Critics Consensus

Rich in atmosphere and anchored by a powerful performance from Nicolas Cage, Joe is a satisfying return to form for its star -- as well as director David Gordon Green.



Total Count: 133


Audience Score

User Ratings: 18,936
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Movie Info

A gripping mix of friendship, violence and redemption erupts in the contemporary South in this adaptation of Larry Brown's novel, celebrated at once for its grit and its deeply moving core. Directed by David Gordon Green, JOE film brings Academy Award (R) winner Nicolas Cage back to his indie roots in the title role as the hard-living, hot-tempered, ex-con Joe Ransom, who is just trying to dodge his instincts for trouble - until he meets a hard-luck kid, (MUD's Tye Sheridan) who awakens in him a fierce and tender-hearted protector. (c) Roadside

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Critic Reviews for Joe

All Critics (133) | Top Critics (40)

Audience Reviews for Joe

  • Sep 06, 2015
    In this remake of a 1970 film by the same name, Nicholas Cage plays Joe, an ex-con and unlikely hero to a fifteen year old boy. The story is called Joe, and you'll figure out why by the end, but to be honest, I saw this film more as a coming of age story, with the majority of the focus on Gary (Tye Sheridan). Gary's family is difficult to say the least, both his parents are drug addicts, and it's up to him to earn a living to support his sister. One day while out in the woods, he comes across Joe, a man who owns a lumber company and persuades him to give him a job. Gary is a hard worker who comes to see his boss as more of a father figure than his own father, and when things get bad, he's turns to Joe for help. Joe is no saint though, as he has his own criminal past and is reluctant to get involved. This is one of these really dark, slow moving dramas, where everything may or may not be important to the story. The real action is spaced out, but when something happens, the intensity is off the charts. This film is very similar to, Winter's Bone, which also had a young lead trying to save her siblings. While Tye Sheridan is not Jennifer Lawrence, his more quiet demeanor makes him more likable in the eyes of the viewer. Sheridan is a kid who came out of nowhere to star in the independent film, Mud, and since then has become known for making these super dark, intense films, where he plays a quiet, reserved character that one can't help but root for. Nicholas Cage is equally as good in a role that is more dramatic than most of things he's done lately. That being said, Cage still has it and together with Sheridan make for one of the most interesting and unique films I've seen all year. The story and even the trailer seem to be a little dull, most people will look at this film and see it as too slow and dramatic, and at first, I thought so too, but as the film progresses it just gets better and better, ascending to the level of a must see movie.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 22, 2015
    Surprisingly good. Cage is good here, as is this film in general. I'm glad he made much as I enjoy his bad films as of late, it's kind of sad at the same time. Good for him for a making a solid film like this. It's actually a good contribution to the film world for once.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 03, 2014
    A grimy, dirty story of an ex-con named Joe (Nicolas Cage), who is running a successful tree poisoning business, until he slowly starts to become a father figure to an abused young boy (Tye Sheridan) who desperately wants to work for him and get away from his dangerous father (the late Gary Poulter). This film resembles "Mud" in many ways, especially by the presence of Sheridan who was in that film as well. However, what made "Mud" special was how the plot unfolded in a natural way and there seemed to be some direction behind the plot narrative. Here, the direction seems scattershot, like it does not know where it is going or what the point of the story is outside of "abuse is bad". The real treat here is the absolutely outstanding acting, especially from Cage who shows once again why he is one of the best actors on the planet when he is not doing stupid, silly blockbusters. Sheridan is special as well, and Poulter (an actual homeless man discovered and casted by the director) is Shakespearean level terrifying in his portrayal of a man with truly no soul. The movie has good intentions, and David Gordon Green is usually a solid director, but the way the plot unravels seems a bit contrived at times. Still, it may be worth seeing just for the performances alone, which are as said fantastic all-around.
    Dan S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 29, 2014
    A blisteringly intense, compelling and very powerful movie. Director, David Gordan Green finally returns to form with this southern drama that's gritty, gripping, deeply moving and brings us one of the best performances of Nicolas Cage's career.Green's best movie in years. Nicolas Cage has never been better, finally a return to greatness performance that shows he still has the goods. Cage is a total powerhouse, this movie is a must-see for his performance alone. An unforgettable piece of work by a great director and a tremendous star. Tye Sheridan gives a great and effective performance. This movie digs deep in all the right ways and hits you emotionally and hits you hard in the gut. This is strong drama at its very finest, its brilliant, riveting and haunting. A knockout. One of 2014's most impressive films by far. Bravo to all the work they put in on this one.
    Al S Super Reviewer

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