Joe - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joe Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
Two guys who hate everyone who's different from them finally take some action, violent action, and in the end begin to question their beliefs. This is a brilliant movie, and I highly recommend it. Plus, watch for Susan Sarandon in her first movie!
Super Reviewer
½ March 11, 2012
Granted, the character that Peter Boyle is given in "Joe" is an interesting one, but the film simply doesn't do enough with him. We just watch as he exists and spouts racist and homophobic lines with none of it ever leading anywhere. Norman Wexler's script is decidedly good, but would've made for a better movie under someone else's direction.
March 23, 2016
Extra half star for the fish-bowl full of pills. Movies don't actually become 'dated' - except this one! Dumb.
½ May 10, 2013
96%

Hey Joe, where are you going with that gun in your hand?
"These goddamn nigger loving hippies, fucked up the music. If I ever get my hands on one of those little bastards...I'd kill 'em. They're getting away with murder, sex, drugs, pissing on America, fucking up the music. I'd like to kill one."-Joe Curran (Peter Boyle)
Powerful film, and the end is a jaw dropper.
March 18, 2011
Hippies vs. conservatives, in this often hilarious blood-boiler. Easy Rider was good, this is better.
½ January 18, 2010
Probably more jarring had I watched this in the time period it was made. It felt so very, very 70's to me... because, well, it was. But even still, I must say: Peter Boyle was an incredibly underrated dramatic actor. This guy could be scary. Anyone who thinks his bag was comedy should definitely give Joe a gander.
December 31, 2009
This is one of those amazing little movies from the 1970s that doesn't conform to any kind of formula and instead allows its story to unfold in a very natural way leading to an ending that you'll never see coming.
½ July 20, 2008
6.5/10. Good story, very well written with finee performances, especially Peter Boyle and K Callan, who plays his wife. Powerful ending, good pace. It's good to see Peter Boyle in a film that shows his acting range.
July 11, 2008
This 1970 classic pits the establishment against the hippies. The film does a good job of bringing to life the counterculture cliches of the time. Hilarious hippie shenanigans with a deft touch of gratuitous violence. The costumes look authentic. Bonus: Pre-plastic surgery Susan Sarandon film debut as the overdosing hippie daughter of a NY ad exec.
April 23, 2008
sometimes i find it hard to watch unlikable characters, but was told that this is one you had to stick with 'til the end. that sure was the truth. a good lesson in what hatred and bigotry can get ya.
½ September 16, 2007
Boyle is the only believable one in this film and he gives it a center. A very powerful music choice when a character shoots up. The film seems a bit lazy though, just taking swipes at the conservative staus quo and the hippee counterculture without much defining opinion.
March 23, 2016
Extra half star for the fish-bowl full of pills. Movies don't actually become 'dated' - except this one! Dumb.
September 24, 2014
Watched this the year it came out and it left a lot of ideas in my head!
February 15, 2014
a chilling masterpiece
June 26, 2013
Joe is a slow story. As it is, the titular character doesn't make an appearance until 27 minutes in which up until then had been slow drama relating to characters abusing drugs and suffering the consequences, with the only mild benefit being Susan Sarandon's nudity in her debut feature film.
Also, Joe doesn't pack the same punch it did back in 1968 due to the fact that it came from the time period of the emerging counter-culture movement and acted as a story about a very right-wing and conservative man driven over the edge by his insane obsession with hippies and murderous disdain for them. This is a kind of character rarely chronicled on a film as it is a very anti-equality character with aggression with realistic lower-class language, but he isn't exactly dealt with in the best way as John G. Avildsen fails to dive into the mind of Joe Compton and relies on Peter Boyle's performance to achieve that. He uses a blank film style with simplistic cinematography and atmosphere which leaves Joe lacking any iconic features aside from the presence of its actors, Academy Award nominated screenplay and the fact that its the debut feature of Academy Award winning director John G. Avildsen. Critic Judith Crist referred to Joe as "A movie truly of our times", but times have changed and so the generation has too. Although I was luckily able to embrace Easy Rider, Joe is another case and not one I find constitutes enough to pass as a film rather than an extended monologue from a theatrical drama piece. There's nothing really notable enough to define Joe as a film, and rather risers just a long and angry story without sufficient visual stimulation.
Frankly, the battle of age has worn down Joe, and although the film features strong characters, particularly the titular Joe Compton, it itself no longer seems to maintain the same strength and is merely too boring to hold its own for 106 minutes, since about 100 of those are focused on studying characters from the counter-culture time period, particularly people embracing it and people fighting it. Although it has a strong screenplay to tell this story, its weak in being a good visual experience, as it doesn't get entertaining until the final few minutes when the famous climax occurs. But the final scene is merely a brief violent scene which isn't emphasised or explained, and merely shows one of the characters transitioning into a character more like Joe Compton than he was before, to the point where he ends up killing someone close to him. If the last scene had have been extended, took place earlier in the film or have been dramatically emphasised more, then Joe could have been a good film to this day. Alas, that is not the case.
The one thing continuing to hold Joe aloft is the acting.
Although he doesn't enter until 27 minutes in, Peter Boyle immediately steals the screen by embodying the aggressive, angry, hard working but low class American stereotypical white male flawlessly, and works strongly towards conveying aggression and anger at the changes in society as they damage him, and he keeps a certain level of intensity up in the film with his swift line delivery and domination through physicality. He makes Joe a memorable character.
Dennis Patrick also gives a charismatic performance as a human being coping with the shock of his actions
Susan Sarandon also makes a fine debut, portraying a character alternative to much of her later characters due to the sense of innocence staying strong through all the twisted situations and only shattering at the film's climax. Her sweetness and ability at emotional manipulation are put on display in Joe and used well, as well as elements of her sex appeal.

So Joe boasts a good cast, decent story and consistent screenplay, but it's excessively slow pacing and lack of story direction make it less effective today than back in 1970.
½ May 10, 2013
96%

Hey Joe, where are you going with that gun in your hand?
"These goddamn nigger loving hippies, fucked up the music. If I ever get my hands on one of those little bastards...I'd kill 'em. They're getting away with murder, sex, drugs, pissing on America, fucking up the music. I'd like to kill one."-Joe Curran (Peter Boyle)
Powerful film, and the end is a jaw dropper.
March 21, 2013
Peter Boyle in his break through role stars as Joe Curran. A racist, homophobic, hippy hating factory worker. This turns into a fucked up buddy flick as Curran and his new best friend hunt for the latters missing daughter. A serious twitch off a young Susan Sarandon who gets the charlies out.
March 16, 2013
Peter Boyle is immense as the angry racist homophobic hippie hater. He makes Alf Garnett look like a liberal wimp.
March 6, 2013
R.I.P, Peter Boyle! xoxo
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