With a script by acclaimed novelist Cormac McCarthy, Scott’s latest is a movie of ideas given form as a thriller.

Unjustly savaged by critics, the philosophical dialogue is at times difficult to follow but richly rewarding when you do. The performances succeed in bringing it to life, with Fassbender anchoring its eccentricities while Bardem and Pitt deliver with natural ease. An icy, predatory Diaz also excels.

Scott’s direction is simple yet effective, showcasing some mesmeric mise-en-scene that adds to the dichotomies of desire and disgust. The fragmentary structure also creates a frighteningly powerful confusion to the Counselor’s descent into hell.

Challenging rather than fully satisfying, the film’s unconventional approach to the thriller is refreshing if emotionally detached. Cold, brutal, and not quite brilliant, it is nevertheless a fascinating exploration of violence and greed.

Rating: 4/5


CAST: Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz

DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott

WRITER: Cormac McCarthy

SYNOPSIS: Seduced by fortune, a lawyer goes into business with a drugs cartel. When the shipment goes missing, he is confronted with violence and brutality unknown even to his darkest nightmares.