The Killer Inside Me (2010)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The Killer Inside Me is stylish and beautifully shot, but Michael Winterbottom's distance from his characters robs this often brutally violent film of crucial emotional context.


Movie Info

Based on the novel by legendary pulp writer Jim Thompson, "The Killer Inside Me" tells the story of handsome, charming, unassuming small-town deputy sheriff Lou Ford, who has a bunch of problems. Women problems. Law-enforcement problems. And an ever-growing pile of murder victims in his west Texas jurisdiction. All the while Lou manages to remain his stoic self. However, as evidence is discovered over the course of the investigation, suspicion begins to fall on Lou. But in this savage and bleak … More

Rating: R (for disturbing brutal violence, aberrant sexual content and some graphic nudity)
Genre: Western , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Winterbottom, John Curran, John J. Curran
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 28, 2010
Box Office: $0.2M
Runtime:
IFC Films - Official Site

Cast


as Sheriff Lou Ford

as Amy Stanton

as Joyce Lakeland

as Chester Conway

as Joe Rothman

as Sheriff Bob Maples

as Howard Hendricks

as Billy Boy Walker

as Bum/Stranger

as Deputy Jeff Plummer

as Johnnie Pappas

as Elmer Conway

as Max Pappas

as Mike, 15

as Turnkey/Guard

as Courthouse Secretary

as Dispatcher #1

as Courthouse Diner Wai...

as Police Dispatcher #2

as Howard Hendricks
Show More Cast

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

Login

Critic Reviews for The Killer Inside Me

All Critics (124) | Top Critics (29)

This adaptation of Thompson's 1952 novel about a cunning, psychotic sheriff's deputy in a small Texas town locates the killer inside him and immerses us in the cold calculation and horrible logic that pull him from one murder to the next.

Full Review… | January 3, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The heralded "violent" scene practically screams "We need domestic distribution!" I don't think anyone in this movie actually likes this movie.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013
Deadspin

The end result is an overlong adaptation that primarily comes off as a complete and total misfire...

Full Review… | March 10, 2012
Reel Film Reviews

The Film Critic Inside Me ...

Full Review… | June 30, 2011
The Ooh Tray

Affleck is great here.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Movies.com

An excellent film which takes some big, brave steps in the crime genre...

Full Review… | February 3, 2011
What Culture

Audience Reviews for The Killer Inside Me

½

Lou Ford: I got a foot on both sides of the fence. They were put there early and they stayed put. I can't move. I can't jump. All I can do is wait until I split, right down the middle.

Michael Winterbottom is a director who I can say, after only seeing three of his films, The Killer Inside Me being the third and A Mighty Heart and Road to Guantanamo being the other two, that I respect. It's rare that a director hooks you like that after only seeing a few of his movies, but Winterbottom is an extremely interesting direct. He doesn't shy away from material, that's for damn sure. Movies like A Mighty Heart and Road to Guantanamo show that off excellently. The Killer Inside Me does too. There's a lot of really disturbing and disgusting material, some shown and some hinted at, and also highly psycho-sexual.

A small town deputy sheriff hovers between two lives, his simple life as a deputy and the other part of him that comes out. We get a lot of backstory throughout the film that explains why Lou Ford has the killer inside him and it's done in a really clever and interesting way. 

While this isn't as good as the other two films I've seen from Winterbottom, I still really liked it and think it's highly underrated. I thought Casey Affleck nailed his role as Lou Ford. He came off as not just a believable psychopath, but a perfect psychopath. The supporting cast surrounding Affleck is interesting to say the least. We get Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty and Bill Pullman, along with some Texas accented character actors. None of them really help the movie at all, there all kind of just there, which makes sense given the main characters lack of empathy for other human beings. 

The Killer Inside Me is definitely worth a watch. It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but it's a solid crime thriller with a surprisingly excellent performance from Casey Affleck. It has a nice pace and Winterbottom's direction is extremely clever. 

More
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

This is the first film from Michael Winterbottom that I've seen, so I will have to just judge it on its own merits and won't be able to see how it fits into his filmography as a whole. It's also the second adaptation of Jim Thompson's acclaimed 1952 noir crime novel, and this time, I'm actually familair with the source material.

And I'm happy to say that this does the source material a pretty good amount of justice, and, given the time when the film was made, it's able to really showcase the more grisly content of the story. Even then, the film garnered controversy for the violent content, but I'd really be amazed to know what people thought of it in the 1950s.

The story concerns 29 year-old Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford, all the people in his small West Texas town know him to be quiet, unassuming, and a decent guy. What they don't know is that, beneath the surface, he's a sociopath with a penchant for sexual violence and sadomasochistic tendencies. He gets involved in a scheme goen wrong, and ends up havign to pile with a big string of muders...all committed by him. And thigns get worse from there, since murdering seems to be the only way to get through the progressively dire situation.

In a lot of ways, this comes off like something the Coen Brothers would do (either Blood SImple or No Country For Old Men, especially), though this might be far darker, and especially more lurid, and definitely without a trace of quirk or really any kind of humor, black or otherwise. It's a thrillingly warped tale, and a great character study that really gets into the mind of a psycho. It does sometimes feel really emotionally empty and closed off from the characters, but even then, you can't help but feel engaged and really want to find out what will happen.

Casey Affleck really shines here as Ford, and his portrait of Ford is disturbing, unrelenting, super creepy, and absolutely some of his best work to date. Jessica Alba surprisingly is also good as the prostitute that Ford gets involved with who gets the whole messy situation going. She actually is pretty believable, and she should consider taking on more dark and edgy work like this. The rest of the supprting cast has a lot of notable names like Kate Hudson, Simon Baker, Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, and Bill Pullman, and they all deliver some decent work as well.

The soundtrack is sizzling, and really ecclectic, and the opening credits (set to the original version of "Fever" by Little Willie John) really got me excited right from the start, and from there the film kept on mostly delivering the goods. The cinematography and location work is fantastic, and the direction, well, it's not bad. The film meanders once in a while, but never really full on drags. It still keeps one's attention though, so yeah.

If you can stomach lurid subject matter, graphic content (often directed at females), and want to see one of the darkest and grittiest film noir thrillers out there, then defintiely give this a shot. I'm torn between 4 and 4.5, so let's give it the highest possible B+ ever.

More
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Weary of its graphic depiction of violence that it has become renowned for, I avoided sitting down with this film for quite a while. However, I found Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of Jim Thompson's chilling & infamous noir to be a maniacal, but enjoyable ride.
Well-behaved & mild-mannered, deputy sheriff Ford (Affleck) oversees the goings on in an idyllic West Texas town. Oozing southern gentility, behind Ford's mask of sanity lies a lurid past and the sadomasochist tendencies that have haunted him ever since. Imbued with noir sensibilities and rich style, Winterbottom plunges the viewer into the cold calculations of a sociopath. He nails the 50's aesthetic with his use of muted colors and an exquisite set design. And, while it is only a minor part of the film, he crafts probably my favorite opening credit sequence of all time.
Affleck is also excellent here. Easily giving his best performance to date. However, he unfortunately shares a generous amount of screen time with Hudson and Alba, who in my opinion don't deserve such weighty roles.
While the script could have used a bit more doctoring and the ending suffered from some lackluster special effects, Winterbottom's adaptation is undeserving of the "art-house torture porn" label that it has been given.

More
axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

The Killer Inside Me Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Dennis B (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Killer Inside Me on our Movie forum!