Joe - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joe Reviews

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Geoff Pevere
Globe and Mail
May 2, 2014
The shifting tones keep the movie both buoyant and firmly grounded, and playing out in a sphere pitched somewhere between the mythic and the muddy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 1, 2014
A tough rural drama by David Gordon Green that digs deep in all the right ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
April 18, 2014
It's young Sheridan's Gary who makes the film work, with his mix of earnest ambition, stubborn courage and hopeful endurance. He gives "Joe" the honesty it needs.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
April 17, 2014
A small-scale, expertly acted character study in which Cage plays an ex-con trying to make a quiet living in a backwater Texas town and trying, above all, to keep certain troublesome character tendencies in check.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
April 17, 2014
What happens along the way isn't particularly surprising to those familiar with Southern gothic sensibilities. But if the path is predictable, the acting is not.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
April 11, 2014
For Nicolas Cage, whose dumb, rant-for-hire projects have lately been making audiences forget how good he can be, Joe is more than a rescue - it's a re-birth.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 11, 2014
The film belongs to Cage. You can feel his compassion as Joe defies the reduced options of his life. There's not an unfelt moment in Cage's performance. Or in the movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Sobczynski
RogerEbert.com
April 11, 2014
This is not just the best performance that [Cage] has given in ages-this is one of the very best performances of his long and strange career.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Tony Hicks
San Jose Mercury News
April 11, 2014
"Joe" ties up the audience emotionally.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 11, 2014
This world feels studied in its "authenticity": the rusted GMC pickup, the tumbledown shack, the boozy brothel, and angry Joe Ransom guttin' deer and tending to his own gunshot wounds with a grimace and a bottle of alcohol.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Stamets
Chicago Sun-Times
April 10, 2014
Gripping and at times agonizing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
April 10, 2014
If you've missed Nicolas Cage and the special qualities he brings to movies, "Joe" is a good place to get reacquainted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
April 10, 2014
Poulter's intensity matches Cage's, note for note. The frightening verisimilitude of his portrayal lends the film a cinema verite realism that nicely mutes some of Cage's star power.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
April 10, 2014
Though "Joe" occasionally slips and falters, the filmmakers and actors get all the hard-luck details right. Besides, it's nice to see its star out of the cage for a change.
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Peter Keough
Boston Globe
April 10, 2014
Whatever you call it, it's not quite right.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
April 10, 2014
Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan can't save this story -- about a righteous ex-con becoming the surrogate father to an abused boy -- from turning into an exercise in rural wretchedness.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
April 10, 2014
Mr. Cage gives his most committed performance in years as this divided soul, but it still looks like acting when compared with Mr. Poulter's embodiment of pure evil.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 10, 2014
Cage surprises you with his portrayal of a man who doesn't care whether the world likes him but discovers he's capable of taking an interest in someone who desperately needs help but can't bring himself to ask.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
April 10, 2014
While Green deftly brings us into this small Texas town, perfectly capturing its inhabitants and their humid surroundings, the script by Gary Hawkins (adapting the novel by Larry Brown) overplays its hand.
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 10, 2014
"Joe" is not handsome or especially smart, but like its namesake, the film has enough rough humor and respect for hard work to qualify as average.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 10, 2014
The characters are rich and round with human contradictions. Joe, despite his police rap sheet and outlaw temperament, has a core of tenderness and humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 10, 2014
A beautiful film, shot by Tim Orr, that is elevated by Mr. Cage's stirring portrait of a violence-prone man who can't restrain himself from doing good.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
April 10, 2014
This kind of character could be deeply unappealing, but Cage appreciates the soulfulness of the story, as well as the swamp of backwoods Americana from which it springs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 10, 2014
If there is a point to it all, I couldn't find it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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A.A. Dowd
AV Club
April 10, 2014
What's commendable about Cage's performance, given his usual tendency to go as far over the top as possible, is the way the actor downplays even the occasional surge of violent emotion.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Amy Nicholson
L.A. Weekly
April 9, 2014
Joe is Cage's periodic reminder that he's one of his generation's great talents. Perhaps he's reminding himself.
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Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
April 9, 2014
They may be all too rare these days, but there are still occasions when Nicolas Cage can surprise us, flashing hints of his old acting-without-a-net self.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 9, 2014
When Cage doesn't grandstand, you can see what made him so likable once: his boyish earnestness, his touching lack of cynicism.
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Amy Nicholson
Village Voice
April 8, 2014
Joe is a miserably perfect portrait of a culture on the brink of collapse.
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
April 8, 2014
Green, as is his wont, too often strains for poetic effect through flowery voiceover and tone-deaf interactions-like those between Joe and his latest short-term girlfriend-that undercut the genuineness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
September 13, 2013
If "Joe" marks a new beginning for some of its characters, the same description applies to its director and star.
Full Review | Original Score: b+
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
September 13, 2013
Rough-hewn and sometimes too garrulous, Joe may not be quite the equal of Green's earlier films. But it's nicely judged and, like Joe's bad dreams, can't be ignored.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
September 13, 2013
The whole thing makes Winter's Bone look as cheerful as a Li'l Abner strip, and there's something distastefully condescending about it.
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David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
September 13, 2013
Where it really works is in Cage's bone-deep characterization of a man at war with himself, as tightly leashed as the badass bulldog that guards his house.
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Justin Chang
Variety
September 13, 2013
A patiently observed, often unsettlingly violent drama that can't help but feel overly familiar in some of its particulars, rich in rural texture but low on narrative momentum or surprise
Top Critic
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
September 11, 2013
Ultimately comes together as a striking character meditation.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.0/10