Killing Them Softly - Film4

Brad Pitt ticks off his hit list
(Image credit: Melinda Sue Gordon)

Brad Pitt shines as a Mob enforcer who likes to carry out his jobs as the title suggests. 4/5 stars

However, that proves increasingly difficult when Pitt ends up with a long hit list after foolhardy crooks Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn decide to rob a Mafia-protected poker game.

Ray Liotta is a hapless patsy whose big mouth means his days are also numbered and James Gandolfini is an assassin Pitt employs - a decision that he comes to regret when Gandolfini proves to be so addicted to booze, drugs and hookers he fails to make it out of his hotel room.

Punctuating the violence with some brilliant conversation pieces drawing sharp parallels between America's corporate and criminal worlds, this hard-hitting crime thriller bristles with tension, snappy dialogue and unrelentingly black humour.

You can also catch Pitt in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood in cinemas from Thursday 15th August and in World War Z at 9.00pm on Sunday 11th August on Film4.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.