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Screen » Film

Hitting the Mark

Killing Them Softly's leading men are some of the best actors in the business

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The four lead actors in Killing Them Softly are some of the strongest actors working today. Each one has the ability to inhabit the character and go beyond our expectations. Here is a list of must see flicks by these actors and what they played in their newest movie.

Brad Pitt: The charismatic talkative hit man

Pitt is no novice to this kind of role, and he brings a playfulness and intelligence making you feel he's smirking behind the danger. His array of wise guys and roughnecks include Fight Club, Snatch, Seven, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Spy Games, Inglourious Basterds, but this role more resembles his work in Oceans 11-13. His work with Killing Them's director Andrew Dominik's Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, or his delivery as the stoner roommate in True Romance are truly works of genius. His standout role in Kalifornia should've not only gained him an Oscar nomination—he deserved to win.

James Gandolfini: The washed up pathetic over-the-hill drunk hit man

No one can top Gandolfini's Tony Soprano in HBO's long-lived and loved series The Sopranos. His other credits include The Mexican (paired with Pitt again) as a gay hit man, the hired muscle in Get Shorty, a sleazebag in 8mm and his True Romance scene-stealing performance torturing Patricia Arquette with his signature charm and violence. Gandolfini is just as adept playing mayors or an everyman. This is a testament to this guy's range and why he landed the Soprano role. An incredible actor.

Richard Jenkins: The middleman lawyer go-between

Jenkins has made a career out of playing square and quirky fatherly roles (especially in his recurring ghost dad role in HBO's Six Feet Under). He rarely shows up in gangster movies, but has played cops before—most notably a gay one partnered in every sense of the word with Josh Brolin in Flirting with Disaster. Look for him in Wolf as Detective Bridger and as Al Pacino's ex's new squeeze, and ensuing rage recipient in Sea of Love. Jenkins has done three Coen brothers films: Burn After Reading (with Pitt), Intolerable Cruelty and The Man Who Wasn't There. This guy rules!

Ray Liotta: The unlucky criminal

Ray's wide range of characters includes good guys and villains. Liotta has a slew of hits in the hit-man type genre, most notably and etched into our brains is, of course, Goodfellas. Ray is versed in psychos, nice guys and polar opposites with a string of cop and gangster flicks including Identity, Smoking Aces, Narc, Unlawful Entry, Something Wild, Copland, Slow Burn, Control and Guy Ritchie's overlooked Revolver. In Dominic and Eugene, where he plays a tender-hearted brother to his mentally challenged sibling (Tom Hulce) is a must see, not to mention his headache-inducing scene in Hannibal and his hilarious detective in Observe and Report.

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