THE COUNSELLOR – This Film Needs Help!

By on 31 October, 2013

Read The Counselor Movie Review on TOMORROW'S NEWS - The Latest Entertainment News Today!

With a cast featuring Hollywood’s hottest, and perhaps sexiest actors, ‘THE COUNSELLOR’ proves looks aren’t everything. The movie features:

Michael Fassbender…The CounselLor
Penelope Cruz…Laura
Cameron Diaz…Malkina
Javier Bardem… Reiner
Brad Pitt…Westray

Adding to this hopeful recipe is director Ridley Scott (‘BLACK HAWK DOWN’, ‘HANNIBAL’, ‘GLADIATOR’, ‘THELMA and LOUISE’, ‘BLADE RUNNER’, ‘ALIEN’) and writer Cormac McCarthy (‘THE ROAD’).

THE COUNSELLOR’ is McCarthy’s first original screenplay, and one can quickly diagnose that the script is the film’s biggest problem. Essentially, the movie tries to piece together a story about a Texas lawyer attempting serious drug trafficking via the Texas-Mexico border. This character appropriately is nameless throughout the film, as other characters only refer to him as “The Counsellor“. I use the term “appropriately” because his reasoning for taking on this criminal activity at such a high magnitude is vague. Further, as he sifts through a puzzling plot, The Counsellor ironically consults other characters for advisement on how he should move forward with a multi-million drug movement.

The Counsellor drives a luxury car, has a luxury residence, and has a stunning fiancé (Cruz). Further, he’s an attorney. The film tries to depict that his love for his partner and greed motivate his risky venture, but there’s little support for this in her character’s storyline. Laura is a devout church-goer, doesn’t want to know the carat size of her engagement ring, and genuinely shows love for The Counsellor. However, it does seem plausible that Malkina (Diaz) would drive Reiner (Bardem) to zealous, out of control actions to maintain his relationship with her.


Read TOMORROW'S NEWS review on THE COUNSELLOR - Starring Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem

Fassbender performs well, but Javier Bardem is the real strength in the film. His portrayal of Reiner, a whacked out crime lord, earns him well-deserved accolades. Unfortunately, this only magnifies how awful Cameron Diaz is against him. Normally one of Hollywood’s top-performing starlets, Diaz flounders in this role. Her portrayal of a femme fatale who underhandedly controls the drug world, is such a train wreck that it’s actually painful to watch. Bad Teacher shouldn’t be playing Bad Coke Queen.



Nearly as poor as what we see from Diaz is Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Westray, a pseudo Texas cowboy. Westray is one of the characters from which The Counsellor attempts to gain insight into the dark world of illegal drug trafficking. Like many of the others, Westray fluctuates between giving and not-giving The Counsellor succinct, direct advice. One would hope that Pitt’s strength as an actor in a variety of genres would pull him up from the script’s holes and at least make him entertaining in a character part. Not so.

In the first half of the film, the viewer struggles to figure out how all the scenes fit together. It’s like watching ‘PULP FICTION’, minus the pulp. When the plot shows signs of morphing together in the second half, the violent killings spraying across the screen overshadow any hope the film has for cinematic value.

The best line I heard in this viewing experience occurred when a gentleman loudly exclaimed as he held the door open for people leaving the cinema, “I wouldn’t recommend that movie to anyone!”.


THE COUNSELLOR‘ is on general release in the U.S. and will be released nationwide in the UK on the 15th November, 2013.


About Melanie Todd

Melanie Todd has lived in Florida, New York and London. She has experience with NBC News and Universal Studios. Currently, she is in the US preparing for a move back to London, where she hopes to work in entertainment publicity/public relations. Melanie enjoys running and drinking wine, but of course, not at the same time. Follow her on TWITTER @MelanieTheRep and visit her blog at

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