For someone who oozes movie-star charisma, Michael Fassbender doesn’t seem to care a whit whether we like his characters or not. There was Shame, of course, in which he played a depressing sex-addict. In 12 Years a Slave, he is a sadistic Southern plantation tyrant who abuses his slaves in every possible way. And in The Counselor, which opens today, he plays a greedy lawyer who gets in way over his head with the Mexican drug cartel.
The movie is full of big names — Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, and Penelope Cruz — but they all submit their stardom to author Cormac McCarthy, who penned the script, his first screenplay. McCarthy is best known for his heart-of-darkness novels, like No Country for Old Men, All the Pretty Horses, and The Road, so The Counselor is certainly the most colorful of his tales — at least in the superficial sense. But underneath director Ridley Scott’s florescent-tinted veneer, The Counselor is McCarthy to the bone. Very bad things happen to people — some who deserve them, some who don’t.
The critics seem to be torn about the R-rated movie, with few pundits wavering on the fence. It’s either wackadoodle brilliant, or, as EW’s Chris Nashawaty wrote, “a jaw-dropping misfire.” Click below for some other opinions before you head to the theater this weekend. READ FULL STORY