The Counselor

Rated 2.0

An El Paso lawyer (Michael Fassbender) tries to make a quick fortune in drug trafficking, but the deal goes wrong, and he finds himself—and everyone he knows—the prey of the ruthless Mexican cartel he's been dealing with. Directed by Ridley Scott and written by acclaimed novelist Cormac McCarthy, the movie is a stylish muddle with a murky plot that seldom makes sense. McCarthy, unfortunately, is out of his element: A star-studded cast (Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Rosie Perez, Bruno Ganz) grapples valiantly but in vain with his over-literary dialogue (real people simply don't speak like this, only characters in pretentious novels). Diaz is especially unlucky, saddled with an unplayable, unintentionally comic scene that calls for her to masturbate against a car windshield.