- Director: William Friedkin
- Genre: Comedy, Thriller
- Cert: 18
- Details: US/103mins
Jesus, Matthew McConaughy doesn't do things by half. Either he's headlining disposable rubbish that basically requires him to take his top off and drawl in that distinctive Southern accent of his; or he's playing a sociopathic serial killer with a penchant for underage girls. This dark comedic thriller is not only a welcome departure for McConaughy, but marks a return to form for one of the best directors of yesteryear - helmer of The Exorcist and The French Connection, William Friedkin.
The film opens with a desperate young hick (a great Hirsch) turning up at his father's (played by Haden Church) trailer in the middle of the night looking for cash. Explaining to his old man that he owes money pronto - or his knees will be liberated from the rest of his legs - he pitches a plan to him. His deadbeat mother has a life insurance policy for fifty grand. Thus they plot to hire a hitman to off her and reap the financial rewards. Problem is the policy is in the name of "touched" sibling (Temple) and the assassin they've hired (McConaughy) has taken somewhat of a shine to her.
Opening with a close-up of Gina Gershon's unshaved nethers and taking it pretty much from there, while Killer Joe is a very adult, provocative film, there's also a hint of comedy within it. That could be the inherent stupidity of some of the characters, or simply the deft hand that Friedkin uses to guide the ostensibly dark material. Either way, this is film noir done extremely well for the first time in a long time. The 70's stalwart has a trump card in the form of the titular Joe. Whenever he knocks on the trailer door, or coolly moves into frame, it's like an electric shock for the scene. This guy is constantly on edge, and you feel he is capable of anything.
McConaughy is fantastic. Joe is his Patrick Bateman, and he proves unequivocally, after years of starring in utter shit, that he still has the screen presence of a top tier movie star. Not many actors can pull off simultaneous fear and magnetism; you cannot take your eyes off Joe and everyone around him is basically a soundboard for the audience watching. It's a generally well played film by all concerned; Friedkin knows how to get the best out of actors, and everyone of the core cast here remind us of the superb work they can do - particularly Hirsch.
Challenging, provocative and incendiary; this is the best work from pretty much everyone involved in years.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 12:47 | Friday 29th June 2012 | Movie Review
If this is not the best film I have seen in the past couple of years I don't know what is. For a fuller view check out http:bobneilson.org20120630killer-joe-not-for-the-faint-hearted-a-film-reviewPosted 15:23 | Sat 30th Jun 2012
Saw this yesterday and all in one word 'nasty' it's a weird film that just left me feeling really uneasy! MMc was amazing though I'll give him that and I was repulsed by him he was that good, well acted but not for me just a really dark depraved storyline!Posted 11:08 | Mon 2nd Jul 2012
This is a terrible movie Its nasty slow and totally unfulfilling in every single way If it wasnt directed by Friedkin i suspect it would have received a one or two star review at the best McConnaughy gives a disturbing performance it isnt bad for an actor who has perhaps 2 decent films to his name but its like he delivers this one in slow motion Strange This doesnt have anywhere near the impact of say The killer inside me and i would avoid unless you are the curious type or the type that sees everythingPosted 14:00 | Thu 5th Jul 2012
The last time I left a cinema shaken by the intensity of violence was The Deer Hunter around 1978. But The Deer Hunter had a theme, a message. Killer Joe is just vioent....and extremely mysogenistic.....and pointless. The is no message here, no moral, no anything. Just violence and stupidity. The acting is excellent but what a waste. There really should be a warning at the cinema that this is a movie likely to sicken even those who thought we had seen it all. Avoid unless you REALLY like Matthew McConaughy. Even then, be prepared. This is a brutal movie.Posted 14:27 | Wed 11th Jul 2012
I thought this film was very well acted and directed and the story is a good one,but it is over shadowed paradoxically by Matthew McConaughty's character which is too cruel and violent. I think you have to like the bad guys in films and there is nothing to like in his character. Because of this the film is too hard to look at and any enjoyment that is generated by other characters is lost in the whole slow misery of Killer Joe. Anyone who sees it once will not look at it again.Posted 10:38 | Sun 15th Jul 2012
Any chance it will be shown outside of Dublin soonPosted 15:52 | Tue 3rd Jul 2012
Far from The French Connection this Friedkin film was created. What, what, what was he thinking? This is a thriller, so I could reveal nothing about the plot if there was one. It was difficult to wade through the sea of sloppy scripting, wildly mediocre acting and cringe-worthy cliches to search for a story, that in the end, was not there. It was set up to be an art film, not a mainstream flick, but all I wanted to do was flick it away like a fly. I was disappointed to see Haden Church's talent wasted, the only capable actor there. Of three things I am sure. One: McConaughey's mediocre . Two: The movie was mucky. Three: I'll never eat KFC again.Posted 17:48 | Sat 21st Jul 2012
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