(2011)

Critic Reviews

62

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Credit goes to the actors (especially Gershon) for giving almost as good as they get in seriously demanding roles, and to Friedkin for having what it takes - guts, chops and a refreshing lack of artistic caution - to bring things thundering home.
80
By far the film's deadliest weapon is McConaughey. The way the actor leans into threats, dropping his voice, wrapping eloquence in sinister tones, is skin-crawling. The muscles in his neck literally seem to tense one by one. And if the eyes are the window to the soul, you really don't want to peer for long into his. It is not an easy performance to watch, but it is unforgettable.
80
A likeably unpleasant slice of adults-only Texas noir, which aims at the funnybone as much as the jugular.
75
Even when the film goes too far over the top to be saved, McConaughey mesmerizes.
75
The hardest thing to describe is tone, but it's the thing that most sets Killer Joe apart and makes it one of the most interesting and satisfying movies of the year so far.
75
Killer Joe is twisted pulp, and the actors chew on it bravely, boldly, and with varying degrees of success.
75
One hell of a movie. It left me speechless. I can't say I loved it. I can't say I hated it. It is expertly directed, flawlessly cast and written with merciless black humor by Tracy Letts.
65
In its own way and to its own detriment, William Friedkin's splattery, southern gothic return to the screen seeks to amuse as well as shake and stir.
50
Killer Joe throws down a dare by expecting its audience to be the cool connoisseurs of the story's "comic" outrageousness, then rubbing viewers' faces in close-up scenes of brutality that reasonable people ought not to be able to watch. That up-close experience, however effectively done, is a movie specialty that's its own kind of mean.
50
The bone-crunchingly violent film has luridly entertaining moments. But by its resolution, this sleazy Southern Gothic nightmare has simply gone off the rails.
20
What's most notable about this aggressively cynical project is how much talent it wastes.
0
Killer Joe is, at bottom - and I mean bottom - ugly and vile, not to mention dumb and clumsy.

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