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Killer Joe (2011)

R  |   |  Crime, Thriller  |  29 June 2012 (UK)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 52,177 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 208 user | 366 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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Title: Killer Joe (2011)

Killer Joe (2011) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Pizza Patron (as Graylen Banks)
Carol Sutton ...
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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:

Everybody pays. See more »

Genres:

Crime | 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

Director William Friedkin was shocked when he found out that the film was given the NC-17 rating and refused to alter the film for fear that any cut or edit would take away from the filthiness of the film. It was released theatrically with the NC-17 rating only to have an edited R rated version released for certain retailers to carry when it was released on DVD and Blu-Ray. 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

Killer Joe Cooper: Were you aware of this, Ansel?
Ansel Smith: I'm never aware.
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

Features Whistle Stop (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Bad Reputation
Written by James C. Heath and Jimbo Wallace
Performed by Reverend Horton Heat
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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