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Killer Joe (2011)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  29 June 2012 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 55,912 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 213 user | 371 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.



(screenplay), (play)
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9 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Pizza Patron (as Graylen Banks)
Pizza Manager (as Scott Martin)
Gregory C. Bachaud ...


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


Never trust a corrupt detective See more »


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:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

29 June 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Killer Joe: A Twisted Redneck Trailer Park Murder Story  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$220,282 (USA) (3 August 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(original) | (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was released theatrically with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA for "graphic aberrant content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality" but was edited down to an R rating for the home video release so that the DVD and Blu-ray could be sold in certain stores. The reason for the R rating given by the MPAA was for "strong and disturbing violence, sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language". See more »


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 »


Chris Smith: Hey, Sharla. Your mascara's running.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in The 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2013) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

in a nut-shell: a wild, soaked-in-gasoline-on-fire film-noir
19 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is about... hmm... about a father and son who want to kill the mother of the family to collect the insurance money from her death, and hire a killer (also a cop) who decides to take 'as a retainer' the younger sister of the family while they come up with the cash to pay him.

Here was my first though when this ended - where did THAT come from? By far this is Matthew McConaughey's most WTF-bad-ass performance, with touches of Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet and even Anton Chigurh. He's such a fantastic, seductive, snake-like villain here, because after the first couple of times you see him, you're not quite sure where he'll go. Friedkin takes this material into some VERY dark places (I imagine based off of the play, once again like 'Bug' from Tracy Letts), and if you aren't offended after the first ten minutes, you just gotta hang on for the rest of the ride. It's a twisted-f**k film-noir comedy of horrors where morality is so screwed that you have to laugh to not recoil from where it goes ultimately.

The ending had me howling with laughter, recoiling in pain, and just stunned by McConaughey suddenly shattering an image he's built up for himself over the past fifteen years as a rom-com hack. It's his film, along with the unlikely-attractive actress Juno Temple, who has a seduction scene with 'Killer Joe' that is edge-of-your-seat. For those of us sick- bastards looking for something off the wall, it's one of the must-sees of the year. Not as surreal as Blue Velvet, but not as poorly-crafted trash as a Grindhouse movie. It's in an area somewhere in-between, and I can't wait to see it again.

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did she pull the trigger?? willcarmon81
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