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Killer Joe (2011)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  29 June 2012 (UK)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 53,926 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 211 user | 370 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

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Cast

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Pizza Patron (as Graylen Banks)
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Pizza Manager (as Scott Martin)
Gregory C. Bachaud ...
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Storyline

Finding himself in considerable debt, Chris a Texan drug dealer, decides the only solution is to murder his mother to collect the insurance money. Getting together with his father, the ex-husband of Chris' mother, they decide to hire Joe Cooper a contract killer, who also happens to be a police detective. The plan is that the money will go to Chris' sister Dottie. However due to the size of the contract fee, Chris agrees that Joe can take Dottie as a retainer until the insurance comes through. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Murder never tasted so good. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong and disturbing violence, sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 June 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Killer Joe: A Twisted Redneck Trailer Park Murder Story  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,864 (USA) (27 July 2012)

Gross:

$220,282 (USA) (3 August 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene Dottie asks if Joe is a detective like Magnum PI. Matthew McConaughey was in the running for playing Magnum PI in a big budget movie remake of the series in 2007, as of 2012 the project is dead in the water. See more »

Goofs

When Joe opens the trunk of the car Adelle's eyes are open, but when he moves her body to the driver's seat the eyes are closed. See more »

Quotes

Chris Smith: Open the door!
Sharla Smith: [answers door, naked] What?
Chris Smith: Jesus, put some clothes on! The whole neighborhood can see. Why would you answer the door like that?
Sharla Smith: I didn't know it was you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The unrated DVD retains the MPAA's NC-17 graphic at the end, although the rating was surrendered. See more »

Connections

References Face/Off (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Are You Going Back There Tonight
Written and performed by Billy Bacon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Jet-black climax manages to cement a rather average film into the memory
12 November 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Texan drug-dealer Chris (Emile Hirsch) lands himself in hot water, owing money to a gang of big-time criminals. After being refused money by his father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church), Chris comes up with a plot to have his mother murdered, collecting the life insurance money that he believes will pass to his sister Dottie (Juno Temple). To do the deed, they hire police detective and part-time contract killer 'Killer' Joe (Matthew McConaughey). Unable to pay his fees up front, Joe decides to take Dottie as collateral, who he asks to spend the night with, until the debt is paid.

Killer Joe's poster tagline reads 'A totally twisted, deep-fried, Texas redneck trailer park murder story', and really, that's precisely what it is. The central families sheer utter repulsiveness becomes the comedy vein that prevails throughout the plot, as we are greeted by Sharla (Gina Gershon), Ansel's second wife, opening her trailer door to reveal her hairy bush to a disgusted Chris. But Chris's loud-mouthed ineptness, Ansel's zombie-like idiocy, and Sharla's blatant man-eating are neutralised by Juno Temple's strange, quirky presence, and her submissive relationship with Killer Joe that is as unsettling as it is oddly sweet. It's a quite amazing performance, and her scenes with an almost equally impressive McConaughey provide the film's highlights.

If the film has a definite strong point, it is in the performances. While the aforementioned Temple and McConaughey will steal the plaudits, Haden Church's dumb, lurch-like performance reminds us why he was Oscar- nominated for the sublime Sideways (2004), providing a sympathetic character amongst Chris's waster and Sharla's trailer trash whore. It's a shame that the plot can't match the performances, and although the story takes a back-seat to the mish-mash of human monsters, this really could have been a whole lot more. This is Coen Brothers territory, taking place in that sweaty world of the Deep South, full of smoky bars, rusty trailers, cowboy hats, motorbikes and overweight, middle-aged men in vests, a modern-day noir world ripe with possibilities, one that I feel has been slightly wasted here.

But if you've ever wondered if a film's climatic scene would ever involved a woman performing fellatio on a chicken drumstick, then here is your answer. Killer Joe's final frames will undoubtedly divide audiences between those who get director William Friedkin's intentions to take things to Jacobian absurdity, to those who will feel it as a silly contradiction to the film early, more subtle black humour. It's a splurge of extreme, uncomfortable violence with a sprinkling of farce, as the true psychological unbalance of Killer Joe becomes evident. Myself, I found it rather hilarious, and it managed to cement what is really an average film with only spatters of inspiration into my memory.

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