Dominik uses sound bites from the 2008 financial crisis to suggest a moral equivalence between Wall Street and organized crime, an equation some might find convincing, others merely facile. He also employs then-Sen. Barack Obama’s soaring rhetoric from the same year’s presidential campaign to imply that the American dream an idealistic delusion.

As embodied in Pitt’s casually murderous character, and that of Mickey (James Gandolfini) –– a fellow gun-for-hire who’s on the skids –– Dominik’s corrosive satire goes deeper still, undermining all notions of morality and, indeed, of meaning.

Slow-motion rub-outs and the sight of a wounded character crawling in his own blood may be intended as an unflinching look at the consequences of amoral mayhem. But their explicitness –– one scene even recalls the horrifying details of Abraham Zapruder’s famous home movie of the assassination of President Kennedy –– still goes beyond the pale.

The film contains excessive graphic violence, including gruesome murders and a prolonged, bloody beating, drug use, brief partial rear nudity, a prostitution theme, seamy sexual talk, numerous instances of profanity and pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.