Killer Joe - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Killer Joe Reviews

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April 9, 2016
Extraordinary piece of filmmaking from an outstanding cast. Brutal, tense, distasteful and yet utterly brilliant.
March 11, 2016
Equal parts hilarious, vile, and demented, elevated by top-notch performances across the board led by a magnetic McConaughey.
January 29, 2016
This is where Mathew McConaughey turned from rom-coms to a serious actor. This is difficult material and the directed steered this crazy train down a steep slope into the messiness of morally corrupt individuals. Well worth a watch if you have the stomach for it.
January 21, 2016
Welcome to Killer Joe's Texas, where the men are violent, the women are naked, and all are dumb and ruthless. Killer Joe was a play, and you can tell when you watch the movie. It has that claustrophobic feel that is the hallmark of movies based on plays: only a few contained locations and dialogue heavy. Also, like many movies based on plays, it's EXTREMELY WELL WRITTEN! The pacing, the plot, the dialogue are all razor sharp. You can tell that the actors are in pig heaven. The very fact that so many big stars took heavy pay cuts to be in such a small film should tell you something. They're wallowing in it and savoring every moment. Every scene crackles with tension and deadpan humor. Jaw-dropping, thought provoking, and frequently hilarious, Killer Joe was one of the best movies of 2012.
December 12, 2015
I had wanted to see this for a while as I believe it is the film that turned Matthew McConaughey's career around. He plays against type and is great in this film that is twisted and filled with very dark humour. Unfortunately I didn't like the story or anyone else in the film so can't recommend it. Worth watching solely for McConaughey's performance.
Super Reviewer
½ December 3, 2015
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.
½ November 25, 2015
Did you ever think, for one moment, a fictional film could put you off fried chicken for life? If the answer is no, you've clearly never witnessed Killer Joe. Crafted by the man who brought us such classics as The French Connection and The Exorcist, William Friedkin comes close to outshining many a controversial director, by creating an extremely difficult and in some cases, beyond watchable nightmare, that will most likely divide opinion for another 10 years or so. Killer Joe follows the Smith family, a dim whited and simple family, who find themselves in way over their head, when a plot to kill their own mother, in order to gain her life insurance, goes well beyond wrong. At points playing like an early Coen Brothers movie, Killer Joe has a peculiar charm and sense of humor, its script, chalk full of indecencies, some too disturbing not to break a nervous cackle over, which will leave many audience members reeling in anger, and that's kind of the point. It feels unbearable, mostly when McConaughey is sharing screen time with anybody. He snarls and sweats his way through the material like slime, dripping from a rusted drain pipe, its such a demanding performance, even his co stars look completely baffled for the films run time. Friedkin really goes to town here, allowing the source material and theatre structure of the script plenty of time to breathe, its a welcomed turn of events, rarely seen is a film where actors can slowly, calmly and coherently allow the dialogue to take over, this shows off the writings potential in a mammoth way. At the end of the day, Killer Joe has all the hallmarks of a Ken Russell film, close to the bone and daring, however it is so pungent that a vast quantity of cinema goers will despise everything about it. Its not user friendly, its exceptionally slow, its high tension, blood curdiling and completely uncomfortable to watch. Roll that up with an exterior layer of sexism and abusive behavior towards women and your seriously making this a hard sell for anyone. Killer Joe doesnt care if you loath it, mainly it just wants a reaction and you'd have to be a stone cold killer not to give it one. Harsh, unsettling and brutal, Killer Joe will frighten off more people than it may appeal to, however those willing to sit through its subject matter, may find an experience quite like no other.
November 6, 2015
Killer Joe is a potent little movie that is both thrilling and vulgar; the comedic backdrop only heightens the tension - a smart blending to be sure. Still, this is a fine example of why Hirsch's career never really gained traction.
½ November 3, 2015
It's good to see that Matthew McConaughey along with the other main actors/ actresses in this movie are capable of acting such a varied role in this movie compared with other movies they have been in. I found this storyline a bit too much for a movie in places, hence my lowered rating. However, I didn't get bored and it was watchable the one time.
October 31, 2015
Awesome freaking movie. Matthew McConaughey 's acting, especially style throughout the movie is freakin A.
October 9, 2015
Killer Joe is not a bad movie but it's just not good. I wouldn't watch it again.
October 3, 2015
DARK | INSANE | TWISTED (86-out-of-100)
September 26, 2015
Great great masterpiece!
Super Reviewer
September 18, 2015
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.
September 18, 2015
Despite all the great actors chewing up the scenery here, this film proves to be a lurid tale that descends into violence. Although William Friedkin used to be one of the great directors in Hollywood (think "The Exorcist" and the "French Connection", just to name a couple), I don't think that he really hits the mark here at all. It seems to lack any sense of humor (except for Thomas Haden Church, who also hits the comic mark).
September 17, 2015
Despite all the great actors chewing up the scenery here, this film proves to be a lurid tale that descends into violence. Although William Friedkin used to be one of the great directors in Hollywood (think "The Exorcist" and the "French Connection", just to name a couple), I don't think that he really hits the mark here at all. It seems to lack any sense of humor (except for Thomas Haden Church, who also hits the comic mark).
½ September 14, 2015
The acting boosts up this rating as the movie itself is one of those movies about poor white trash doing poor, white trashy things in Texas like living in trailer parks, pimping out your sister, and generally just looking dirty and trashy throughout. There are some very NC-17ish scenes that really earn this rating. Gina Gershon providing fellatio on a KFC chicken leg comes to mind. And Juno Temple's bush. File this under weird but probably worth a viewing.
½ September 7, 2015
A messed-up movie -- good, but disturbing.
August 14, 2015
Slightly comic in its approach, it can be quite brutal at times too, with Matthew McConaughey really enjoying his unlikeable character and letting loose on everyone else with him.
July 31, 2015
Matthew McConaughey is a revelation in this twisted dark comic thriller that ranks with the Coen Brothers "Fargo" & "Blood Simple"!
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