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Killer Joe Unrated Version 2012 UNRATED CC

When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his mother in order to collect the insurance.

Starring:
Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch
Runtime:
1 hour, 43 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director William Friedkin
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch
Supporting actors Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon, Marc Macaulay, Gralen Bryant Banks, Carol Sutton, Danny Epper, Jeff Galpin, Scott A. Martin, Gregory C. Bachaud, Charley Vance, Julia Adams, Geraldine Glenn, Sean O'Hara, Blain Sanchez, Tony Severio, Lynette Zumo
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating Unrated
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
The late Roger Ebert said in his review for "Killer Joe" that the film left him speechless--and that's saying a lot, especially from a guy who's seen a lot of films. Rated NC-17, this was only available at the Opera Plaza Theater in the city (SF), but the small theater was packed! The audience laughed, gasped and--just like Ebert said--were rendered speechless by the shocking, blood-soaked finale.

An inevitable cult classic, there are many scathing scenes (one including the creative use of a chicken drumstick), and a lot of slick, smooth dialog--especially from Joe (brilliantly played by Matthew McConaughey) who just happens to be an officer of the law who moonlights as a killer for hire.

Hats off to veteran director William Friedkin, at 76 he has lost none of the edge he displayed in the 70's with his gritty police thriller "The French Connection", or his synth-infused masterpiece from the 80's "To Live & Die in L.A.". The story, adapted from a play by Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Letts ("Bug"), is right up Friedkin's alley, behind the bloody black humor his fatalistic view of human nature still shines through.

There's horror in "Killer Joe"; audiences cringed with pure horror back in the 70's with "The Exorcist", this time they gasped and giggled at the same time.

The overriding criticism against this film is that its characters are deplorable, and that the ending was "unsatisfying". Question: who says a film has to have likeable characters? Your film school instructor? Ever seen Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull"? The main character (Jake La Motta) is near sub-human, but the film is now considered a classic character study of a self-destructive, sadomasochistic man.
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Format: DVD
William Friedkin has been around for many, many years but the man still knows how to direct a movie. Now in his mid-70s, his sense for movie-making is as sharp as it was 40 years ago when directing "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist" brought his wide acclaim.

"Killer Joe" (105 min.) was originally screened at the 2011 Venice Film Festival but a battle with the MPAA over the film's NC-17 rating held up its US release for almost a year. The distributor LD Entertainment ultimately decided to release the film unchanged and with the NC-17 rating. The plot centers around Chris (played by Emile Hirsch), a small time drug dealer desparately in need of money, and lots of it. With the help and support of several others, including his dad and also his mom's boyfriend, Chris decides to hire a contract killer, Joe, played by Matthew McConaughey, to kill his mom and collect the insurance money. All I will say is that eventually Joe does his part of the deal, but that there are a number of complications. To give away more of the plot would really ruin your viewing experience so you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out. This movie is a great example of a "film noir" and then some, hence I'd call it "ultra-noire".

There is a reason that this movie is rated NC-17, so if you are squirmish about violent scenes, do yourself a favor and don't watch this movie. But if you can deal with that, you will be in for one wild and entertaning ride. There are several noteworthy performances. Let's start with Matthew McConaughey, who without a doubt brings a career-defining performance as Killer Joe. It's a shame it comes in a movie not a lot of people are likely to see due to the rating, as for me this is an Oscar-nomination worthy performance.
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Comment 42 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
Few films contain such a palpable mix of dark comedy and brutality as William Friedkin's Killer Joe. The film reunites Friedkin with writer Tracy Letts, who last worked together on 2006's Bug. That film was a memorable little oddity that polarized audiences. If you have the stomach for it, Killer Joe is the superior film. For Friedkin, whose career was built on successes he had decades ago, it's a roaring comeback. For the star Matthew McConaughey, it's a career renaissance. In the last year, after serving time as the go-to guy for romantic comedies, McConaughey has begun taking on more daring roles and this is his most daring yet. It's also his best performance.

Most of Killer Joe takes place in a trailer park somewhere in Texas, home of the Smiths, a family of rednecks for whom the word `philistine' was almost certainly invented. Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) is a drug dealer whose mother has stolen his stash and left him desperately in debt to some guys who will kill him unless he comes up with $6000. Learning of his mother's $50,000 life insurance policy for which his sister Dottie (Juno Temple) is the beneficiary, Chris approaches his father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) about the prospect of having his mother killed. Not only would this solve Chris' problem, but it could lead to a big payday for Dottie, Ansel and his current wife Sharla (Gina Gershon). The person to do it is Joe Cooper (McConaughey), a Dallas detective who moonlights as a hitman. After they meet with Joe, he demands $25,000 in advance that Chris and Ansel are unable to provide. But Joe is willing to negotiate and will accept a retainer; Dottie.

There's no telling who is working against each other in the Smiths family. Although they lack any semblance of sagacity, their ignorance spawns both humor and horror.
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