The plot is set in motion by two young, naive criminals (Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn), whose poorly-planned poker game robbery gets them mixed up with the mob and a ruthless professional enforcer (Brad Pitt).
The story itself, which centers on a cast of characters with nothing but money, and occasionally sex, on their minds is exhaustively one-dimensional. The film’s message is also glaringly overt and, ultimately, ineffective.
Killing Them Softly seeks to expose elements of political hypocrisy and portray America as a money-hungry business, but the message is cheapened by voice-overs of Barack Obama’s speeches at all of the film’s crucial moments. The audience is left with very little to ponder after Pitt’s character, Jackie, closes the film with a remark that summarizes its already explicit argument.