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The Counselor Review Critics


Dave White Profile

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Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    The Counselor achieves the almost unheard-of daily double of giving us the most outrageous sex scene of the year AND the most unforgettably brutal murder of the year. This is a badass journey from start to finish.

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  • 20

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    What's missing is dramatic subtext and surprise, as well as any playfulness that might have kept us guessing about the plot.

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  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Despite its scaldingly hot cast and formidable writer/director combination, The Counselor is simply not a very likable or gratifying film. In fact, it's a bummer.

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  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The overwritten script and the ridiculous plot combine to make The Counselor a frustrating experience.

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  • See all The Counselor reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 17 & under

Gripping, violent drama about dangers of the drug trade.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dark, fairly compelling drama featuring a star-studded cast -- Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz -- is best for the oldest of teens and adults, who won't likely be overwhelmed by the bleakness and graphic violence in it. Some sex scenes, though not showing genitalia, are fairly graphic in setup, depicting couples having oral sex and, in one scene, a fetishistic act. Characters swear often ("bitch" and "f--k").

  • Parents can talk about the motivation of the main character. Why would he want to delve into criminal activity? How is the audience supposed to react to his choices?
  • Talk about how the film portrays the price of being involved in drug trafficking. Does the movie glamorize it?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: While there's some positive messages about love overcoming greed, the overall tone is dark and depressing.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Penelope Cruz plays a girlfriend who loves purely and give of herself freely. Everyone else is a mixed bag, but most are involved in the drug trade and treading a morally suspect path.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: An overwhelming sense of dread runs throughout the film. A few characters are beheaded in nasty ways, their headless bodies shown. A dead body is seen shoved in a oil drum. Gunfights, sometimes at close range, lead to many deaths and the bodies are shown bloody and mangled, up close. A woman is abducted and a man is shown hitting her. Characters discuss in detail how people are tortured and killed.

  • sex false3

    Sex: The movie starts with a scene depicting oral sex; there's no genitalia visible, but there's a man's head between a woman's legs and it's clear what's happening. In another scene, a woman is shown taking off her underwear and rubbing against a car, to climax.

  • language false3

    Language: Plenty of profanity, including "s--t," "ass," "son-of-a-bitch," "damn," hell," "p---y", and lots of uses of "f--k."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Apple products are visible, as are Ferrari, Porsche, Yamaha, and Ford vehicles. Maalox is used.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of social drinking, usually hard liquor. The film is about a drug deal gone awry so characters are shown smuggling cocaine. A character mentions needing Oxy-Contin.