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The Paperboy
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The Paperboy More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

the director's gaze

Author: christopher-underwood from United Kingdom
19 March 2013

With all the talk of this being too, violent, too crude and too violent, I thought maybe I was in for a treat, but not really. Now everyone in this does their level best. Despite the terrible script everyone performs their part as well as possible. That the piece remains unsatisfactory is because, seemingly, Lee Daniels is no great shakes at the directing job. For every good thing that Nicole Kidman does there is a bad edit or nonsense cut to take away any impact that might have been achieved. It is as if the director is aware of the possibility of creating devastating sequences but breaks it all up to avoid that very event. Full of good moments and potentially great moments, this is all over the place and in the end the only thing vaguely of interest is the director's gaze upon Zac Efron. Why have all that great b/w opening and then forget about it and wallow in some kid's fantasy life with his maid or his subsequent ridiculous longing for the older Kidman character, even if she is rather fetchingly trashed up?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not sure if i like it

Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
2 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is about a journalist and his team who investigates a jailed inmate's supposed crime of murdering of a sheriff.

The investigation of the murder only serves as a backdrop to tell the story of the there main characters. Matthew McConaughey is a homosexual journalist, Zac Efron is a young man who has love to give, while Nicole Kidman is a messed up woman that it's almost unrecognisable as the normally elegant Nicole Kidman. The characters in turn are vehicles for a lot of sex, vulgarity and nudity. For example, Nicole Kidman urinates graphically on Zac Efron. Nicole Kidman masturbates. Matthew McConaughey in a kinky session that has gone horribly wrong. The film is more about these scenes than the actual story. It feels as if the film is fulfilling someone's sexual fantasy. I am not sure I like the film, but I am certainly impressed by the film makers' ability to make A list stars do such unconventional roles.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very good film if you are in the mood to follow it .

Author: markhitchen
15 February 2013

Fantastic film in the most, very well acted and drags you along at a steady pace .Most of the acting is of a high order ,this helps to deliver the story . The only drawback for me is that it's quite hard to grasp who the characters are, it wasn't till very late in the film that I could say I knew who everyone was .I would class this as a Indy film and a very good one at that. You will encounter some nice and some not so nice twists in the film . This film also contains some well added suspense .Every main character in the film is portrayed perfectly at first it fells very odd but the more you get into the film the more you appreciate the direction the film has took. The film is not like most of it's type and is worth the effort it takes to give it a chance .

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Unsure Why This Wasn't Well Received

Author: Semira Ariana from Canada
17 February 2014

Reading the reviews of this film I can see the point of view of why it might be trashy and "camp", though I would say this is a great exaggeration. There are one or two scenes that may be labeled as such but overall this movie contains beautiful shots, amazing acting from all 4 title names and a compelling story.

This is not my genre of film at all and I wouldn't call myself a Lee Daniels fan, though I wouldn't say I don't like him either, but the story, cinematography and of course the acting hooked me in the first 5 mins and it was non stop till the end- the very end I assure you.

I highly recommend this film. Zac Efron proves himself if that's what may deter you from the film.

Great.. very pleasantly surprised at how well done this was. 8 for sure.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Unpleasant, and not in a good way

Author: stills-6 from california
31 May 2013

Extremely well-acted for the most part. Just to give you an idea, John Cusack gives the worst performance, and it's not all that bad. And the story idea is great. Fantastic even. I could see a great movie being made out of the narrative flow of the underlying plot. I could have gone without the useless narrator, but fortunately after the first 10 minutes or so, that doesn't make much of a nuisance of itself.

But hoo-boy what a terrible terrible execution of a good idea. As unpleasant a film as you will ever experience, but worse than that, it's pointlessly unpleasant.

"Boy, the swamps sure are a terrible place, look at how terrible they are. Ha, ha. It's so terrible. And The South, what a messed up place that was in the 60s and 70s. Ha, Ha. Look at these people and be horrified."

Absolutely worthless sentimentality drags this movie down at its core and every last ounce of humanity and dimension is wrung out of the characters to serve this sentiment. And to make matters worse, the focus of the narrative is all over the place. I'm sure many of these actors thought they were making an important movie at the time, and they seemed to put something extra into it. It's palpable how much they want to believe in it. Sadly, it was not worth the effort.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

...delivers bad news in a pointless, soggy, unreadable newspaper - straight to your doorstep...

Author: JimboDredd from United Kingdom
26 March 2013

Pointless, unsavoury characters take you on a pointless journey, to an unsavoury time and place of unsavoury attitudes - to a pointless destination.

A good cast in Mississippi Burning-meets The Help-meets Lawless, take you through some uncomfortable, unpleasant scenes to try to save an odious man who clearly is not worth saving.

Ultimately you get nothing from it. You will see some tortured, ambiguous characters treat themselves, each other and others appallingly. You will endure some uncomfortable scenes reminiscent of Bad Lieutenant. Your reward for your persistence through the bleakness is more bleakness and dissatisfaction...

The Paperboy does not know what it is delivering...Coming of age drama? Ambiguous race drama? Bayou noir thriller? If The Paperboy knew - or delivered its message better - then it might leave the viewer feeling that there was a point to it all...

