KILLING THEM SOFTLY is an explosive gangster thriller starring Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins. A longtime hanger-on in the wiseguy world, Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola) has come up with a slick plan to roll a mob-protected card game. To complete the actual theft, Johnny turns to Frankie (Scoot McNairy), a jittery young crook who is fresh out of jail and flat broke, and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn), a gleefully seedy Australian junkie whose latest criminal enterprise involves dog theft. Presidential politics and America’s financial crisis are all over the news, but it’s little more than background noise to these three guys who are angling to make a quick score in a broken-down city. The conspirators feel assured of success, certain as they are that the mob’s suspicions will immediately fall on the game’s regular dealer, Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta).
But only a fool believes in a foolproof plan… With more bluster than brains, Frankie and Russell manage to pull off the robbery and escape without being recognized. But while Frankie, Russell and Johnny are busy congratulating themselves, the mob is taking steps to nip any problems in the bud by bringing in the seasoned enforcer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) to investigate the heist and restore the status quo. Punishment must be exacted, but even more a message must be sent, to customers and would-be thieves alike: nothing and no one will be allowed to capsize the local criminal economy. Jackie brings his customary professionalism to the assignment, only to find himself navigating frustrating complications, including a finicky client that communicates through a buttoned-up middle-manager (Richard Jenkins), and a trusted colleague (James Gandolfini) who has turned surprisingly unpredictable. In the end, it is up to Jackie – unflappable, efficient and thoroughly versed in the vagaries of killing – to get the job done right.
Brad Pitt (MONEYBALL) is joined by two actors who have left lasting marks on the gangster genre, James Gandolfini (“The Sopranos”) and Ray Liotta (GOODFELLAS). KILLING THEM SOFTLY also features Richard Jenkins (THE VISITOR), Scoot McNairy (MONSTERS), Ben Mendelsohn (ANIMAL KINGDOM), Vincent Curatola (“The Sopranos”), and Sam Shepard (THE RIGHT STUFF). KILLING THEM SOFTLY is written for the screen and directed by Andrew Dominik (THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, CHOPPER), and is based on the George V. Higgins novel, “Cogan’s Trade.” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz, and Anthony Katagas produced the film, with Roger Schwartz, Matthew Budman, Will French, and Douglas Saylor Jr. serving as co-producers. Director of photography Greig Fraser, and production and costume designer Patricia Norris led the creative behind-the-camera team. Casting for KILLING THEM SOFTLY was handled by Francine Maisler, and Brian A. Kates, A.C.E., served as editor. Executive producers are Megan Ellison, Marc Butan, Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna.