Monday, August 20, 2012

Killer Joe

Killer Joe (2012)

Directed by William Friedkin

Screenplay by Tracy Letts

Based on her play of the same name

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church and Gina Gershon

I have been hearing nothing but good things about this movie. Everybody was talking about McConaughey's performance that it was Oscar worthy. I was waiting for this film to come out until I saw on the local paper here in Houston. It was playing at the Landmark River Oaks Theater. Might I mention that this is the first NC-17 movie that I saw in theater. I had a ball with this film.

Taking place in the outskirts of Dallas, the Smith family is dealing with a serious cash flow problem. Loser son, Chris (Hirsch) has a huge drug debt when his old lady sold his drugs to pay for her shitty car. Desperate to make a quick buck, Chris talks to his father, Ansel (Church) about the possibility of hiring a hitman to kill his mother for her $50,000 insurance policy. Chris suggests hiring Dallas detective Joe Cooper (McConaughey) who moonlights as a contract killer. Killer Joe as he is called has a fee of $25,000 that they could not pay. Killer Joe suggests having Chris' sixteen year old sister, Dottie as a retainer until the job is done.

I have to say that movie is the darkest of dark comedies that I have ever seen. There was some moments that will be ingrained in my memory for a long time. McConaughey is giving a sinister performance as the smooth professional who could have a mean street. I think this year, Matthew has turned a corner in his career that he is choosing more roles that are not fluffy romantics comedies. I hearken this performance to his in A Time to Kill that he is playing to his strengths, his charisma. He is doing things in this movie that I never thought I would see him doing.

I have to give a special shout out to Thomas Haden Church who delivers some zingers that had me busting my gut. Not that much happens in the movie, it is very static, but I thought the characters elevate that movie overall movie. I have to say that I was taken by Juno Temple as the spacey, clairvoyant sister. She is an innocent that gets corrupted by Joe, but their relationship is not strange. If that makes any sense.

My Rating


  1. I can't wait for this. Solid write up!

  2. Very, very twisted movie but it also has some amazing performances from this small ensemble, and gets extremely tense in the last 15 minutes or so. McConaughey totally deserves a nomination for his role as the self-titled, Killer Joe. Good review Branden.

    1. The last fifteen minutes are a make or break for the viewer. It was brutal, but I thought it was necessary. Some people don't like that sheer brutality.