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Ali Gray Is Captain Obvious in “The Counsellor”

In response to Ali Gray’s 621‑word review of The Counselor on Film4

By ,

Ali Gray appears to be on to something in “The Counsellor,” but never finds his way. The critic makes vague statements on the cast, and seems to want the reader to take his word without breaking down the film.

Gray’s The Counsellor opens and closes with thoughts on the bleakness of the screenwriter’s prose, but there is little in the middle two paragraphs to explain why it works for the film. The style of McCarthy won’t come as a surprise to most, so how does it translate to the screen? Gray doesn’t really say,  but wants the reader to know the film “is far from the flop US critics made it out to be.”

The critic names off the cast, which is apparently supposed to inform the reader as to why they make the dialogue work, but Gray essentially describes the characters without communicating anything else. What exactly is the point? There is little critique about the titular character or plot devices used in the film.

Ali Gray states that it’s not really fair to compare the film to No Country For Old Men, but does so anyway to point out the absence of a likable character. However, in two other paragraphs he notes that one should embrace the bleakness of McCarthy’s prose. The other paragraph is the obligatory cast mentions, which does little to inform the reader about the film. It’s unclear what exactly Ali Gray is trying to point out beyond the obvious.

The Counsellor is intriguing, but Ali Gray refuses to break down the film as a stand alone.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation