It's been a while since a Ridley Scott film fully delivered on its pre-release promise: disagreement lingers as to what degree of disappointment "Prometheus" was, while the likes of "Robin Hood," "Body of Lies" and "A Good Year" languish largely unloved in his recent history. Still, given the sheer volume of talent involved, it's hard not to get a little excited for his upcoming thriller "The Counselor" -- not least because it represents the first time an original screenplay by Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy has been filmed.

The all-star cast is also pretty mouthwatering -- in more ways than one. Michael Fassbender (also due to be seen soon in "12 Years a Slave") takes the title role of a lawyer who becomes tangled in drug trafficking, while Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt all feature in supporting roles. That's an unseemly amount of hotness for one movie, if you ask me.

The trailer, released today, is a sleek, sexy affair that promises high-spec multiplex thrills. If it arguably bears a closer resemblance to the work of Scott's late brother Tony, that's perhaps appropriate: it was reportedly directed in his memory. The prestigious presence of McCarthy withstanding, the film doesn't have the outward bearing of an awards contender, which is no bad thing. I'm hoping the film principally delivers as a genre piece; any further success can be taken from there. (There are whisperings, however, that Diaz, a fine actress who has been on autopilot for too long, may have a tasty opportunity here.)

The film opens Stateside on October 25. It looks unlikely to pop up in the Toronto fest, but could a NYFF date be in its future? Check out the trailer below, and share your thoughts in the comments.   

Guy Lodge is a South African-born critic and sometime screenwriter. In addition to his work at In Contention, he is a freelance contributor to Variety, Time Out, Empire and The Guardian. He lives well beyond his means in London.