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Killer Joe (2011)

Trailer
2:27 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

William Friedkin

Writers:

Tracy Letts (screenplay), Tracy Letts (play)
Reviews
Popularity
3,033 ( 250)
9 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Matthew McConaughey ... Killer Joe Cooper
Emile Hirsch ... Chris Smith
Juno Temple ... Dottie Smith
Thomas Haden Church ... Ansel Smith
Gina Gershon ... Sharla Smith
Marc Macaulay ... Digger Soames
Gralen Bryant Banks ... Pizza Patron (as Graylen Banks)
Carol Sutton ... Saleslady
Danny Epper ... G-Man
Jeff Galpin ... Biker Thug
Scott A. Martin ... Pizza Manager (as Scott Martin)
Gregory C. Bachaud Gregory C. Bachaud ... Filpatrick
Charley Vance ... Preacher
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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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everybody pays. See more »

Genres:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Killer Joe: A Twisted Redneck Trailer Park Murder Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,864, 29 July 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,987,762

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,665,069
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene Dottie asks if Joe is a detective like Magnum PI. Matthew McConaughey was in the running for playing Magnum PI in a big budget movie remake of the series in 2007, as of 2012 the project is dead in the water. See more »

Goofs

During the train track scene with Chris and Dottie, his facial scars are missing. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The USA/Canada DVD is available in two versions, one the original NC-17 rated version (labeled as Unrated) and the other an R-Rated version. The R-Rated version has the following cuts:
  • 1:25:27 (10.5 sec. cut) Sharla starts sucking at the chicken leg. Joe moans "Easy...easy."
  • 1:25:42 (5.5 sec. cut) A cut to Carla, who is still sucking the chicken leg, is missing. The R-Rated shows the shot of Joe without interruption, lengthening it insignificantly.
  • 1:25:49 (2.5 sec. cut) Joe asks Ansel in this shot "What do you think?". The R-Rated Version features the question from the off in the following shot of Ansel.
  • 1:26:03 (Alternate Shot) The R-Rated shows Joe talking in a longer shot of himself and then an alternative shot of Ansel sitting down on the bench. The original features two shots from further away showing Sharla during her forced blow job. The Unrated Version runs a bit longer.
  • 1:26:34 (11 sec. cut) The shot of Ansel can be seen a moment longer. Joe then asks twice: "Reach around and grab my ass!". Sharla obeys.
  • 1:26:56 (Alternate Shot (No time difference)) The R-Rated Version mainly shows the shot of Joe longer and the alternative shot of Ansel before the shot from further away can be seen for a short time. The latter can be seen the whole time in the Unrated Version.
  • 1:27:20 (Alternate Shot) The R-Rated Version shows the previous and following shots of Joe longer/earlier, whereas the Unrated cuts to a close-up of Sharla complying with Joe's demands and starting to moan.
  • 1:37:30 (1 sec. cut) The shot starts a bit earlier with an additional (first) blow of the can against Chris' head.
  • 1:37:33 (1.5 sec.) Another blow is missing.
  • 1:37:41 (4.5 sec.) Joe beats Chris with the can three more times against the head and in the face, Chris spits out blood. Additional shot of Dottie screaming "Oh God!".
  • 1:42:47 (No time difference) The MPAA overlays at the end differ display the different rating for the two versions.
See more »

Connections

Features The City of the Dead (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Fire For Hire
Written by Christopher D.L. Lee and Benjamin A.T. Lee
Performed by Supagroup
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Who's Left Standing?
22 October 2012 | by AudioFileZSee all my reviews

Famed director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) returns to fine form. Killer Joe, directed by Friedlkin and based on a Tracy Letts story/screenplay, is a fine rendition of the old player getting played murder plot. A vignette of white trash playing out some worst case scenarios with, thankfully, much more photogenic role-players.

The film hangs on the roles of three central characters. The protagonist is a twenty-ish down and out loser named Chris played by Emile Hirsch. Hirsch brings a much grittier less Bohemian Johnny Depp to the table and it works here. His character is smart enough to know he's in deep and empty enough to unwittingly dig his hole ever deeper. His younger sister, Dottie, played by Juno Temple is an extremely unique character. She's both high functioning and almost mentally deficient in her total naiveté' which we are led to think is a mental quirk. She exudes a kind a helplessness with natural beauty that can draw one in. Juno Temple, a relatively new face to American audiences, is quite effective in her portrayal of this integral character. Finally, Matthew McConaughey is perfect in what is actually a supporting role in spite of being the the title character, Killer Joe. McConaughey is in his best element where he is reined in from Hollywood bombast instead dripping with a sleazy lawman/killer persona. These three characters are this movie aptly supported by Gershon's conniving Sharla and Thomas Hayden Church's witless Ansel.

Killer Joe has a down and dirty indie feel which is totally right. The cinematography is immediate and not artsy in any way as if you are clearly seeing something you wish wasn't happening. The final quarter ramps up with a tour 'de force of the macabre supplied by McConaughey's character and taken home with a kind of surprise loose-end "wham-bam" finale. All in all, this really works and separates itself from more typical murder stories, recommended.


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