The Counsellor

Cormac McCarthy

24 October 2013
160 pages


Brought to the screen by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) and starring Michael Fassbender, The Counselor is an original screenplay from the legendary author of No Country for Old Men and The Road, Cormac McCarthy.

'McCarthy has delivered a brutal study in grief' – Empire, on the film

A man, unnamed, wants to be rich. So entranced is he by this need, and the desire to impress his fiancée, that he works his contacts to become involved in a high-risk game: drug-smuggling across the US-Mexico border.

His contacts in the cocaine trade are mysterious, corrupt and seductive. They speak of a device called 'the bolito' which, around the neck of its victim, constricts and decapitates. They warn of the Mexican cartels, whose brutality is without mercy.

And so it is, as the action crosses into Mexico, the Counselor's life becomes darker, more violent and more sexually disturbing than he had imagined possible. Deft and shocking, The Counselor is a tale of the treacherous balance between risk and consequence.

'[A] great, misunderstood film' – Esquire, on the film

Praise for Cormac McCarthy:

‘McCarthy worked close to some religious impulse, his books were terrifying and absolute’ – Anne Enright, author of The Green Road and The Wren, The Wren

'His prose takes on an almost biblical quality, hallucinatory in its effect and evangelical in its power' – Stephen King, author of The Shining and the Dark Tower series

'[I]n presenting the darker human impulses in his rich prose, [McCarthy] showed readers the necessity of facing up to existence' – Annie Proulx, author of Brokeback Mountain

No Country for Old Men on a bender
The real stars of director Ridley Scott's moody, bloody crime thriller The Counselor aren't Fassbender, Bardem, Diaz, Cruz, or Pitt but writer Cormac McCarthy's words
Scott and McCarthy have created a film that in less accomplished hands could have slumped into melodrama, but that retains the grim humour, and the granitic implacability, of a classic morality tale