6.7/10
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227 user 377 critic

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:

Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
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Popularity
2,875 ( 1,245)
9 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Killer Joe Cooper
... Chris Smith
... Dottie Smith
... Ansel Smith
... Sharla Smith
... Digger Soames
... Pizza Patron (as Graylen Banks)
... Saleslady
... G-Man
... Biker Thug
... Pizza Manager (as Scott Martin)
Gregory C. Bachaud ... Filpatrick
... 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:

Murder never tasted so good. 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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 June 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Killer Joe: A Twisted Redneck Trailer Park Murder Story  »

Filming Locations:

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

When Joe is pouring the alcohol on Adele she can be seen swallowing and breathing. See more »

Quotes

Killer Joe Cooper: Were you aware of this, Ansel?
Ansel Smith: I'm never aware.
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Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Bad Reputation
Written by James C. Heath and Jimbo Wallace
Performed by Reverend Horton Heat
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Equal parts hilarious, vile, and demented, elevated by top-notch performances across the board led by a magnetic McConaughey.
11 March 2016 | by See all my reviews

Killer Joe is a roller-coaster of a movie. At first it seems like a dark comedy, then a crime drama plot starts to uncover, and by the end it becomes downright terrifying. I'm a sucker for these kinds of movies and Killer Joe absolutely nails everything it goes for. This kind of story couldn't be pulled off without the right director. Thankfully William Friedkin knocks it out of the park. You can smell the white trash emanating from the screen. Every detail of every action is given the right amount of attention; every shot has purpose. Not one second is gone to waste. And in order for a story like this to truly resonate you'd need competent actors, and I don't think you could find a more perfect cast for Killer Joe if you tried. McConaughey is absolutely mesmerizing as this badass detective who's a hit-man on the side. The story revolves around a trailer trash family and their plan to exploit an insurance policy on the husband's ex-wife because the son got wrapped up in a bad drug deal, so they hire Killer Joe to do the job. Little do they know, Killer Joe does not f*ck around.

It's a graphic movie but it's not gratuitous. There's a reason for everything that is shown. And the narrative slowly builds to an explosive climax that leaves you flabbergasted. Seriously, the final scene in this movie which is about 10 minutes long, is absolutely phenomenal. Shocking, riveting, unsettling. Matthew McConaughey is downright villainous in this role. It's hard to call him a "villain" because he's straightforward in his motivations, much like it's hard to call the family the "heroes" because they're a bunch of moronic assholes, except the daughter who just doesn't know any better. The line between good and evil is blurred to the point of nonexistence, with Joe epitomizing this duality being the half detective half gun-for-hire hard-ass that he is. It's quite poetic, really. The characters in this movie are scum, and they all get what's coming to them.

Killer Joe is a lot of things, but one thing it's not is scatterbrained. It's entirely focused and cohesive. All the genres it glosses over fit right into this depraved story arc, and it grips you to the screen from beginning to end. This movie certainly isn't for everyone, but if you can stomach Killer Joe, you won't soon forget it.


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