5.8/10
33,786
155 user 247 critic

The Paperboy (2012)

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A reporter returns to his Florida hometown to investigate a case involving a death row inmate.

Director:

Lee Daniels

Writers:

Peter Dexter (screenplay by), Lee Daniels (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,009 ( 351)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zac Efron ... Jack Jansen
Matthew McConaughey ... Ward Jansen
Nicole Kidman ... Charlotte Bless
John Cusack ... Hillary Van Wetter
David Oyelowo ... Yardley Acheman
Scott Glenn ... W.W. Jansen
Ned Bellamy ... Tyree Van Wetter
Nealla Gordon ... Ellen Guthrie
Macy Gray ... Anita Chester
Edrick Browne Edrick Browne ... Hustler #1
Kevin Waterman ... Victim
Danny Hanemann Danny Hanemann ... Sheriff Thurmond Call
Peter Murnik ... Death Row Guard
John P. Fertitta ... Sam Ellison (as John Fertitta)
Jay Oliver Jay Oliver ... Mr. Guthrie / Wedding Guest (as James Oliver)
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Storyline

Eldest son Ward Jansen is a star reporter for a Miami newspaper and has returned home with close friend Yardley to investigate a racial murder case. Younger brother Jack Jansen has returned home after a failed stint at university as a star swimmer. To help give his life some direction, Ward gives Jack a job on their investigation as their driver. But into the mix comes the fiancée of the imprisoned convict who stirs up confusing feelings of love and lust for the young Jack. Meanwhile, Ward and Yardley's investigation stirs up deep-rooted issues of race and acceptance which could cause serious consequences for everyone involved. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 2012 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Amores peligrosos See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$102,706, 7 October 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$692,640, 18 November 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie received a fifteen minute standing ovation at the premiere Cannes Film Festival, which brought Lee Daniels and Zac Efron to tears. See more »

Goofs

When Jack meets Charlotte, he walks across the yard barefoot. In the next scene, when sitting on the couch, he's wearing black flip flops. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Interviewer: [off-screen] Just tell me when you're rolling.
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Connections

Features The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Whistling in the Dark
Written by Nona Hendryx
Performed by Nona Hendryx
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The movie is sleazy and trashy pulp like the films of yesteryear, a mixed bag but it has it's qualities.
25 January 2013 | by HellmantSee all my reviews

'THE PAPERBOY': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

An all-star cast highlights this bizarre dramatic thriller based on the book (of the same name) by Pete Dexter. The cast features Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, David Oyelowo, Scott Glenn and Macy Gray all playing against type in unusual roles (for each actor). It was written (along with Dexter) and directed by Lee Daniels (who is most well known for directing the critical darling and Oscar nominated 'PRECIOUS', which was also based on a popular book). The movie itself has gotten mostly bad reviews but Kidman has gotten plenty of high critical praise and award recognition for her performance in it (including a supporting actress Golden Globe nomination). The rest of the cast has been well received as well and Daniels is still seen as a skilled director but the trashy content of the film as well as it's overall muddled nature have been negatively criticized by many. I agree with the criticisms but still feel like I have to give it a lot of respect and credit for what it does manage to accomplish.

The film revolves around a man named Hillary Van Wetter (Cusack) who's on death row for the murder of a local sheriff in a small Florida town. He's been communicating with a woman, Charlotte Bless (Kidman), he's never met via letters. Charlotte believes she's in love with Hillary and calls on the help of two reporters from Miami, Ward Jansen (McConaughey) and Yardley Acheman (Oyelowo), to help her prove he's innocent. Believing new evidence is available the two reporters travel to the Florida town, which is a return home for Ward (to the town he grew up in). Ward visits his dad (Glenn) and his new girlfriend (Nealla Gordon), who distribute his paper there. He also reunites with his kid brother Jack (Efron), who helps with their investigation. Jack is young and inexperienced with women and immediately falls for the sexy Charlotte. The Jansen's maid Anita (Gray) is Jack's only friend and she narrates the story.

The movie is sleazy and trashy pulp like the films of yesteryear. Daniels brings a lot of style to his storytelling but it's still a mess. The visuals are often haunting and disturbing and you never really know where the film is going or what to make of anyone or anything in it. It is bizarrely interesting though and entertaining in a somewhat bitter way. Like a lot of films it has a lot of great moments but a lot of bad ones in between as well. The cast is all fantastic; Cusack is very strange and creepy, McConaughey seems to be playing a character like many others he's done before but he does take a sharp character twist, Efron is good as the shy yet determined heart of the film and Kidman is fantastic as the sex obsessed vixen. The movie is a mixed bag but it definitely has it's qualities.

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