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Killer Joe (2011)

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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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(screenplay), (play)
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1,796 ( 369)
9 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Gralen Bryant Banks ...
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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Available for hire. Terms and conditions will apply. 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:

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Release Date:

29 June 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Killer Joe: A Twisted Redneck Trailer Park Murder Story  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$1,987,762 (USA) (12 October 2012)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (cut)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film marks the second adaptation of a Tracy Letts play by William Friedkin (the first being the film Bug (2006). See more »

Goofs

When Sharla is leafing through the photos, she's is using both hands in the close-up and the photos are loose. In the next view she is holding the packet of photos in one hand and the phone with the other. See more »

Quotes

[Sharla is spraying herself with perfume]
Ansel Smith: When you're done fumigating the gates of hell...
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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

Swamp Fox
Written by Rick Miller
Performed by Southern Culture on the Skids
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Equal parts hilarious, vile, and demented, elevated by top-notch performances across the board led by a magnetic McConaughey.
11 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Killer Joe is a roller-coaster of a movie. At first it seems like a dark comedy, then a crime drama plot starts to uncover, and by the end it becomes downright terrifying. I'm a sucker for these kinds of movies and Killer Joe absolutely nails everything it goes for. This kind of story couldn't be pulled off without the right director. Thankfully William Friedkin knocks it out of the park. You can smell the white trash emanating from the screen. Every detail of every action is given the right amount of attention; every shot has purpose. Not one second is gone to waste. And in order for a story like this to truly resonate you'd need competent actors, and I don't think you could find a more perfect cast for Killer Joe if you tried. McConaughey is absolutely mesmerizing as this badass detective who's a hit-man on the side. The story revolves around a trailer trash family and their plan to exploit an insurance policy on the husband's ex-wife because the son got wrapped up in a bad drug deal, so they hire Killer Joe to do the job. Little do they know, Killer Joe does not f*ck around.

It's a graphic movie but it's not gratuitous. There's a reason for everything that is shown. And the narrative slowly builds to an explosive climax that leaves you flabbergasted. Seriously, the final scene in this movie which is about 10 minutes long, is absolutely phenomenal. Shocking, riveting, unsettling. Matthew McConaughey is downright villainous in this role. It's hard to call him a "villain" because he's straightforward in his motivations, much like it's hard to call the family the "heroes" because they're a bunch of moronic assholes, except the daughter who just doesn't know any better. The line between good and evil is blurred to the point of nonexistence, with Joe epitomizing this duality being the half detective half gun-for-hire hard-ass that he is. It's quite poetic, really. The characters in this movie are scum, and they all get what's coming to them.

Killer Joe is a lot of things, but one thing it's not is scatterbrained. It's entirely focused and cohesive. All the genres it glosses over fit right into this depraved story arc, and it grips you to the screen from beginning to end. This movie certainly isn't for everyone, but if you can stomach Killer Joe, you won't soon forget it.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
did she pull the trigger?? willcarmon81
did sharla and rex planned everything together? kmsadiq_06
T-Bone? lesdroits
Depraved, low life, get rich quick logic seriously dramatised. phlbrq58
It should have been more violent. duongdogg
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