“The Counselor” has so many stars that as each frame comes into view you start wondering who is going to show up! Along with that you have Oscar winners and Oscar nominees which almost guarantees that there will be some fine acting and you get just that from Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt plus cameos from Rosie Perez, Ruben Blades, John Leguizamo and Goran Visnjic. All have moments or more to show their abilities and they all come through as does the rest of the cast.

The screenplay by Cormac McCarthy is at times confusing and leaves questions at the end but holds your interest as the twists and turns keep on happening. Ridley Scott promises more than he delivers but the production design by Arthur Max, the director of photography Dariusz Wolski and the costumes by Janty Yates keeps your eyes and mind busy during the 115 minutes of the film. You may not be sure where you are or what is happening but you will not want to look away, except, maybe, during two particular points of violence!

The story is mainly about a lawyer, the counselor, who gets into drug trafficking not realizing what it can do to the soul or how it usually ends for most and we watch his journey and those he meets and becomes involved with ao the way. Would it be a film with Fassbender if he wasn’t nude at some point? The director opens the film with Fassbender and Cruz in bed having sex getting that out of the way. Talking about sex there is a scene that if Diaz did it she deserves some sort of acrobatic recognition. It also provides the movie with its one big laugh. She is also at her most beautiful looking as sleek, slick and unreadable as her two cheetahs

Bardem continues his outrageous characters, with outrageous hair, selling him to the audience and demanding their attention whenever he is on screen. Pitt shows an assurance that moves the story along and you will get a lesson in diamonds along the way by Bruno Ganz as a diamond dealer.

“The Counselor” was a lot better than I expected. The last one left standing surprised me and I didn’t quite understand how that happened but if you like pretty actors surrounded by pretty homes, cars and jewelry doing good at their job then this is a movie for you.

“The Counselor” is rated R for graphic violence, sex and language and runs 1 hour and 57 minutes.