Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in The Counselor.

You would think a movie written by Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, The Road) and directed by Ridley Scott (Alien) would be amazing. That is not the case with this bore-fest.

In The Counselor, Michael Fassbender—so good in Scott’s Prometheus—plays a character simply named Counselor, a lawyer who gets involved in drug-trafficking and puts himself and others in jeopardy. Cameron Diaz plays the girlfriend of his partner in crime (a wild-haired Javier Bardem)—and her acting is terrible in this movie. She’s required to be bad, and you can feel her trying so hard at every turn. Let’s just say she’s very bad at being bad.

Scott puts together some intense, violent scenes that feel like they belong in a movie in which the actors aren’t required to deliver long, boring, unrealistic monologues. Brad Pitt is OK as some sort of drug-deal sage, but he’s starting to look a lot like Mickey Rourke. (He actually references him during one of his speeches.)

Scott almost manages a good movie out of this mess, but Diaz and the preachy script prevail.

The Counselor is playing at theaters across the valley.