Killing Them Softly, with its emphatic and stylised violence, dark comedic attendances and wide-ranging, hugely talented cast, isn't for everyone, apparently. You could probably say that about every film ever made, though.
"You have the happy reaction and the unhappy reaction," director Andrew Dominik told The L.A Times of the filmgoers who've seen the film. "There are the people who think they're going to see a straight-ahead thriller and don't like all this other [stuff], and then you have the people who see it and they're happy there's more depth." Dominik worked with arguably the film's biggest star, Brad Pitt on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which was a commercial and critical flop. He's been honest about that in the past, and speaks with a similar cadence of his latest project. "It does ask things of the audience. I wouldn't be happy with myself if it didn't," he said. "This is embarrassing to admit, but I was trying to make a more commercially accessible movie."
Dede Gardner also speaks candidly on the film; "If anyone is surprised, it's not through any deception on our part. We were really upfront from the beginning that this was something unique," she said. "If you read the script and saw the devotion to dialogue you would have concluded it was going to try to reach something more and different." She called the movie "smart and ferocious and violent" and noted that "there's not a gratuitous frame in the film."