Sadly, Bardem’s excellent performance (and his always-impressive hair) is the only thing that makes The Counselor worth seeing. A tale of where greed takes you when you get in over your head in and around Juarez, Mexico, the film just feels thin and clumsy — almost like Scott was so impressed that McCarthy wrote the screenplay that he didn’t feel compelled to do much directing, and expected the script’s dialogue and violent passages would do all the work for him.
But it doesn’t. Scott doesn’t make us feel anything for good-looking Fassbender’s Counselor, save for the acknowledgment that he’s in love with Cruz’s character (who we mostly feel an attachment to because, well, nobody wants anything bad to happen to Penélope Cruz). Brad Pitt plays your typical Brad Pitt character, basically Fight Club’s Tyler Durden without the rules of Fight Club. And then there’s Cameron Diaz, who, like Scott, seems really impressed to be working on a film written by Cormac McCarthy — so much so, that she really gets into the dialogue, to the point where her overacting sometimes manages to distract from the overall slapdash feel of this expensive, disappointing film written by one of America’s greatest novelists.