The Brad Pitt Neo-Noir Crime Thriller Now Crushing On Streaming

By Steven Nelson | Published

brad pitt

Delve deep into the dark world of organized crime with Brad Pitt in the critically acclaimed Killing Them Softly. Earning its spot as the #3 ranked movie streaming on Starz, this noir-drenched drama offers audiences a compelling narrative and intricate character development.

Set against the gritty backdrop of economic unrest and political disenchantment, Brad Pitt stands out with his captivating portrayal of a hitman navigating the challenges of the underworld. 

Brad Pitt stars in Killing Them Softly which is ranked #3 on Starz streaming

The film provides an unfiltered and poignant exploration of crime and its repercussions. Whether you’re a devotee of Brad Pitt or just in search of an evocative cinematic experience, Killing Them Softly is a must-watch.

brad pitt

Killing Them Softly follows the intricate web of organized crime in the underbelly of American society. When a high-stakes, mob-protected card game is robbed by two low-level crooks, Frankie (played by Scoot McNairy) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn), it upsets the balance of the local criminal economy. As the mob’s earnings plummet, they suffer significant financial losses, which instills fear and distrust among the gangsters.

Seeing the need to restore order and send a clear message to potential traitors, the mob calls in Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt), an enigmatic and highly efficient hitman. Jackie is methodical and prefers to kill his targets without emotional complications, hence “softly.” He is quick to identify the perpetrators but realizes that he knows one of the men he’s supposed to kill, making the job a bit more complicated.

In addition to Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly stars Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and James Gandolfini

To assist him in the task,  Brad Pitt contracts an old colleague, Mickey (James Gandolfini), to eliminate one of the targets. However, Mickey’s unstable emotional state and propensity for alcohol complicate matters, forcing Jackie to rethink his strategy.

Brad Pitt as Jackie navigates through the messy world of hit jobs, betrayals, and mob politics, and the movie also offers a running commentary on the economic crisis and political disillusionment of America, with the 2008 Presidential election serving as a backdrop. It delves deep into themes of capitalism, the expendability of human life in the pursuit of money, and the decay of American society.

Directed by Andrew Dominik, Killing Them Softly is an adaptation of the 1974 novel “Cogan’s Trade” by George V. Higgins. The film is as much a social commentary as it is a crime drama, blending dark humor with brutally realistic violence, making it a unique addition to the crime genre.

Brad Pitt, known for his leading man charm and a range of diverse roles throughout his career, takes a decidedly different turn in Killing Them Softly. While he has played complex characters, his portrayal of Jackie Cogan is distinctive in its rawness and directness. Instead of the more charismatic or sympathetic protagonists he often embodies, here Pitt plays a no-nonsense, ruthlessly pragmatic hitman.

At the time, Brad Pitt’s Jackie Cogan was far removed from the heartthrobs or heroes he had portrayed in films

At the time, Jackie Cogan was far removed from the heartthrobs or heroes (or even psychos) Brad Pitt has portrayed in films like Legends of the Fall, Troy, or Ocean’s Eleven. Even when comparing Jackie to Pitt’s other crime-related roles, there’s a distinctive difference in tone and approach. In Killing Them Softly, his character is a commentary on cold, calculated capitalism, with Jackie seeing murder as just another business transaction. 

The film’s gritty atmosphere, combined with its social and political undertones, required Brad Pitt to adopt a more subdued, introspective demeanor, deviating from the more dynamic and outwardly charming roles he’s often associated with. This film showcases Brad Pitt’s versatility as an actor, proving he can delve into the darker, more nuanced facets of a character while still maintaining a commanding screen presence.

In the gritty, atmospheric world of Killing Them Softly, Brad Pitt showcases his remarkable range, moving away from the glamour and charm we often associate with him to embrace a colder, more calculated character. His portrayal of Jackie Cogan is a testament to his versatility, reminding audiences of his ability to seamlessly inhabit any role. 

The film, with its blend of crime, political undertones, and societal reflections, is enriched by Pitt’s grounded and nuanced performance. If you’re in the mood for a different kind of Brad Pitt movie that delves deep into the underbelly of crime and capitalism, then this streaming gem on Starz is definitely worth a watch.