5.8/10
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149 user 244 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 »
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Popularity
3,220 ( 70)
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 ... 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tobey Maguire was cast as Ward, but dropped out because of scheduling conflicts. 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

References The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) 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

Great Performances but Somewhat Weak Story
8 November 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Paperboy (2012)

*** (out of 4)

Lee Daniels' adaptation of the Peter Dexter novel taking a look at some swamp trash and a mystery surrounding them. Reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) returns to his hometown to try and solve the mystery behind a sheriff who was killed. Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) is on death row for the crime but the reporter believes he is innocent and drags his younger brother (Zac Efron) and a trashy woman (Nicole Kidman) into things. THE PAPERBOY is a pretty unpleasant look at a bunch of characters you can't help but hate and it's funny to see McConaughey really changing his "image" here as well as in the year's earlier KILLER JOE. I think the best thing about the picture are the performances as well as the authentic feel that director Daniels brings to the picture. The biggest problem is the screenplay and a story that I just felt wasn't all that captivating. The entire mystery surrounding what really happened to the sheriff seems to take a backseat and it really just seems to come and go at times. I'm really not sure why it was thrown in the background as much and especially with the twists that come towards the end. With the twists you'd think that the filmmakers were wanting the story itself to be important but it just never really takes off. It also seems that the director wants to shock the viewer with some rather graphic violence and sexual situations, which have the stars all doing some pretty wild things. It really does seem as if the film is just building up to each of these scenes and it's fair to say that they're quite memorable. The performances from the entire cast are terrific with both McConaughey and Kidman doing wonders with their swamp trash characters. I thought both of them were incredibly believable and hats off to them for going as far out as they did. I was also impressed with Efron and thought he handled the character's development quite well. Cusack was terrific playing the creepy bad guy and we also got strong support from David Oyelowo, Scott Glenn and Macy Gray. The cinematography is also good as is the music score and the atmosphere. THE PAPERBOY, as is, is a good showcase for its stars but you can't help but feel it's a missed opportunity as a stronger story would have made it even better.


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