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How Insane Is 'The Counselor'? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

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the counselor review


The Counselor, a very odd movie, is out in theaters around the country on Friday. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michael Fassbender as the title character, "The Counselor" marks the first original theatrical screenplay written by legendary author Cormac McCarthy. How weird is The Counselor? Does Cameron Diaz have sex with a car in The Counselor? As a service to you, we answer every question that you could possibly have about The Counselor.

Q: Does Cameron Diaz have sex with a car in The Counselor?

A: Yes.

Q: Who is The Counselor?

A: We never learn The Counselor's (Michael Fassbender) real name. But, we know that he is a lawyer who is having some money problems.

Q: What do you mean we never learn his name?

A: It's never mentioned.

Q: So he just goes by "Counselor"?

A: Yes.

Q: Is it possible that his first name really is Counselor? Like, maybe his name is Counselor McGillicutty, or something?

A: No.

Q: So he's like The Maestro from Seinfeld.

A: Kind of. Except we do know that the Maestro's name from Seinfeld is Bob Cobb -- he just preferred to be called Maestro.

Q: Does the The Counselor prefer to be called The Counselor?

A: The characters just do refer to him as either "The Counselor" or just "Counselor." It's never addressed one way or another if The Counselor likes being refereed to as The Counselor.

Q: In private, do your friends refer to you as "Mediocre Internet Writer"?

A: Only if I'm lucky.

Q: If The Counselor were an episode of Seinfeld, how would that play out?

A: Probably like this:

KRAMER: You know you hurt The Counselor's feelings.
JERRY: Oh what, because I didn't call him Counselor?
KRAMER: That's right.
JERRY: You know, I feel a little funny calling somebody Counselor.
KRAMER: Why?
JERRY: Because it's a stupid thing to be called.
KRAMER: Jerry, he's a lawyer.

Q: What kind of money problems does The Counselor have?

A: They are vague, but he is seen buying a very expensive engagement ring for his fiancée, Laura (Penélope Cruz).

Q: To offset his financial woes, does The Counselor put in more hours at his law office?

A: To make some extra money, The Counselor goes in on a large drug deal with a man named Reiner (Javier Bardem), his girlfriend Malkina (Cameron Diaz) and a middleman named Westray (Brad Pitt).

Q: Does Brad Pitt have more screen time in The Counselor than he did in 12 Years A Slave?

A: Quite a bit more, but it's still a relatively small role for Pitt.

Q: Where does The Counselor live?

A: The Counselor lives in El Paso, Texas.

Q: Then I assume Juarez, Mexico plays a role in this movie?

A: That is a safe assumption.

Q: What are the details of this drug deal?

A: The details of this drug deal are vague.

Q: It sounds like a lot of what happens in The Counselor is vague?

A: The Counselor is very vague when it comes to details of what's happening at any given moment, but is overly precise when it comes to foreshadowing. This is not a compliment.

Q: Wait, so Cameron Diaz's character really has sex with a car?

A: Yes.

Q: Is this important to the plot of The Counselor in any way?

A: Not really.

Q: How is this act even possible?

A: The windshield is involved. Unrelated: She also loves cheetahs.

Q: Is The Counselor a good movie?

A: I've gone back and forth on this quite a few times. There are a few scenes in the film that are downright excellent, but, for the most part, I'd have to say it's not a good movie. The Counselor so desperately wants to be "cool" and "mysterious" and "important," but, in the end, the "important" scenes are so telegraphed that they lose any real meaning.

Q: What's an example of a telegraphed scene?

A: Near the beginning of the film, Reiner explains to The Counselor a very specific way people are murdered by a particular drug cartel. So much that there's no way we weren't going to see that happen to an important character before the movie is over -- and we do. This isn't the only example of this sort of thing.

Q: What's the best and maybe worst thing about The Counselor?

A: Boy, do people in this movie love to give long, morose monologues. Some of them, in fact, are quite great. Too often, though, a character we've never met before will show up, give a long speech, then disappear.

Q: What really is the worst thing about The Counselor?

A: Michael Fassbender is one of the greatest actors working today and might win an Oscar for his performance in 12 Years a Slave, but, good grief, his American accent in The Counselor is terrible.

Q: Who did you not expect to see while watching The Counselor?

A: Dean Norris from Breaking Bad. Honestly, he just pops in out of nowhere and, as quickly as he appears, he's gone. He doesn't even have the courtesy of giving a long speech.

Q: If The Counselor and The Maestro had their own movie together, would you pay money to see it?

A: Yes.

Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.