, in a crime noir movie called Killing Them Softly.  Although not as humorous as the trailers might have you believe, the film reaches high and hits almost every time.

On the bleak (and I mean bleak) American landscape, the 2008 election is wrapping up.  The housing crisis is in full swing and the news about the various squabbles of American leaders is a constant drum in the background of the events.  Something about that choice by director Andrew Dominik, really gave the movie an extra layer.

Jackie is called in when three locals conspire to rob a local card game run by Markie (Ray Liotta).  He’s been asked to take care of the situation so that the card game can continue and money, probably one of the few sources left in this urban wasteland, can continue to flow again.  James Gandolfini plays Mickey, a New York hitman, brought in to help.  But just like every other character in this movie, Mickey is another corrupted, wasted soul that knows he’s slowly dying, but can’t do much about it.

I don’t know.  I do really enjoy crime movies, so maybe I’m elevating this movie beyond what it is.  But thematically, there’s no denying the message.  When one of the characters runs a dog scam, the images of the dogs is a metaphor for all the characters trapped in this dog eat dog world.  And Pitt’s brief monologue at the end is not to be missed.

It’s a little slower than I expected, but the pacing was really good.  If you like crime dramas, I think you’re going to love this.

I give Killing Them Softly 9 out 10 keggers.  Go see it, bros.