Killer Joe Reviews
Chris Smith (played by Emile Hirsch) is in a bind. He owes a loan-shark a fair bit of money, and the man has threatened to kill him if he does not produce the money within a few days. He does not have the money. He strikes upon a get-rich-quick plan: have his estranged mother killed and collect on the insurance money. He involves his father, Ansel (Thomas Haden Church), who buys into the deal for a share of the profit (him and Chris' mother are divorced and don't see eye-to-eye, so it wasn't a tough sell). Ansel then involves his 2nd wife, Sharla (Gina Gershon) and, due to her finding out about the plan, his daughter, Chris' sister, Dottie (Juno Temple). They hire a professional killer (who happens to also be a cop), "Killer Joe" Cooper (Matthew McConaughey). When they cannot pay him upfront, they reach an unusual deal on how to retain his services. This complicates matters, a lot.
An engaging and funny yet simultaneously dark and graphic drama. Clever plot - quite solid with some great twists, double-crosses and triple-crosses. Good sub-plots and some wonderfully quirky dialogue. Tarantinoesque at times. In fact the whole movie has a Tarantino-like vibe, but not quite with the same polish and attention-to-detail that a Tarantino movie has.
Ending is a bit unsatisfactory, and does negate some of the good that went before. It was heading for an even higher rating...
Great performances all round. Matthew McConaughey is wonderfully cool and aloof, yet damaged, as Killer Joe. He reminded me of his performance in True Detective Season 1. Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple and Gino Gershon are well cast and don't put a foot wrong. Pick of the these is Juno Temple, who mixes innocence and beauty and creates a wonderful sense of mystery and ambiguity about her character.
An understated, underrated gem.
Saw this on 7/5/16
Killer Joe is violent, full of nudity (Double Thumbs Up) and a daring effort from director Willaim Friedkin. However, the film's art hous movie like pacing and lack of thrills make it a bit disappointing.
Chris (Emile Hirsch) belongs to a dysfunctional family and is neck deep in debts with the wrong guy. He overhears that his mother has a fat insurance policy and the beneficiary is his young sister Dottie (Juno Temple). He convinces his father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) of a plan to murder her mother by putting a hit on her. His father who has divorced and re-married Sharla (Gina Gershon) agrees to this and so does the rest of the family unanimously. Chris recommends Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) a reputed hit-man also a cop who has a strict advance pay policy. When the family could not meet that, Joe gives them another offer.
From the word go the tone is set to be sleazy and gory and the same continues for the rest of the movie. The actors with their limited talent gives in their best shot even if the script does not demand of it. The characters, their home is presented in different ways during different circumstances. For example when they start out all are scarcely dressed, drugs everywhere, spitting in the living room etc, rest of the scenes it is spic and span with all of them well dressed throughout. McConaughey who mostly plays the well-dressed lawyer or a boyish charmer takes the darker side this time as a sleazy, sadistic bad guy but not betraying his Texan accent. The final humiliation scene works well as a shocker. The movie knows its target audience and the selling points playing close to its strengths with hardly any deviation. It could have been lot worse but stays afloat with a director who has a presence of mind and a steady hand.
Mainstream thriller done with a solid business mind