Written and adapted by Andrew Dominik from George Higgins's novel Cogan's Trade, this film's got a classic one-liner: "America is not a country, it's a business, now pay me."
Set against a dilapidated backdrop of industrial decay to reflect the film's gangster noir feel, it's threaded through with the political guff being spouted by Bush, Obama and McCain on radio and TV.
Savage, short and to the point - with wonderful musical interludes - it has been attacked for being misogynist, since the only woman in the film is a prostitute. But that misses the misanthropic point because throughout the gangsters live in constant fear of being terminated by their nearest and dearest.
The political parallel is evident as Brad Pitt puts in a great stint as the chief assassin called in when two wannabe gangsters rob a backroom casino using the same ruse as the owner, played by the incomparable Ray Liotta.
But the awards should go to the scabrous script and all the cast as two callow criminals (Scott McNair, Ben Mendelssohn) take off to be pursued by various protagonists who, like any other workers, relate stories about their lives outside "work."
The difference is that these are macho mirror reflections of a paranoid body politic that continues to assault the myth of an American Dream which increasingly looks like bedlam on its way to armageddon.