Killing Them Softly (2012), Netflix, Amazon Instant The Basics: Following a botched heist, a world-weary assassin is sent in to play clean up. If You Like: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, 52 Pick-Up Killing Them Softly trod a turbulent path on its way towards a theatrical release, premiering with great fanfare at the Cannes Film Festival only to plunge into a late-November berth with little buzz or promotional support. As if the mixed critical response wasn’t enough of a punch in the gut, the movie received a resounding “F” grade from Cinemascore —one of only eight features to claim that dubious distinction . Difficult as that rollercoaster-like drop must have been to experience, it was far from an unfamiliar sensation for writer/director Andrew Dominik, whose previous film,The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, was similarly abandoned by its studio — although critics stuck up for it in a way they didn’t forKilling Them Softly.
It’s been over a year since James Gandolfini died at the age of 51, but the loss of someone who was such a vital presence on and off screen is still hard to absorb. Screenwriter/novelist Dennis Lehane recounts how once he learned that Gandolfini would be playing the part of the Brooklyn bar owner/local crime boss, he decided to bulk the role up with extra lines, knowing he had an actor who could handle anything thrown at him.
A look at the 10 movies we can't wait to see at this week's Toronto International Film Festival.
A year and three months after the death of James Gandolfini, the beloved actor’s final film performance will finally reach the screen. The Drop stars Gandolfini as Marv, the funding source to a network of small-time criminals in a tightly-knit Brooklyn community. When a robbery he’s backed goes wrong, Marv and his young cousin, played by Tom Hardy, find themselves caught up in the ensuing police investigation that threatens to unearth a generations’ worth of neighborhood secrets. The film is based on a short story by best-selling crime novelist Dennis Lehane, whose work has fueled some of the best thrillers in recent years including Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and Shutter Island.