I like character-driven and 'talky' films, but Killing Them Softly doesn't work
. It does have good dialogue, but the filmmaker doesn't seem to know when to stop or how to pace well. Especially the car scene before the robbery. It went far too long. The film has other problems as well. I was gutted as I had looked forward to seeing it for a long time. Actually, I'm still seething because KTS could have been so good.
It's better off as a stage play, tbh.
I'm inclined to agree. Parts of it were brilliant - Brad Pitt is doing some of his finest work at the moment - but it just didn't hang together. I read somewhere that the director's cut was severely shortened by the studio and I wonder if that accounts for some of the problems. The central theme of financial corruption is too heavy-handed, for example, but it might not appear so in a longer running time.
Like you, I was disappointed by it. Even the decision to rename it Killing Them Softly
instead of the original title Cogan's Trade
was a mistake.