The Paperboy Reviews

Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
October 26, 2012
"The Paperboy" is one of those rare examples where you might wish the movie was less faithful to the book.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 19, 2012
Yes, it's a dizzying stew set to boil.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 19, 2012
The Paperboy is southern Gothic wallowing in the swamp of low camp. And if the wallowing were deliberate, this might have been hugely funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 18, 2012
The Paperboy bears some promise as a good-bad movie, but it unfolds as a bad-bad one.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 11, 2012
It's a movie that seems to have a mild form of heatstroke: it's blurry, as if filmed long ago, and feverish, and the story wanders all over the place as if lost in a bayou. When it's over, you want to wipe your brow.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 11, 2012
The Paperboy is over-the-top every which way you look.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 11, 2012
This one has it all: sex, violence, torture, incest, jellyfish attacks, telekinetic masturbation, Nicole Kidman peeing on Zac Efron and a gator gutted in revolting close-up.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 11, 2012
This is just the sort of movie certain people are hoping to see when they go to the movies but would never say they go to the movies for.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 11, 2012
"The Paperboy" suggests something Tennessee Williams might have come up with, if he didn't know how to string together a plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
October 8, 2012
It's a good story about people who are not what they seem, about identity wavering in the heat-a true swamp tale-but the movie is messily ineffective.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 5, 2012
Simple ugly trash.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 5, 2012
The entire cast of "The Paperboy" glistens with a golden sheen, as if they've been sprayed with Pam cooking oil.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
October 5, 2012
'The Paperboy" can't decide whether to be an unfunny sex comedy, a half-hearted detective story or a woeful race drama - so it decides to be all three ...
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 4, 2012
The movie is definitely a mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
October 4, 2012
There is so much grit in Kidman and McConaughey's performances, it's a lot for Efron to stand up to, but he does a good job of giving Jack a cocky innocence that is disarming.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 4, 2012
Daniels' deft adaptation of Pete Dexter's 1996 novel is even more disturbing on screen than on the page. It's a Southern Gothic noir thriller with a terrific ensemble cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
October 4, 2012
Some of The Paperboy's missteps would be forgivable if Daniels delivered them with any conviction, but he doesn't seem capable of it.
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
October 4, 2012
Ludicrously obsessed with sex to often laughable extremes, it's the rare film that can be described as "horny."
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 4, 2012
This hot mess got booed by the snobs at Cannes, but there's no denying its profane energy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
October 4, 2012
There is so much sweaty, gum-smackin', Southern-accented *acting* going on, you'd applaud if you weren't appalled.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 4, 2012
The movie curls back and forth as sinuously as a snake through the bayou, tracing the fine line between desire and degradation.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
October 4, 2012
Most of the acting in "The Paperboy" is actually pretty restrained, which helps you adjust to all the alligator guts, swamp water and naked flesh.
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
October 4, 2012
I'll give this to The Paperboy: It's never boring.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 4, 2012
It's errant camp, which has the effect of undermining our involvement in the mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 4, 2012
It is by turns lurid, humid, florid, languid and stupid, but it is pretty much all id all the time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
October 4, 2012
Why is The Paperboy so bizarrely dull? It's as if the filmmakers combined 18 different kinds of scalding-hot peppers, yet inexplicably emerged with oatmeal.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 4, 2012
"The Paperboy" is great trash, and as Pauline Kael told us, the movies are so seldom great art that if we can't appreciate great trash, we might as well not go at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 3, 2012
The movie as a whole is a rather grim, dismal experience where the elements never quite gel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
October 3, 2012
The Paperboy doesn't hold together as a sensible piece of work. But as an insensible piece of work, it's pretty jaw-dropping.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 3, 2012
You start squirming early and end up feeling you desperately need a bath.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Time Out
October 2, 2012
Merely, if spiritedly, profane.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Jonathan Kiefer
Village Voice
October 2, 2012
Sometimes hot messiness has its charms.
Top Critic
Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
May 30, 2012
Lurid, touching, and not quite like anything I've ever seen.
Top Critic
Mary Corliss
TIME Magazine
May 25, 2012
All the actors rise or bend to the challenge, giving juicy performances and seemingly having a fine old time.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
May 25, 2012
The most repugnant and inept movie to be inexplicably treated like high art since...whaddaya know, since Precious (Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire), the last film directed by Lee Daniels.
Full Review | Original Score: D-
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
May 25, 2012
'The Paperboy' just feels inept - with the odd, fun moment of bite-your-tongue high camp emerging from the chaos.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
May 24, 2012
This is a tale of murder, idealistic journalism, warped sexual desires, a slipshod legal system and inbred backwater types hostile to outsiders.