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Killer Joe (2012)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 158
Fresh: 123 | Rotten: 35

Violent, darkly comic, and full of strong performances, Killer Joe proves William Friedkin hasn't lost his touch, even if the plot may be too lurid for some.


Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 13

Violent, darkly comic, and full of strong performances, Killer Joe proves William Friedkin hasn't lost his touch, even if the plot may be too lurid for some.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 78,850

My Rating

Movie Info

When 22 year-old drug dealer Chris (Hirsch) has his stash of drugs stolen from him by his mother, he has to come up with six-thousand dollars quick, or he's dead. Desperate, he goes to the trailer-park to see his father, Ansel (Hayden Church), and he lays out the plan. Chris's mother, who everyone hates, has a life insurance policy that would clear up his debt and make them all rich. The problem is that Chris' mother is very much alive. Enter Detective "Killer" Joe Cooper, a hired hit man with


Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

Dec 21, 2012


Independent Pictures - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now


Latest News on Killer Joe

September 7, 2012:
Nicolas Cage Joins David Gordon Green's Joe
It's described as a "gritty Southern drama."
July 26, 2012:
Critics Consensus: The Watch Falls Down On the Job
This week at the movies, we've got amateur crime fighters (The Watch, starring Ben Stiller and Vince...


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All Critics (158) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (123) | Rotten (35) | DVD (3)

If you like your movies filled with twisted humor, sexual perversion, psychological intimidation and sudden violence, "Killer Joe" is the flick for you.

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comment (1)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Watching "Killer Joe" to the bitter end is like playing the Pick 6 lottery and getting three of the numbers right. You don't win anything, but you still think you're smarter than all those other idiots.

August 24, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You will either love "Killer Joe" or run away screaming. I absorbed this NC-17 nail bomb with awestruck admiration.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Comment (1)
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Friedkin] has retained his touch ... all these years later. And in Matthew McConaughey, he has the perfect vehicle for madness.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You end up feeling sorry for all the actors forced to humiliate themselves, except for McConaughey, whose portrayal of sadistic, manipulative evil is mesmerizing.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie frequently clicks as a sendup of over-the-top film-noir storytelling.

August 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Killer Joe is trash. Not bad trash. Not pretentious trash. Just plain old ugly, funny, and sophisticated trash.

August 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

The tone in Killer Joe feels so expertly and delicately crafted that we only laugh at the film's absurd scenarios if and when the filmmaker permits it so.

June 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

Violent, coarse, perverted, and sickly hilarious, this is highly recommend for those who like their entertainment on the nasty, demented tip.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix

This Southern-fried, darkly humorous trailer-trash exploitation crime noir revels in the greedy characters' idiocy and the deranged story's psychosexual luridness.

July 17, 2013 Full Review Source:

An intriguing (and sometimes off-putting) cinematic creation featuring Matthew McConaughey in one of his best performances.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

The movie is gross and smutty: It is having so much fun portraying terrible people doing terrible things to one another that it has no interest in pausing to think about what any of this means. Thankfully.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

McConaughey is making an emphatic statement that 2012 is going to be his renaissance. And not even a turkey like "Killer Joe" is going to get in his way.

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

Friedkin, Letts and the entire cast barrel ahead through incredibly strange, dark territory, never looking back to see if the audience is keeping up. But those who do won't regret it.

April 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Badass Digest
Badass Digest

McConaughey is funny and fearsome in the title role, the devil holding the family accountable for their choices.

February 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

As sordid and vile as possible.

January 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Killer Joe is America at its worst but Friedkin and McConaghey at very close to their best.

January 11, 2013 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

It's like a cheap, nasty dessert: completely devoid of nutrition, probably very bad for you, but kind of delicious while it briefly lasts.

December 4, 2012 Full Review Source: ABC Radio (Australia)
ABC Radio (Australia)

Only the faint-hearted or KFC kitchen staff should give it a miss.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Star
Daily Star

Stage-to-screen adaptations are rarely this primal, and it's been a long time since a William Friedkin film has felt so vital.

November 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Quickflix

The humor magnifies the horror, and vice versa. Like the inflammatory Dr. Strangelove, we've sewn these seeds, and we deserve whatever is reaped from them.

November 5, 2012
Projection Booth

Killer Joe will leave many people in shock, confusion, and in need of a thorough shower by the time it's done.

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant

The scene with the fried chicken drumstick might cause Colonel Sanders to repurpose one of his famous buckets as a barf bag.

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Killer Joe is a white-hot fever dream of a film. A toxic swill of sex and violence, Joe is mordantly funny, tantalizing and, ultimately, shocking.

September 27, 2012 Full Review Source: The Aristocrat
The Aristocrat

Matthew McConaughey gives an intensely wry performance while director William Friedkin applies his old-master craftsmanship to a brutal, ugly story.

September 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

Killer Joe will both infuriate and impress, but when it impresses there is nothing quite like it. It plays on the senses and lingers in the mind, McConaughey is brilliant and Friedkin finds himself in his best form in years

September 14, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Audience Reviews for Killer Joe

I loved this play. I remember it being riotously funny. The humor just didn't translate to the film, and opening up the locations didn't help it any.
September 2, 2014

Super Reviewer

While there are certainly plenty of good elements (a twisted sense of humor and captivating performances from McConaughey and Thomas Haden Church), "Killer Joe" is basically like that kid you once knew that would say increasingly perverted, ridiculous things, as if to dare everyone to be offended -- and much like that kid, it eventually just gets annoying.
October 1, 2013
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

Should have known...another one of those movies that critics liked. Yeesh!
June 10, 2013

Super Reviewer

Killer Joe ended up being a pretty dark, but funny movie. I don't think this movie will be for everyone. It only will attract those of us who like these gritty dark humor indie flicks. I think the performances were the best thing to come from this movie. The characters are all a little off the wall nutty. Which is a common thing in indie films. There was never a boring moment. It's a violent movie with a lot of nudity. I give Juno much props for being able to have the courage to be so comfortable with herself to go nude so much in her films. McConaughey does a really great job in this movie. He is so believable as the character it's creepy. I love Emile Hirsch and he does a great job here as well. It's really a good thriller if you can handle all the quirks that comes with it. I would see it again. So if your in the mood for a disturbing movie with some dark humor and odd characters, this one would be for you.
March 31, 2013

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Killer Joe

    1. Chris Smith: Piece of fucking fuck-suck cake!
    – Submitted by John D (16 months ago)
    1. "Killer" Joe Cooper: She's my retainer!
    2. Chris Smith: Deal's off. You're gonna have to eat this one.
    3. "Killer" Joe Cooper: You know I'll kill you.
    4. Chris Smith: Go fuck yourself.
    – Submitted by John D (16 months ago)
    1. "Killer" Joe Cooper: Do you want me to wear your face?
    – Submitted by John D (16 months ago)
    1. Digger Soames: Haha! Damn, you make me laugh. Hey, listen, I'm just gonna have the boys here kick the shit out of you. You'd better pay me my money in a couple of days or I'm gonna wrap you up in electrician tape and bury you in a coffin about 10 feet deep. Huh? I'll tell Amy you asked about her. That'll make her smile.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (19 months ago)
    1. Chris: Well, she'd better stay away from the barbeque or she'll be too much woman to fit through the door.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (19 months ago)
    1. Chris: Hey Sharla. You're mascara's running.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (19 months ago)
View all quotes (29)

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