The violence is hard and loud in “Killing Them Softly”: a couple of mugs pummeling a suspected rat in a miserable rain, a round of bullets slo-moing through a victim’s head. But it is also doled out with resignation, and even regret. Nobody in Andrew Dominik’s bloody, and bloody entertaining, crime film, an adaptation of George V. Higgins’ “Cogan’s Trade,” wants to inflict bodily harm. It’s just what they have to do.
“Killing Them Softly” is set in the direst weeks of the 2008 financial crisis, when Barack Obama and John McCain were vying for the presidency, banks and brokerage houses were collapsing, and panic swirled through the air like newspapers in a rotten wind.
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