Some Counseling About The Counselor

2 Nov

I don’t know if this review contains plot spoilers or not because I don’t know if this movie contained enough of a plot to spoil in the first place. But Yeah I’m going to bring up some specific events that happened, as to whether it’ll ruin your enjoyment of the film, don’t worry, that was going to happen anyway.

The counselor

When I hear a movie is being made involving people named: Ridley Scott, Cormac  McCarthy, Michael Fassbender, Caeron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt I’m pretty confident it won’t suck ass. After seeing The Counselor I’m convinced everybody involved in making this movie made the same mistake. They assumed simply having big names in a project will make it good by default and left it at that. The consequence is you get an incomplete movie, I don’t mean that there’s a cliffhanger ending or unresolved issues. I mean that things like; story, character development, exposition, motivations or anything else interesting was just not built into the movie. I can’t really tell you what this movie is about because it fails to communicate its story but here’s what I picked up. Michael Fassbender is the Counselor, he has no name and as far as the movie tells us he only has one client, Rosie Perez. Who’s already in prison, so he must not be a very good counselor. Perez is the best character in the movie and she’s only in it for like 10  minutes, which is too bad. Anyway the Counselor has a lavish house, clothes, car, and can afford to go to Antwerp to buy a ginormous engagement ring for his fiancé Penelope Cruz. Then he decides to get involved in the drug business because now all of a sudden he needs money and goes to Javier Bardem, because Bardem is his…client? Friend? Partner? Their relationship is a mystery.


In fact despite being the other main character Bardem’s role is pretty vague, he might be a drug dealer or smuggler or just some random rich asshole, I couldn’t tell you. So The Counselor and his acquaintance agree to get drugs from Mexico to Texas. That’s the plan, clearly the audience doesn’t want to know who, what, where, when, why, or how, so don’t include any of that in your movie that is being advertised as a “Crime drama thriller”. After that I can tell you Brad Pitt shows up in a cowboy hat to continue not explaining anything. I’m pretty sure the procedure involves a septic truck and a motorcyclist and unsurprisingly doesn’t go very well. Needless to say when you piss off a Mexican drug cartel people start dying. To say this movie is about what happens when people get in way over their head and make bad decisions that lead to a downward spiral is giving it too much credit. At best I’d say it is almost about that. You might instead argue that this movie is really about how Ridley Scott has officially lost his shit. Say what you want about Prometheus but at least visually Prometheus looked breathtaking. The Counselor’s story is worse and the film has less visual appeal than a modern episode of Dallas. The characters have strange visual quirks that annoyed me like Javier Bardem’s over the top orange tan and spiked hair. When that awful spiked hair was on screen it was too distracting, it was like trying to take a Pufferfish seriously.


Cameron Diaz does the best she can and plays her stereotyped predictable character well. But it wasn’t enough to give her tattooed leopard spots down her body and a ring with a jewel the size of a robin’s egg she had to have a gold tooth too. Honestly has anyone ever seen a middle-aged white woman with a gold tooth in her smile? Everything she said was interrupted by that tooth. She does create the best scene in the movie by having sex not in a car, but WITH a car. It is really funny and hearing Bardem describe what it looked like as he sat inside looking through the windshield almost makes the movie worth watching, (but seriously don’t see it). Michael Fassbender keeps the counselor looking like an average successful guy but sadly this movie is a waste of his talent. I get that he’s a great actor but he must cry like 3 different times in this movie and it is sad in a pathetic way, and not actually sorrowful. All the characters are just flat and terrible and there isn’t enough information for the viewer to connect them to each other or to what’s going on. There was a great opportunity for Ridley Scott to make a movie about the ongoing violence of the drug cartels or an Ocean’s 11 Western style mash-up. But instead he made a boring mess of a movie about coked up rich people. After seeing this I have no interest in reading Cormac McCarthy’s book and seriously question if I will ever watch a Ridley Scott movie again.

Carl Wells


10 Responses to “Some Counseling About The Counselor”

  1. Derek November 4, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    Yikes! I’ll be sure to avoid this one. Let’s hope the film adaptation of Blood Meridian does better.

    • Carl Wells November 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      I’ve heard Blood Meridian is extremely violent and a movie version of it would probably cut most of that out. I’ll hope for the best though.

  2. HenRob November 14, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    Finally someone speaks my mind.. thank you! This movie was not just bad, it was an insult to any half intelligent movie-goer. Sad!

    • Carl Wells November 14, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      Thanks, it was such a waste of talent.

  3. bob c July 6, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    a moronic movie like the moronic cartel

    • Ed Dewsnap July 26, 2014 at 3:56 am #

      118 minutes of pure unadulterated agony, any who watched the movie from beginning to end clearly has patience and hope. Saying this movie sucked would be a compliment. I believe it was a joked played on the movie industry how else can one explain such a ridiculously bad movie?

      • Carl Wells July 26, 2014 at 5:18 am #

        Ridley Scott has clearly lost his shit. It is not like he tried to make a good movie and failed, he didn’t try period.

  4. Jose Roberto Lopez January 12, 2015 at 1:32 am #

    Terrific review !

    • rckosml January 12, 2015 at 4:57 am #

      Thank you, I’d almost given up on this wordpress thing. But it is good to know people read my inane babble.


  1. Review: The Counselor (2013) – Ridley Scott (In Theatres) « Fast Film Judge - November 4, 2013

    […] Some Counseling About The Counselor ( […]

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