Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Adam Nayman
    Aug 10, 2012
    Credit goes to the actors (especially Gershon) for giving almost as good as they get in seriously demanding roles, and to Friedkin for having what it takes – guts, chops and a refreshing lack of artistic caution – to bring things thundering home.
  2. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jul 24, 2012
    It's McConaughey who is the real revelation: All Grim Reaper strut and cutthroat stare, he savors each of Letts's vividly ghoulish lines.
  3. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Jul 24, 2012
    A hideously funny tabloid noir.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 26, 2012
    With an eye for gritty, shameless fun, Friedkin unleashes the play's guilty pleasure center. Friedkin holds nothing back, but it's Letts' rambunctious plotting that enables the director to chart a path to the wild climax.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 25, 2012
    This is not some nostalgia-soaked throwback to the noir of old, but a rude, shit-kicking thriller that co-opts - and merrily defiles - a classic like "Double Indemnity." Whatever its shortcomings, at least they're never failures of nerve.
  6. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Jul 23, 2012
    It won't change the face of cinema history, and it won't win any awards (it's too downright dirty for that), but it's furiously entertaining, and a very strong piece of drama from a director who hasn't much luck in the last thirty-odd years.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 104 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. Nov 16, 2012
    This is real film noir--not the private eye low key lighting kind but a real dip in the nasty stew of human greed and concupiscence. Hence, not for everyone. The actors are wonderful at revealing how naivete can turn amoral and good manners mask perversity and violence--and all regarded as part of the human comedy.. The cast is pitch perfect. A special cheer for McConaughey and for Gina Gershon and Emile Hirsch. Full Review »
  2. Jun 20, 2013
    One messed up movie I give you that. The plot is rather shallow and the cast isn't that good. Only thing that really saves the film is McConaughey's strong performance. Still worth giving a chance though. Full Review »
  3. BKM
    Feb 25, 2013
    Perhaps the greatest quality of Killer Joe is that it never pretends to be anything more than a wickedly deranged and entertaining piece of trash. Freed from the obligation to make any sort of artistic statement, Friedkin delivers the goods and coaxes stellar performances from his cast; particularly McConaughey and Church. It's definitely not for everyone, but it never tries to be. Full Review »