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Bill Weber’s “Counselor” Is the Vague but Helpful Counselor

In response to Bill Weber’s 792‑word review of The Counselor on Slant Magazine

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Bill Weber’s latest, “The Counselor,” is like visiting with your lawyer, having him explain the case (whatever it may be) and then you reply “Can you tell me what that all means?” To be fair, Weber’s work is quite enjoyable, but it lacks a clear argument about the film.

Counselor jumps right into plot summary and introduces the main players with a description of the opening scenes (and a tiny bit of analysis).

After the slow start, Weber provides a comprehensive look at the general themes of the film, and what the characters are willing to do. The critic instructs the reader on classic traits of Cormac McCarthy players, and describes some of the bizarre situations that they find themselves in.

The character analysis in Counselor is a bit vague, especially in regard to the lead character, however Weber offers enough to please most.

Counselor succeeds because of Weber’s clear statements at the beginning of each paragraph, and his ability to follow through. The absence of a clear verdict on the film may be forgotten by the reader due to Weber’s tight work, however a general opinion would have been interesting to see.

Statements such as “The Counselor probably rises or falls on one’s response to Diaz’s slinky, slithery Malkina” show Weber’s refusal to make a definitive statement on the film, but rather let the reader decide for themselves. One will appreciate the show of respect, but Weber is such an excellent writer that one will likely desire more information.

Weber’s The Counselor is frustrating at times, but definitely worthwhile.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation