Old 08-19-2012, 12:10 PM
Killer Joe

Directed by William Friedkin (French Connection, Exorcist)
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church

Wow, what a sick and twisted piece of filmmaking. I loved every second of it. Anyone else see this yet? McConaughey plays Killer Joe, a cop who moonlights as a killer for hire. Hirsch, Temple, Gershon and Church are a family of rednecks who hire him for a job that will result in them getting rich, at least by redneck standards. As dark as it is, this the funniest movie I've seen all year, which I'm pretty sure means I need professional help. Hard to believe this is based on a play (by Tracy Letts who also wrote the screenplay) because watching some of this shit in person would be very uncomfortable. This is the first NC-17 rating ever that actually seems justified.

I'm glad to see that Friedkin, one of that great group of directors from the 70's, hasn't lost his edge. He's been through a bit of a dry spell since To Live and Die in L.A. but proves here that the underrated Bug from a few years ago was no fluke. That movie was also written by Tracy Letts (again based on his play) and I hope he comes up with another twisted tale for Friedkin to direct. These two make a great team.

Find a way to see Killer Joe, you won't be sorry. Actually you might be.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:51 PM

I need to see this shit.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:21 AM
Director William Friedkin presents one of the most screwed up families in a film based on and original stage play by written by Tracy Letts
In Killer Joe:there's Chris(Emile Hirsch) the drug dealer,his dim bulb dad Ansel(Thomas Haden Church) Ansel's slutty wife Sharla(Gina Gershon)
and Ansel's loopy virgin daughter Dottie (Juno Temple)
The plan is simple enough hire Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey)a sadistic cop/assassin to kill a family member,get the insurance money due to Dottie.
But with a crew like this you know something....everything will go wrong.
The film excels when i didnt quite know where a scene was going and placed me firmly on the edge of my seat,the standout
being the "family" dinner.
Abruptness plagues the film here and there and at times it felt like i was watching a stage play instead of a film.
But the entire cast takes bold chances with the lurid and edgy script.But it's McConaughey who comes out on top.
He injects Joe with just the right amount of icy,slow burn,unflinching control.

My feelings on the NC-17 rating,well when the film ended i found myself saying:Thats it?!? That's why it received an NC-17
rating? I have to agree with David Dinerstein of LD Entertaiment,the films distributor who stated :There are far more disturbing
films that have received R ratings.
Dinerstein is right i have walked out of R rated films i have found offensive and beyond sickening and disturbing.
Yes there is nudity and violence in Killer Joe but i dont think the material deserves an NC-17 rating.
But one thing is for sure i will never look at a chicken leg the same again.

Scale of 1-10 an 8
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:25 AM
Fuck, I won't get this in theaters where I am. If it does make it, it will last two weeks at the most. Hopefully it shows up online soon because outside of The Master, Killing Them Softly, and Lawless, there is nothing I am anticipating more. In fact the more I hear and the more I read, this sounds like the film of the year.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:29 AM
I saw this yesterday and really enjoyed it. Killer Joe is about a Faustian Bargain between a redneck family and a deranged cop/killer. Matthew McConaughey steals the show as the title character. It's the darkest role he's ever played, and one of his best. There's a real sense of danger to Joe Cooper that he conceals with his devil's wit early on in the story. But once the violence starts, we see the true colors of the characters. The entire cast did a great job. Thomas Haden Church is hilarious as Ansel, and Juno Temple gives a very nuanced but solid performance as the head-in-the-clouds Dottie. Gina Gershon at first seems to have a thankless part, but you'll never forget her once you get to that insane over-the-top ending, which you'll either love or hate depending on how black you like your dark comedies.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:43 PM
A bent tale of gleeful smuttiness. Pulpy cinematic candy floss.

My screening was packed with pensioners and they were lapping it up just as much as me.

It will land in my top five for this year, no doubt.

Last edited by viceus; 08-21-2012 at 05:47 PM..
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:52 AM

Nice. Its actually playing at a theater near me. Definitely be seeing this tomorrow.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:22 PM

Just got back from it. It was a lot funnier than I thought it'd be.

And God bless Gina Gershon. She was put thru hell in this film and did a great job.
The chicken leg scene was so fucked up

Also, Matthew McConuaghey has never been better and should get some serious award consideration imo. He was intimidating as hell.

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Old 08-27-2012, 01:22 PM
Funnier than most of the comedies this year

Loved Hirsh's line after the K Fried C incident. "Your mascara is running Sharla" just so nonchalant about it.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:10 PM
There is a certain expectation when viewing a film that youíre anticipating. Will the film exceed expectations? Will the film fall flat on its face? There are so many variables that could be held into account of what goes into that very first viewing of that anticipated film, but William Friedkinís Killer Joe, based off a play by Tracy Letts, doesnít care what youíre expecting, but rather on a mission to turn those expectations completely upside on your head, and deliver a film that brims with the darkest of film noir, and the blackest of black comedy.

The insanity of Killer Joe isnít very outright at first, but slowly, and surely shows the hand to the audience as the 102 minutes go by. Friedkin certainly keeps the audience aware that all the main characters are white trash deadbeats, but allows enough heart and personality to seep through each of them, thanks to the amazing actors on display. The story is bleak to its core, with a father-son duo (Emile Hirsch and Thomas Haden Church) deciding to knock off their ex-wife/mother, in order to collect her life insurance, by hiring a detective (Matthew McConaughey) that also moonlights as a hired killer. But, with all this grungy actions and bleakness, Friedkin is certainly willing to take the filmís tone and shake it up whenever he feels like it.

On one hand, there is desperation and surprisingly poignant monologue/dialogues between the characters. On the other hand, thereís that small moment that breaks the dingy tension with an unexpected laugh. The whole scenario is just so insane that itís sort of ingenious in its own twisted way. The first and second act has itís moments of insanity, but itís surely the final act where the director slapped his hands together, knowing that heís about to turn his audience on their head. At that point, all bets are off.

But is Killer Joe a hearty film recommendation for all involved with the joy of cinema? That, my fellow reader, is a quandary indeed. This is a film that pulls no punches, and anything is up for grabs in its dark plot. Itís certainly a film that, in the end, I really respect for itís no-holds-barred tenacity, but everybodyís viewing can be schizophrenic at best. Some will detest the filmís tone, while others will revel in it. In the end, thatís what cinema ultimately comes down to, a need to challenge viewers in storytelling and filmmaking.

For this reviewer, Killer Joe is a bit of a revelation. Itís certainly nothing Iíve seen before, and itís certainly a solid crime story with itís own dark, black, comedic edge. Ultimately, itís all depends on if you are willing to take a plunge in the dark recess of director William Friedkinís adaptation of this insane play.

But if itís not your cup of tea, donít say I didnít warn youÖI did. A lot.

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Old 08-29-2012, 01:22 PM
I knew little about Killer Joe going into it; I knew McCoughaney was in it, I knew the rating, but that was about it. I found out why why it got the rating it did and I can clearly understand why they slapped it with an NC-17. This is a very twisted set of characters proceeding through a twisted plot that concludes with a very twisted finale.

And it's great. The cast of characters is twisted, but each character is memorable, watchable, and interesting to follow through the story. From the father-son combo trying to off his ex-wife/mother, to the guy they hire to off her, to the father's wacky daughter, and his new wife. Together the group goes through a series of twists, turns, and other things that make a great film noir. Plus, the fact that they're all rednecks/hillbillies/Southern folk adds some humor to the rather sick and twisted events that occur (Thomas Hayden Church is especially good as the father).

I think I'll just leave it at that as far as the story and characters are concerned. You really have to see this thing for yourself to grasp the twistedness that is Killer Joe. I will add that the movie is suspenseful through and through as you're curious as to what will happen to this deviant cast of characters. The cast all deliver brilliant performances, especially considering how dysfunctional most of them are. I'll also add that this movie isn't for everyone - one woman in the row in front of me walked out during the ending - it is quite shocking what occurs at the end. The movie is a great character study in the lives of a dysfunctional family in Texas.


