User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 85
  2. Negative: 9 out of 85

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  1. Apr 29, 2014
    7
    What a Gripping movie it dose not disappoint but at times falls below the belt. Nicolas Cage always seems to bring out the best in movies like such as these.

    Maki
  2. Jun 22, 2014
    0
    If you like movies about drunks and degenerates then you'll love this movie. I couldn't figure out the point of this movie even though it was completely predictable. The whole time I kept thinking it had to get better, since it had high ratings, but it never did. Makes me think these rating are scammed.
  3. May 17, 2014
    3
    Yes it looks and feels very real but this movie is really not as good as people say, its actually quite boring. I couldn't even make it to the end! Nick cage gives a good performance but unfortunally its not enough to keep you engaged.
  4. Apr 21, 2014
    5
    Nicholas Cage plays a troubled man (no news there) who befriends a 15-year-old boy (Tye Sheridan) with an abusive father. Before it's all over, the inevitable unfolds. Cage enjoys the opportunity to be gruff, yet tender and Sheridan is both sweet and sad. The supporting cast is made up of obviously non-pro actors who add to the low-class vibe. The darkness that should creep around the edge of this film tends to overpower it too early and too obviously. Director David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express") can be greatly blamed for the oppressive and mean spirit of this predictable endeavor. Expand
  5. Aug 14, 2014
    6
    This one has many things going for it, but ultimately, does not live up to those parts. Firstly, the acting across the board is great. Nicolas Cage proves he still has it in 2014, Tye Sheridan is great, and Greg Poulter (RIP) is great in his only role ever. The look and feel of this one is very realistic thanks to the alright direction from David Gordon Green and the great cinematography. However, the ultimate undoing of this one is that while it is always interesting, there is just not enough happening. I cannot really point to ways in which these characters changed throughout the film, rather they seem to be about the same. In addition, the plot does not really do much and does have much depth to it. Thus, this film is essentially about a man who takes a kid under his wing, which is a film we have seen many times, such as Mud, which sounds very similar on paper and takes the elements it has and does brilliant things with them. Here, however, Joe squanders all of its good parts and winds up just being "ok". I cannot be mad at it, because it is enjoyable, but there is just not much to write home about here. Expand
  6. Apr 15, 2014
    6
    A great book. A mediocre film. The story is rushed and erratic and few of the characters are fully formed. And despite taking an "indie" role, Nick Cage has still lost the ability to act.
  7. Oct 7, 2014
    7
    Nicolas Cage on point once again. I found this movie particularly for the reason that he was the main character. I had no idea what to expect, but the trailers showed promise. I was not disappointed. The angle was more on the drama side than action. I was especially impressed with the portrayal of the young teen Gary. There was a razor sharp emotional grip this film had. Seeing Gary's father and family situation seems disturbingly real as though it was live footage of real people as opposed to dramatic actors. Cage helps us step into Joe's life and the conflict within him to lash out at the world and lose control of his anger. Of course it did get pretty extreme and violent. Kind of leaves you thinking, why are so many of these people in this town so messed up? Also begs the question of just how many teens suffer from the same type of thing...probably a lot more than people bother to admit. Low scale and on the slower side. Definitely strong acting though. You get to play around with the thought of whether Joe is really more of a criminal than a good man. I think the end is a sour way to wrap up that enigma but understandable. Worth a watch. Expand
  8. Apr 21, 2014
    8
    I really liked this film. As one person said, it reminded me of Winter's Bone. I agree it is not as good but it was great to see Cage back in action and the story was gritty enough to keep one honest. The ending was not as predictable as I thought. I enjoyed the realism of the poor white country southerners who really do exist. It helped that I was not expecting much and got a lot from this film. This will be in my 2014 top ten. Expand
  9. Apr 20, 2014
    5
    This movie reminded me of "The Winter Bone" but significantly lower quality. The movie is uneven: some scenes are better, others are worse. Some really take your attentions, others look not authentic or outright cheesy. Even though the movie is after a book (with the same name), the screenplay seems half cooked. Nicolas Cage is still a very good actor but it is not enough to turn a mediocre movie into a good one. Expand
  10. Apr 17, 2014
    8
    This was a great movie. A very hard story. Emotional. You get caught up in the story and the characters. Joe and Gary are true friends. Cage was fantastic. The movie had me so pulled in and would not let me go. The actor who play G-Dawg was a real homeless man. He passed away on the streets of Austin. Truly sad. He also was amazing.
  11. Apr 14, 2014
    10
    This film is worth to watch. "Joe" is a real-life story, a emotional drama with nice shot and nice scriptconcept. Cage give his whole best performance on this, can be his best performance this year, a big praised also sent to Sheridan and Gary Poulter, a fit and impressive ensemble.
  12. Jun 20, 2014
    9
    Viendo esta pelicula descubri que nicolas gage a si es como deve de escojer sus personajes todabia tiene esa forma de actuar de jo9ven que lo hizo uno de los mejores. es una pelicula muy buena si te gusta el drama coon poco de accion. si hay partes donde jhablan mucho pero no es aburrida te mantiene entretenido.
  13. Apr 25, 2014
    9
    Joe is a film that breaks the heart, awesome performances, Nicolas Cage was so good at the movie and the new boy, Tye Sheridan is a promess to hollywood. It's a little slowly but exhilarating. I love it.
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    Jul 21, 2014
    80
    An understated Nicolas Cage — there’s a phrase you don’t get to write too often these days — anchors a superbly realised film, which, like its eponymous hero, has a brittle outer shell concealing a surprisingly warm heart.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    May 16, 2014
    80
    The result is intense and powerful, a full-color portrait of the importance of never surrendering.
  3. Reviewed by: Geoff Pevere
    May 2, 2014
    88
    None of this would work with anywhere near the power it does without Nicolas Cage, whom Green has smartly cast in this sometimes maddeningly erratic and ill-disciplined actor’s most perfectly suited role since "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Adaptation."