10 Modern Movies That Will Be Viewed As Classics In Years To Come
9. Killing Them Softly (2012)
Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford arrived with a whimper on release - box office receipts were low, while the critics didn't exactly praise it to the heavens. Now it's considered a western classic. There's much to suggest Dominik's follow-up, the blackly comedic Killing Them Softly, which got similarly a cool reaction back in 2012, will become one for the crime flick history books. Taking the gangster movie and inflating it with mundane passages of criminals chewing the fat between jobs (which include gruesome hits and routine beatings), Killing Them Softly feels like one of the most realistic versions of gangster life committed to celluloid. On the fringes is Brad Pitt's scrupulous hitman Jackie Cogan, who likes to "kill people softly, from a distance", but he's the one composed professional amongst a cast of idiotic opportunists, drug addicts and depressed losers. Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn are pitch-perfect as the two lowlives who dare to steal from the mob, but it's James Gandolfini, as a depressive hitman with a penchant for hookers, who stands out. It's one of Gandolfini's last roles, and he plays on his sadsack archetype to create a character that's truly pathetic. The film's political subtext adds little, but it makes Killing Them Softly into a snapshot of a period in American history when everything seemed possible, yet the most tuned-in knew things were never really going to change. Pitt's closing speech on the lie of the American Dream is a masterclass of delivery and the cynical cherry on top of this dark gangster tale.
Lover of film, writer of words, pretentious beyond belief. Thinks Scorsese and Kubrick are the kings of cinema, but PT Anderson and David Fincher are the dashing young princes. Follow Brogan on twitter if you can take shameless self-promotion: @BroganMorris1