Roger Ebert reviews ‘Killing Them Softly’… and gets major plot points wrong!

Brian Milinsky

Brian Milinsky has served in the military, been an FM D.J. and an award-winning radio news reporter/anchor/writer/editor. He is presently a screenwriter and currently lives in Los Angeles.

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7 Responses

  1. Terry C says:

    I can’t understand why Dillon died, as we are informed by Cogan. It seems random and unconnected somehow. Did I miss anything significant regarding this?

  2. mildred spiffey says:

    I thought the Killing Them Softly movie was very good, well written, and the acting was excellent. I too think Ebert should give it another shot. The violence was handled without personal gratification or power lust. I was especially taken by the addition of the television news to the various scenes. And Brad’s final remarks about Jefferson and our last two Presidents’ remarks about one America and being equal hit home like a ton of bricks. All the characters seemed lost and lonely and desparate to make a buck. So who is really killing whom softly ? Our government, our corporations, our wall street cheats? Certainly, not just the guys who have landed at the bottom of the food chain! A thought provoking movie which seemed to put Ebert into a stupor.

  3. John David Schatz says:

    Ebert says:
    “Killing Them Softly” begins with a George V. Higgins novel set in Boston in 1974 and moves its story to post-Katrina New Orleans in 2008, to allow televised speeches by Barack Obama, John McCain and George W. Bush to run frequently in the background.”


    The movie was filmed in New Orleans, probably because the producers got a good $$$ deal. But, all throughout it, there are references to “Somerville” “Hanover” “Haverhill” and Wollaston, all in Massachusetts. The Gandolfini character comes “up” from New York. As with “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” “Coogan’s Trade” is set in the Boston area. Higgins was a Boston attorney.

  4. Tommy says:

    How about his Looper review where he wrote that both the targets to be assassinated AND the loopers were sent from the future? Wrong Roger: the loopers are from the present (2044 in the movie) and only the targets are from the future (2074). And in his Dark Knight Rises review he also confessed to not understanding the plot:

    “All of these characters and their activities produce stretches in the first half of the film during which, frankly, I was not entirely sure who was doing what and with which and to whom.”

    Later in that same review he wrote that Bane was the child who escaped the prison. He wasn’t — it was Marion Cotillard’s character, which was a pretty important plot point.

    Is Roger falling asleep during these movies? Or does he need hearing aids?

  5. Lynda says:

    I’m in the same boat as you Brian. I watched the film on Monday and then read Ebert’s review the following morning. Made me wonder if we had watched the same film. I sincerely hope Ebert acknowledges his mistake and reviews the film again. Doesn’t seem fair to review a film when his summarized plot is filled with mistakes.

  6. JP says:

    Sadly, Roger has been making gross errors in his reviews this past year. Look at his review of “The Bourne Legacy,” when he embarrassingly mistakens the asian assassin at the end for some ordinary street cop:

    one particularly determined undercover cop with dark aviator glasses persists beyond all reason. Since he doesn’t have a single word of dialogue, it’s impossible to say if he has any idea how important Cross and Shearing are, but he keeps coming like the Energizer Bunny.

    Uh, Roger, this guy was not some random undercover cop, he was an assassin from another branch of the agency sent to kill the main character.

    Earlier in his review he remarks:

    I freely confess that for at least the first 30 minutes I had no clear idea of why anything was happening.

    Uh, the first 30 minutes shows Cross (Jeremy Renner) in the wilderness taking pills as part of his training.

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