Movies  •  Critics  •  About
Existimatum  >  Movies  >  The Counselor  >  Reviews  >  Cinephiled

James Rocchi’s “Review: ‘The Counselor’” Is Confidently Sadistic

In response to James Rocchi’s 749‑word review of The Counselor on Cinephiled

By ,

You can practically see the blood splatter as James Rocchi tears into his subject in “Review: ‘The Counselo. ‘” It is a take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred bloodbath every bit as violent as a drug deal gone wrong.

Drawing on an impressive vocabulary and an even more impressive well of anger, Rocchi gives director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Cormac McCarthy no quarter. Instead, he tears their baby limb from limb and leaves it discarded at their feet, telling them “You’re to blame for this.”

And indeed, he makes a compelling argument that they are to blame for it. He tears off the movie’s flesh to reveal the hollow bones underneath. It’s a horror show, yes, but an instructional one.

The movie’s actors aren’t spared, either. Rocchi hasn’t a single kind word for them. Where as many reviewers would be tempted to give actors a pass for doing the best with what they’re given, Rocchi assumes them to be utterly complicit in the cinematic crimes being committed.

The sheer relentlessness of Rocchi’s attacks might make his review—and indeed Rocchi himself—seem terribly unbalanced. But he delivers each blow with such confidence and precision that it’s nigh impossible not to take him at his word.

Reading Rocchi’s “Review: ‘The Counselor’” is not going to make anyone feel warm and fuzzy inside. It is filled with some harsh truths, but at least Rocchi presents them in such a way as to make them compelling.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation