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Killer Joe Reviews

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Jake Mulligan
Boston Phoenix

Friedkin directs; his taste for sadism has never been personified better than in McConaughey's unassuming-but-dangerous drawl.

Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 9, 2012
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

Friedkin's pretty shrewd himself, in how he teases out the humor without indulging Letts' immature glibness, and how he sidesteps Bible Belt baptism to waterboard us in the sewer of selfish human nature.

Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2012
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gleeful and unapologetic descent into delicious decadence, Killer Joe is proud of what it is and never tries to be something it isn't.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2012
Ian Buckwalter
The Washingtonian

Friedkin plays a trick that might be mean if it wasn't so fascinating to see him pull off, blending laugh-out-loud humor with absolutely repulsive images, forcing disoriented and unsettled audiences to wind up laughing when they should be disturbed.

Full Review Source: The Washingtonian | Original Score: 7.9/10

August 6, 2012
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

That everything should go wrong is no surprise, but the wrong turns are taken so viciously -- Gershon, in particular, is appallingly treated, in closeup -- that they lead the film, adapted from the play by Tracy Letts, to the brink of abusive farce.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

August 6, 2012
Matthew Sorrento
Film International

A family (dis)member(ed) ... with a wink from an eye more bloodshot than smirking.

Full Review Source: Film International | Original Score: 10/10

August 5, 2012
Andrea Chase
Killer Movie Reviews

It's the sort of funny that encompasses both definitions of the word and that is watched, as often as not, with clenched teeth and the temptation to cover ones eyes fighting with the much stronger temptation to see what happens next.

Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews | Original Score: 4/5

August 3, 2012
Jeanne Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

"Killer Joe" is diabolically dark, and immensely entertaining.

Full Review Source: Kaplan vs. Kaplan

August 3, 2012
David Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

It is a concise, blistering, smoldering performance that deservedly should place McConaughey on the A-list of today's actors.

Full Review Source: Kaplan vs. Kaplan

August 3, 2012
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like a deep-fried Twinkie at the State Fair of Texas, Killer Joe is gooey, flavorful and bad for you. Dig in.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B

August 3, 2012
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle

At 76, Friedkin still holds our gaze with striking, often ghastly visual images, and despite the fact that McConaughey's entire wardrobe appears to have been rented from Villains "R" Us, Killer Joe lands blow after blow to the psyche.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 3.5/5

August 3, 2012
Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The action and dialogue find the same squalid level in time for the climactic scene, the cruel humiliation of a central character.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

August 3, 2012
Mark Dujsik
Mark Reviews Movies

[T]here is no way to say it without employing a pun -- it leaves a truly bad taste.

Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 2, 2012
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Out of the muck and mire of human depravity that is "Killer Joe," something magnificent comes: a killer performance by Matthew McConaughey.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

August 2, 2012
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is a tale of white trash immorality on a grand scale, of people who are ridiculous and yet dangerous, laughable but cunning, and really stupid ... yet sneaky.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

August 2, 2012
A.A. Dowd
Time Out Chicago

William Friedkin, that old '70s genre pro, seems reinvigorated by this cast of amoral schemers and their seedy stomping grounds.

Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago

August 2, 2012
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The bone-crunchingly violent film has luridly entertaining moments. But by its resolution, this sleazy Southern Gothic nightmare has simply gone off the rails.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

August 2, 2012
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion

Intriguing, if you can take the gore and nastiness that earned it the NC-17 rating...[and] there are compensations, not least McConaughey's mesmerizing performance.

Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion | Original Score: B-

August 2, 2012
Drew Hunt
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film harks back to the low-budget chamber pieces of Friedkin's early career, and he creates a perfect storm of montage and character interplay within a confined space, which culminates in a disturbing loss of humanity.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

August 2, 2012
Brian Tallerico

With what is arguably Matthew McConaughey's best performance to date, Killer Joe is easily one of the most memorable films of the year. You won't soon forget it. Even if you want to.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4.0/5.0

August 2, 2012
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