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Performances and history of African American spirituals like Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Steal Away and others.
by The Dove Foundation

Killing Them Softly

Not Dove Family Approved

Theatrical Release:


Adapted from George V. Higgins novel and set in New Orleans, Killing Them Softly follows professional enforcer, Jackie Cogan (Pitt), who investigates a heist that occurs during a high stakes, mob-protected, poker game. The film also features Scoot McNairy (Monsters), Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom), Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), with James Gandolfini, Vincent Curatola, Max Casella and Sam Shepard among others.

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Dove Worldview:
I find the title of this film to be ironic. There is no soft killing in this movie, only flat out graphic killing with blood spurting and flying. One scene features a man being beaten up and the blood literally pours from his mouth and nose, he coughs up blood, and then vomits to boot. He vomits on the man who was punching him so the man becomes angry and punches him some more. One man is shot and his coat is a bloody mess and then Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt), who is an enforcer, shoots him in the head. Cogan is hired to settle things down after three less-than-brilliant guys rob a Mob-protected card game, causing a lot of unhappiness among criminals over their deflated economy.

The other disturbing thing about this movie is the language. There are so many uses of the F bomb that I quit counting after twenty minutes. It's as if the writers were lazy and just wanted to keep writing down the F word or other foul language. The film is pretty depressing. The only thing even remotely amusing is that Pitt's character insists on his friend leaving a dollar tip for the waitress right before he goes out to murder someone. But barrels of laughs this movie is not and neither is it remotely family friendly. Skip this one like you would the plague. I can only guess Brad Pitt was short on a few million dollars, otherwise why he chose this movie to act in I have no clue.

Content Chart & Description

Content ScaleSexLanguageViolenceDrugs & AlcoholNudityOther

Sex: Several references to having sex with the use of the F bomb; several graphic sexual references and slang; a man pays a prostitute who is seen in lingerie.
Language: So much language that I quit counting after twenty minutes; lots of uses of the F word; several uses of "J" and "For Ch*ist's sake"; just about every other utterance of bad language available.
Violence: A lot of graphic violence including characters being shot in graphic manners; bloody bodies and corpses seen in the morgue; man shot in head; another man shot in head while sitting in car and man shoots him several more times; a man is beaten by two men and blood pours from his nose and mouth and he vomits and a man beats him up some more; the same man who was beaten is shot several times in a car later on as the windshield explodes; man is slapped in face a few times.
Drugs: Man is seen shooting up drugs; drugs are hidden in a locker and a man retrieves them later; several references to drugs; a lot of smoking scenes in the movie (cigarettes); drinking alcohol and beer in several scenes; bar scenes; talk of "smack".
Nudity: Cleavage; woman's rear cheeks are seen as she is in lingerie; man's bare chest is seen as he wears a low-cut shirt.
Other: Scenes involving mob members; men rob men who are gambling and playing cards; the subject of revenge and an eye for an eye.

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