The Counselor

First slide

A peepshow of human degradation, this ensemble drama alternates between glamorizing evil and parading its most torturous results - both physical and emotional - for shock value. The plot concerns a previously legitimate lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who gets involved in a drug deal that entangles him with a shady nightclub owner (Javier Bardem), the proprietor's sociopathic girlfriend (Cameron Diaz) and the streetwise middleman (Brad Pitt) in the transaction. When the hoped-for trade begins to unravel, the Mexican drug lords on the other side of the sale seek revenge, threatening doom not only for the errant attorney but for the love of his life (Penelope Cruz), a practicing, though far from ideal, Catholic who represents the film's sole embodiment of innocence. Working from the debut script of novelist-turned-screenwriter Cormac McCarthy, director Ridley Scott adds disdain for the church and a debased view of human sexuality to a nihilist moral vision - with repellant results.

Watch out for: Gruesome bloody violence, sacrilegious humor and ridicule of Catholicism, strong sexual content, including graphic premarital sexual activity and masturbation, numerous uses of profanity, frequent rough and crude language.

Rated: O, morally offensive; MPAA: R, restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2013