The Paperboy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Paperboy Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2016
It looks and feels like something made in the 1970s but with a sordid quality that makes it so absurdly hilarious in all its filthy nonsense - thanks also to a terrific performance by Nicole Kidman as the trashy Southern blonde, who steals every scene she appears in.
½ June 19, 2016
Seriously one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I actually despise this film. Every character is hateful and unlikable. The story is convoluted and ridiculous. Hate this movie.
May 15, 2016
one of the most reprehensible films seen in years, honestly who need to see this imagery. Why on earth would these wonderful actors agree to be shown in this film. Beyond belief.
½ January 17, 2016
One of the most awful movies I have ever seen in my life. I would recommend that no one watch this with a weak stomach or who loves any of these amazing actors. Terrible.
½ December 29, 2015
What the hell did I just watch? Such amazing actors in such a horrible movie. I only watched it because my husband clicked on it in Netflix. He said, "But it had such a great cast."
December 26, 2015
Yes, "The Paperboy" is the movie where Nicole Kidman pees on Zac Efron. It is also one where two leading characters are able to achieve orgasm just through eye contact, where white trailer trash, white trash, and trash is taken to new levels. Few films made today are able to recapture the quintessential garbage of 1970s exploitation movies, so kudos to "The Paperboy" to giving lurid an entirely new meaning. Shame that it isn't enjoyable enough to walk into so bad it's good territory. Then it could have been a cult classic.
But the film seems to be stuck in a rut, so obsessed with its aesthetic qualities (Southern fried soap opera, indulgent in wild sex and icky violence, meets soul music, pulp, and questionable coming-of-age tropes) that it forgets that, in order to be successfully trashy, you also have to have something in the way of shameless entertainment. Instead, we are forced to endure melodrama that never quite clicks, its story too incomprehensible to be interesting, its smelly, messy atmosphere too distracting for us to think about anything else besides taking a shower minutes after meeting the conclusion.
The film, narrated by Macy Gray, tells a story of dangerous love and scandal set in a racially divided 1960s Florida, where sweat drips more interminably than contingencies of morality. It follows the exploits of Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and his younger brother Jack (Efron), the former an investigative journalist, the latter a swimmer kicked out of college for drunken vandalism. Ward is in town with his writing partner, Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo), in hopes to cover a potentially career making story that involves the wrongful incarceration of Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), who is accused of killing a local sheriff. The plot thickens when Charlotte Bless (Kidman), Hillary's pen pal and soon-to-be wife, enters the scene and steals Jack's impressionable heart away.
Critics in favor of "The Paperboy's" sycophantic ruses praise it for never being boring, for achieving tacky drama far more rabid than anything Tennessee Williams could ever dream up. But the film smells like trash, looks like trash, and tastes like trash - I could be wrong, but, last time I checked, a triple serving of trash isn't Petrossian caviar; it's trash. It isn't boring, sure, but only because we are, more or less, sickened for most of the running time, which might not be a dull sensation but can sure be awfully monotonous.
Remarkably, there is some good to be found within the crusty walls of "The Paperboy," most of it having to do with its actors. Kidman is excellent as the film's sleazy wet dream, grossly sexy one minute, vulnerable the next, and Efron proves himself to be more talented than most people with functioning eyes have deemed him to be in years past. John Cusack is classically unsettling.
But dysfunction is more prevalent than clarity - McConaughey seems to be acting in a better, more lustrous movie, and Lee Daniels (who found triumph with "Precious" three years earlier and would find it again with 2013's "The Butler) seems to forget that most audiences cannot stomach scrap so heavily and so without pause. It's a bad movie with probable mastery, but it undermines potential with every breath it takes. And yeah, the whole urination fiasco is gratuitous, and so is that weird as hell simultaneous public climax. A head-scratcher.
December 11, 2015
An interesting indie flick with a strong performance from Nicole Kidman.
December 6, 2015
Easily one of the worst movies I have ever wasted 45 minutes on. I fast forwarded through most of the really unpleasant and disturbing scenes, and finally decided to just stop the DVD and watch something that deserves my attention. And if you like John Cusack, definitely give this a miss, you will never be able to enjoy another John Cusack movie. I don't know what they were trying to achieve, it sucks on every level.
November 2, 2015
It's hard to fathom what theme or storyline is dominant, there's lots of different ones going on in here, however the sum of its parts make for a decent piece of cinema, with John Cusack, although not outstanding, putting in his best performance for many years.
September 29, 2015
I couldn't help but be charmed by the exceptional cast. But yes, most of it was cheap and unnecessary.
½ August 11, 2015
Interesting and i'd say intense thriller with many elements, beginning with comedy and ending with detective. Extraordinary performances especially of Kidman. Marvelously shot.
½ July 21, 2015
Big cast wasted for such a weak story.
½ July 19, 2015
This movie is a trip!!! Shocking roll for John C!
½ June 29, 2015
This was a very dark movie with some twists that seemed unnecessary to the story. John Cusack was brilliant as the creepy con.
½ June 19, 2015
The performances are the reason to watch this film,the story is not nearly as strong.Nicole Kidman will forevermore be this deprived character to me,it's not easy to forget a scene where someone's Jelly Fish stings are peed on to save him. There are a few memorable scenes, but in time I will have forgotten the film in which they are in.
May 3, 2015
Not the most disgusting movie ever made, but it sure will divide the audience and leave some with sour in their mouths. The Paperboy has a strong cast and it is not without moments. As an art-house film, it is above-average. As an entertainment, not so much.
May 1, 2015
Its cast takes what they're given and go all out with it which does help the film's entertainment value, but on a whole, The Paperboy is a melodramatic potboiler that appears to completely forget its initial plot halfway through.
½ April 29, 2015
Couldn't understand what the feck they were saying most of the time. But thank god for the law that says Zac Efron must take his top off in every film.
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