Killing Them Softly

(R) ★★★☆☆

This stimulating black comedy from Kiwi director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) is a good one. Brad Pitt stars as hit man Jackie Cogan. The story takes place in 2008, and much of the dialogue in the film concerns the financial difficulties experienced by contract killers. It begins with the robbery of a high-stakes poker game, which sets off a flurry of violent events. While much of the story is familiar, it’s a taut, beautifully shot, pungent film that’s worth the time.