Last edited by bigred760; 09-10-2012 at 01:08 PM..
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:53 PM
I would like to think of myself as the kind of person who would be outraged by a movie as gratuitously violent and psychologically disturbing as KILLER JOE... but, shamefully, I LOVED it!!
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:10 PM

Good cast, but that's about it.

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Old 09-12-2012, 12:35 AM
I'm not sure where I stand on this. First of all, the NC-17 rating is a joke. This movie in no way at all deserves that rating considering this isn't remotely as gratuitously violent and a movie like Saw 3; I'm pretty sure this is just studio bias vs indie movies as detailed in This Film is not yet Rated.

That aside, the cast was great. Everyone was perfect in their role, with each character even more lame or pathetic than the next. Thomas Hayden Church was the real scene stealer, if you ask me.

But the story is just kinda there, and aside from the crazy finale, there isn't much remarkable about it, save for the great acting. And while the ending really does spiral into crazy town, I wasn't really all that shocked at all. Maybe I'm desensitized to stuff like this, but it didn't live up to the "sick and twisted" hype to me. There were some great, unexpected moments of comedy in it, like a certain moment involving a jacket sleeve.

In the end, my problem is that I just don't like movies about white trash people. I grew up with people like that, so, deep down, part of me hates seeing it in any form.

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Old 09-12-2012, 07:01 AM
Originally Posted by Badbird View Post
I'm not sure where I stand on this. First of all, the NC-17 rating is a joke. This movie in no way at all deserves that rating considering this isn't remotely as gratuitously violent and a movie like Saw 3; I'm pretty sure this is just studio bias vs indie movies as detailed in This Film is not yet Rated.
I'm pretty sure it wasn't the violence that got this movie slapped with the NC-17 rating. At least, it wasn't the only thing.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:53 AM
Holy shit on a shingle.

I'm not sure what I just watched but one thing I am sure of, it was original. Sure, there have been other films depicting despicable characters. There have been other films with simple minded, nitwit criminals. But I can honestly say, beyond a shadow of doubt, the Smith's take the cake.

To me personally, a person who loves movies about non likable, waste of life, degenerate scumbag characters, this film was a pure joy from beginning to end. I wouldn't say it's Friedkin's best, not by a long shot. That moniker goes to Live and Die IMHO. But saying this movie is not as good as one of the top 5 of all time cop flicks is not a slight. This is a tight, engrossing, riveting, revolting, visceral, and dirty experience.

It definitely shakes you to your core. But not because of what was shown on screen. There is a lot of gratuitous nudity but its pretty tame in the violence department. The "chicken leg" scene everyone talks about wasn't difficult to watch at all. When I first heard about this movie and the NC-17 I said then I highly doubted it would be as tough to watch as the scene from Killer Inside Me when Affleck roughs up Jessica Alba. After watching it I can confirm. If you can make it through that scene in Killer Inside Me, this pales in comparison. Overall I wouldn't say the NC-17 was unearned, but it wasn't that bad. Watching Affleck tune up Alba was a lot more disturbing to me.

Anyway, I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone who enjoys films like Shallow Grave, Bad Lieutenant, Trainspotting, etc., etc, etc. It's not for everyone but to those who enjoy them, movies like this don't come along near enough.

9/10 and #2 film of the year. Thought it might knock off the top dog and be #1 film of the year based upon the hype. It was good, it delivered the goods, it came pretty close, but top spot of the year still belongs to The Raid and I just don't see that changing.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:41 PM
Originally Posted by speedt View Post
Killer Joe is a comedy and Thriller movie . the story of this movie is based on a young man...it is a great comedy movie. it was released in July 2012 ..............
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:28 AM
KFC and pumpkin pie will never look the same again. This was hilarious, demented, well-acted and full of plenty of twists and turns. I love the direction that Friedkin is taking late in his career. Both this and Bug are terrific.
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