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Joe (2013)

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An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.


David Gordon Green


Gary Hawkins, Larry Brown (based on the novel by)
4,514 ( 7)
4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Joe
Tye Sheridan ... Gary
Gary Poulter Gary Poulter ... Wade a.k.a. G-Daawg
Ronnie Gene Blevins ... Willie-Russell
Adriene Mishler ... Connie
Brian Mays Brian Mays ... Junior (as Brian D. Mays)
Aj Wilson McPhaul Aj Wilson McPhaul ... Earl (as A.J. Wilson McPhaul)
Sue Rock ... Merle
Heather Kafka ... Lacy
Brenda Isaacs Booth ... Mother (as Brenda Isaacs-Booth)
Anna Niemtschk ... Dorothy
Elbert Hill III Elbert Hill III ... Shorty (as Elbert Evan Hill III)
Milton Fountain Milton Fountain ... Milton
Roderick L. Polk Roderick L. Polk ... Roscoe
Aaron Spivey-Sorrells ... Sammy


In order to provide for his destitute family of drifters, a likable, sincere, able-bodied 15-year-old boy comes to hire on among a burned-out ex-con's group of aging forest laborers. As the man becomes more and more aware of the boy's abusive home life, his deeply buried humanity is roused. Drinking and smoking incessantly to remain detached from his volatile temper, he finally takes the matter into his own hands - come what may - when the boy's alcoholic father finally goes too far. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

11 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Джо See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$105,881, 13 April 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$373,375, 18 September 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Both Actors Nicolas Cage & Tye Sheridan have starred in Marvel Comics films. Nicolas Cage starred as Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider in Ghost Rider & Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Tye Sheridan starred as Scott Summers / Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse. See more »


When Gary takes off his vest by Joe's truck, his shirt pulls up and a microphone cable is visible going into his waistband. See more »


[first lines]
Gary: Hey, you old man, you look at me. I got som'in' to say to you. Every time we land someplace new, you say it's gonna be different, but it ain't. You mess up... a lot... then you leave a mess for me and Momma and Dorothy to clean up, and that ain't right. That's all I'm sayin'. Hell, I do what I gotta do. You do whatever the hell you want - whatever you can get away with. You're just a... selfish old drunk. Yeah, that's what you is. Yeah, this place is gonna be after us. Hell, ...
See more »


Forest of Evil (Dawn)
Written by Miles Whittaker & Sean Canty
Produced by Miles Whittaker & Sean Canty
Performed by Demdike Stare
Courtesy of Modern Love
See more »

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User Reviews

The Return of Nicolas Cage
13 March 2014 | by ceidtSee all my reviews

I couldn't help but notice how much J-O-E is similar (or at least as simple as) to a D-O-G. The film is more than just a glimpse into the life of a man who does know how to live, but I was wondering if he served more as a metaphor for everyone of us as a part of the human race who live better when we're on a leash. Nicolas Cage plays the title character as a man who can smile and have fun, but lives off the leash. He'd be a good dog to the extent that he will always do the right thing. Just don't mess with him. Or his friends. "Joe" has been the movie event of the festival. It plays a dramatic chord through notes of laughter and some extreme intensity (seriously, of "Gravity" caliber). The violence is strong (the 60-year-old man next to me had to look away during one scene in particular), and the acting is subtle (realistic). Nic Cage, in his conversation at the SXSW Film Festival, spoke about his wife telling him that this role was as close as he's gotten to his real persona. I found it more along the lines of "Leaving Las Vegas." If you're reading that right, you should be expecting Nic Cage do start doing lower-budget movies (this was made for $6 Million, I believe). This is what he wants to do now (I quote him personally), and I believe this could be the start of a sustainable career toward what we might come to know as a legacy. Nicolas Cage, you should know, is the ideal movie star. He knows how to live, and he knows how to be kind. This is his return to form while there may be a *wink* or two in this film at what he's known as on this wild thing called the "internet." Still, he's not really like any other movie star, and there will never be anyone known as "the next Nicolas Cage." He is truly one-of-a-kind. As is this film. "Joe" is a simple story of simple people. There are many minor characters who just seem to exist in this world. There is one scene of him looking over to see a couple in a jeep next to him. I felt this might have been out of place, although the two made eye contact and it granted a laugh from the audience. What I wanted was this scene to be a metaphor for was a life Joe could have had. He doesn't like being messed with, especially when nobody has a reason to mess with him. He doesn't give them one, but when he fights back at them, the consequences are played out throughout the film. The editing lets the actors breath and the music lets the atmosphere live. Shot around Austin, an audience member (that same 60-year-old man) told me that the director, David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), grabbed a few people off a bus, and gave them starring roles. They serve as decay of human beings. We're shown the lowest of the low, and it will make you angry to see what people are capable of doing to each other. I don't believe people are happier on a leash. When we're told what to do, we may be rewarded with food, but at the end of the day, it's the connection to each other that makes us want to wake up again. Dogs play a major role in this film to the extent that one serves as a major character. In the final moments (No spoiler, I promise), there is a tear-jerking scene that lets you know that we can find happiness and peace. We see the dog in the front seat, happy with it's tongue out for the first time in the film, as opposed to the brute-ready-to-fight we've come to know in the back of Joe's truck. All we need in life is to be raised well. On that note, Tye Sheridan's (from "Mud" (2012) with Matthew McConaughey) part is played tough, but his deadbeat abusive father has become such a bad influence, and Gary is smart enough to know not to follow in his footsteps. This film was nearly perfect, but sadly still not made for everyone. I hope, when it's finally released worldwide to audiences everywhere, I'm wrong about that, and audiences see it. It's an important film, as well as very entertaining.

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