Well, that was cheery and heartwarming.
As someone who loved what Dominik did with Jesse James, this did not live up to that. There are parts that are pretty dull, in all honesty, though there are parts that are fantastic as well . And, boy, does this HAMMER HOME its themes. This is definitely the pessimistic version of America (and humanity in general - the main theme of the film beyond America being a "business" is that you cannot rely on any other human being, ever) in comparison to, say, Lincoln's positive vision, but Domink doesn't seem to trust the audience to get it, so he constantly has Bush, Obama, and McCain on television or on the radio in the background during scenes talking about the economic catastrophe of 2008, and the final scene of Pitt and Jenkins in the bar on Election Night 2008 is basically Dominik screaming the final lines that Pitt's character has. I mean, I don't have a problem with the themes that Dominik is necessarily expressing or the cynicism with which he's expressing them but, boy, you can only yell it at the audience so many times before you say "OK, I get it, are you going anywhere other than this place you've already gone with it?" In this case, the answer seems to be "not really".
There is really some pretty remarkable filmmaking, cinematography, editing, and soundwork on display, and Scoot McNairy in particular gives a very strong performance. I also liked Pitt and Jenkins, and was amused by Gandolfini's rather pathetic character. But, yeah, this is nowhere near the greatness that is Jesse James. It just hammers its themes home too overtly without any subtlety, and there are a number of parts that just feel dead, narratively (I almost started to laugh in the scene where Mendehlson keeps zoning in and out because it just got so fucking ridiculous with the repeated shots that Dominik keeps pulling). Watchable, but disappointing.