Killer Joe (2012)
Critic Consensus: Violent, darkly comic, and full of strong performances, Killer Joe proves William Friedkin hasn't lost his touch, even if the plot may be too lurid for some.
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Critic Reviews for Killer Joe
If you like your movies filled with twisted humor, sexual perversion, psychological intimidation and sudden violence, "Killer Joe" is the flick for you.
Watching "Killer Joe" to the bitter end is like playing the Pick 6 lottery and getting three of the numbers right. You don't win anything, but you still think you're smarter than all those other idiots.
You will either love "Killer Joe" or run away screaming. I absorbed this NC-17 nail bomb with awestruck admiration.
[Friedkin] has retained his touch ... all these years later. And in Matthew McConaughey, he has the perfect vehicle for madness.
You end up feeling sorry for all the actors forced to humiliate themselves, except for McConaughey, whose portrayal of sadistic, manipulative evil is mesmerizing.
The movie frequently clicks as a sendup of over-the-top film-noir storytelling.
Audience Reviews for Killer Joe
It is like the Coen brothers meet David Lynch in this depraved, vicious and incredibly gripping festival of sadism that Friedkin puts us through - a spectacular thriller that is both brutal and hilarious in a twisted way, like what he did in his fantastic Bug, also written by Tracy Letts.
A young drug dealer falls into debt, so he trades his sister for the services of a hitman, who will kill his mother for insurance money. Tracy Letts and William Friedkin follow up their relentless, paranoid thriller Bug with an even more relentless thriller in Killer Joe. Like Bug, it's almost impossible to tell where the plot is going, yet each turn is logical and character-driven. The action moments seem shoe-horned in, but the interactions between the characters are profoundly disturbing and occasionally disarmingly funny. The performances by Matthew McConaughey (the first film in his insurgence toward Oscar-worthy work), Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple, and Gina Gershon are all fantastic. Hirsch and Temple are especially good with characters stripped of dignity and gazing wide-eyed at the world's depravity. Overall, Letts and Friedkin are great together, and Killer Joe is a wonderfully disturbing follow-up.
I loved this play. I remember it being riotously funny. The humor just didn't translate to the film, and opening up the locations didn't help it any.
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