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Ryan Gilbey Comically Argues for Death Row in “The Counselor”

In response to Ryan Gilbey’s 487‑word review of The Counselor on New Statesman

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Ryan Gilbey is raunchy and riotous in “The Counselor and Don Jon: Bad sex and good porn.” While the need for these dual reviews still eludes common sense (there’s always some tenuous, shoehorned connection between the two films), Gilbey argues his case well and throws in some genuinely hilarious humor to sway readers.

And The Counselor is fertile ground for lampooning, what with the whole Cameron Diaz having sex with a car thing (or, as Gilbey puts it, “taking her vulva to your Volvo”). He takes full advantage of the film’s pomposity, taking this “Frankenstein’s monster of a movie” behind the wood shed for, among myriad other reasons, Ridley “Scott’s fawning camera, which seems to celebrate the opulence and narcissism decried by the screenplay” and a script whose characters speak in “cryptic crossword clues.”

Gilbey is wonderfully vitriolic throughout and his prose is deft enough to make all the venom come out with a wink and a smirk. His sharp tongue always manages to keep the proceedings lively and he maintains a strict one zinger per paragraph ratio, making this piece a real joy to read.

There’s been more incisive fare written about The Counselor, but none of it has been this hilarious.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation