The Counselor (2013) – Review

A greatly successful lawyer, better known as the Counselor (Michael Fassbender), finds himself engulfed in a drug trafficking scheme, before quickly realising things aren’t going as smoothly as he’d originally anticipated. When things take a wicked turn for the worse, he must protect not only himself, but his soon to be bride Laura (Penelope Cruz), before he and the men he is working with are slowly eliminated. A quirky thriller that’s less than predictable and was originally released to audiences in 2013.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Cormac McCarthy
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz

For some unknown reason it’s taken me until just recently to watch Ridley Scott’s, The Counselor – a film that has sat on my to-watch list ever since the trailer was released. The mixed reviews the flick has received didn’t fill me with much hope, but upon seeing it myself, I can certainly understand the stark contrast between people that loved the film and those that hated the film, especially considering its miserable 5.3 IMDb rating at the time of writing this review.

On the face of it, the story and plot behind The Counselor seemed pretty simple and easy to comprehend, but it was one that you had to fathom alone, rather than it being explained to you by the filmmakers. At times you could be forgiven for wanting more detail when it came to the background of certain characters and how they were drafted into the situation they found themselves in, and that distinct lack of backstory and simple detail in some instances, could easily frustrate certain viewers.

With that being said, the positives far outweighed the negatives in my eyes, with the crisp cinematography and high-level production being two standout factors. Some of the filming locations were extremely easy on the eye, with various different countries on display. The United States, more specifically El Paso, Texas, was used frequently, alongside Alicante in Spain, and even the United Kingdom for certain scenes.  

In terms of the cast, it must be said that this was one of the key strengths of the flick itself. Michael Fassbender starred as the Counselor, while Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt also demanded a fair chunk of screen presence, featuring as Reiner and Westray, respectively. Elsewhere, Cameron Diaz adopted the role of Malkina, while Penelope Cruz portrayed Laura – the love interest of the Counselor. Not only was the cast itself impressive, but the script was equally as good, with some engaging and slick dialogue injected into the flick.

All in all, The Counselor might not be the most orthodox movie to hit our screen over the past few years, but if you’re open minded and easily sustainable to suspense thrillers with the occasional bizarre twist and turn, then this one will be right up your street.

“I want her to have something that she would not be uncomfortable wearing. I don’t want to give her a diamond so big she’d be afraid to wear it.”

Counselor – The Counselor

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