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Dirty doings down in Ridley Scott’s ‘Counselor’

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THE COUNSELOR

Going into Ridley Scott’s drug-trade drama “The Counselor,” you’ve got a certain expectation that this could be the director delivering another of the stylish, comparatively minor-note offerings interspersed among the genre biggies over the course of his career. Not “Alien” or “Gladiator” or “Prometheus,” but a rewarding breather like the con yarn “Matchstick Men,” albeit one with an all-star cast.

But with its jangly (and nerve-jangling) vibe, and the dramatically elliptical cool of its Cormac McCarthy script (the celebrated octogenarian author’s first foray into screenwriting), the film is actually quite a bit more than that. This one has more in common with Scott’s “Thelma & Louise” in the memorable way it escalates into a spin through wilder country, and a meditation on bigger themes.

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