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.