Brad Pitt's latest film given an F from Cinemascore

It’s tempting to speculate about the fleeting nature of fame and the inconsistency of fans, but that has already been done to a fault and beyond, so let us stick to the facts. Brad Pitt’s latest film, released in the U.S. this past weekend, was definitely not a box office hit. “Killing Them Softly” only raked in about $7 million (£4.3 million) in over 2400 U.S. theatres.

The film has been out for two months in the UK and has gotten very favourable reviews, but for some reason hardly anyone seemed to know about it in its home country. Cinemascore, a company that researches and rates film openings, gave this one an ‘F’ – something they’ve only done for eight other films. Even a ‘C’ from Cinemascore indicates relatively bad box office returns.

Regardless, the film is actually really good, though certainly not a feel-good sort of film – more of a black comedy. Pitt is a gangster assassin with scruples; he can’t bring himself to kill someone he knows, and he hates hearing people begging for mercy so does his killing long distance – ‘soft kills’.

That sounds grotty, but Pitt and cohorts (all of them outstanding in their various roles) carry it off wonderfully well, and without resorting to melodrama or bathos.