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Realistic film, real issues, high quality direction and performances

Author: James Farmer from United Kingdom
29 March 2013

I seldom write reviews. I find them so one sided - ie my opinion. I felt compelled to add a little note regarding this film. The film characters and plot particularly develop subtley yet swiftly and elegantly take the viewer into the film and enclose one into the characters without the viewer realising, which to me means we have a fantastic film. Once watched I uhmmed and arrghed and felt that it rated a decent 7.5 / 10. But in the days after viewing I found myself reflecting on points in the film and acknowledging that another viewing is essential and well worth the greater depth I will gain. A really fulfilling, entertaining, supremely well acted (Kidman, as always nigh on perfect) and directed piece of film art. Well worth watching. A future classic in some circles (mine at least)

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: John E Chandler from Rome, NY
6 March 2013

I really wanted to finish the movie, but it was so uninteresting and silly that I didn't care how it ended and spent the last half hour I missed of it doing something constructive like returning this movie to the video store and paying the late fee. The person I was watching this with was thankful to me for speaking up and not torturing them any further. I expected something from this movie. Not something more, just something at all. Imagine the Lincoln Lawyer meets Boogie Nights meets Deliverance and somehow make a movie combining all the elements; but somehow do it with actors that are making the movie to get a paycheck and an editor that has a billion projects going at once.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Good performances, terrible story.

Author: estebangonzalez10 from Ecuador
15 February 2013

¨He never did get over his first true love.¨

The Paperboy is an early contender for worse film of the year. This pulpy film noir thriller is so messy that it's hard to make sense of everything that is going on. The story is just horrible with characters that are too hard to identify with. I couldn't care less for what was going to happen to them because they were all dislikeable characters, and I really couldn't figure out why they wanted to help each other out or why they were even together in the first place. The Paperboy tries too hard to mix everything together: a pulpy film noir, with some racial drama, a detective story (that never even solves anything), several anti-romances, and some unfunny comedy. This is just one of those trashy films that succeed in making you feel dirty, but you don't get anything of real value out of it. I also hated the way that the film was narrated in some scenes trying to explain everything to the viewer like if we were stupid and needed everything pointed out at us (yes, we can all understand that Efron's character was in love with Nicole Kidman because of his abandonment issues with his mother, there was no need to tell us that through voice over). The other problem I had was that the film tried too hard to shock us through several unpleasant scenes, like the close up of the gator being gutted, and these gross out scenes didn't really connect with the movie. That is the reason why I felt this film wasn't cohesive and was too messy. It is a shame because I loved Lee Daniels's previous film Precious, but this is a huge step backwards from that movie.

The film was based on Peter Dexter's novel of the same name and it takes place in South Florida during the late 60's. The story centers around the life of a reporter named Ward (Matthew McConaughey) who decides to return to his hometown to investigate a case about an inmate on death row. Ward is trying to catch a big break on this story involving the murder of a local police officer and the conviction of the supposed murderer, Hilary Van Wetter (John Cusack). Apparently there were some irregularities in the trial and Ward has decided to investigate the case with his partner, Yardley (David Oyelowo). They heard about the story through Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman) who happens to be sort of a death row groupie, who corresponds with these men through letters. She falls in love with Hilary and believes he is innocent, so she contacts Ward and Yardley and convinces them to chase this career making story. Together they work on the case in Ward's father's home where his younger brother, Jack (Zac Efron), still lives. Jack becomes the driver for the group taking them to the different locations they are investigating and immediately falls in love with Charlotte despite knowing she's attracted to the psychotic Hilary. The story is narrated by the house maid, Anita (Macy Gray).

The film does succeed in bringing the hot and steamy Florida weather on the screen and only watching the characters move make us feel hot and sweaty as well. This trashy film reminds us of some early 70's film noir movies with Nicole Kidman playing this sort of modern femme fatale character. Her gritty performance stands in deep contrast to Efron's sweet innocence. I had no problem with the cast. I thought they all gave strong performances, especially Nicole Kidman and John Cusack as these two sort of psychotic characters. I had never seen these actors in a role like this before. My major problem with the film was the messy story which ended up wandering all over the place and getting lost in the mix of everything. It is no wonder this film ended up getting booed at Cannes because it does fail to connect the major plot points. It was just a little too pulpy and steamy for my taste and it didn't work at all because I really disliked all these characters.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Weak Story. Shocking sub-plots abound

Author: (bob-rutzel-1) from United States
24 January 2013

Miami reporter Ward (M. Conaughey) believes that death row inmate Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) didn't get a fair trial in the killing of Sheriff Call.

Had this story been stronger and stayed on point this might not have been so bad. We knew what Ward was trying to do, but what we get are sub plots that get in the way of the mission and we are left with a director shocking his audience with a dual masturbation scene in the prison visitor room, slutty behavior of Charlotte (Nicole Kidman), paperboy Jack (Zac Efron) running around in his underwear who is in love with Charlotte, disgusting and sex-crazed obsessive behavior from Hillary, and a shocking secret about Ward.

So it's not about the story, it's about shock value and can you take it? Okay, okay the acting performances were good, but why would these big stars lower themselves to this level of depravity? You decide. After watching this I decided I needed to go to confession and take a long hot shower. (2/10)

Violence: Yes. Sex: Yes. Nudity: Yes. Masturbation scene: Yes. Language: Yes.

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