User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 114 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 114
  2. Negative: 13 out of 114
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  1. Jun 20, 2013
    5
    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.
  2. Aug 22, 2012
    4
    I do not see how any one saw this movie as an under rated gem. I saw it as a cheap gimmick that insulted my intelligence. Trashy humor is nothing new so if you are going to do it you had better do it well. They don't! Excessive violence is nothing new so if you are going to do it, you had better do it well. They don't. Thomas Hayden Church was funny but McConaughey looked liked a fool inI do not see how any one saw this movie as an under rated gem. I saw it as a cheap gimmick that insulted my intelligence. Trashy humor is nothing new so if you are going to do it you had better do it well. They don't! Excessive violence is nothing new so if you are going to do it, you had better do it well. They don't. Thomas Hayden Church was funny but McConaughey looked liked a fool in his role. Morgernstern's review nailed this film. Read it and I agree entirely. Collapse
  3. Oct 2, 2012
    6
    This ambitious film tries to be trashy noir, but ends up mostly garbage. A trailer park family (Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Thomas Haden Church) conspires to kill their estranged matriarch for her money and hire a pro (Matthew McConaughey) to do the job. Turns out he's real twisted and when things inevitably go awry, he twists even more. There are two problems: the script isn't smart orThis ambitious film tries to be trashy noir, but ends up mostly garbage. A trailer park family (Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Thomas Haden Church) conspires to kill their estranged matriarch for her money and hire a pro (Matthew McConaughey) to do the job. Turns out he's real twisted and when things inevitably go awry, he twists even more. There are two problems: the script isn't smart or sassy enough for the genre and most of the cast isn't believable. The exception is McConaughey, who's savoring every bit of scenery in that mobile home. The assured hand of director William Friedkin keeps the film competently watchable, but the script gets in the way. Expand
  4. Mar 15, 2013
    5
    An ultimately disappointing film, that tries to be Blue Velvet, without the cutting edge. Sure it keeps you interested, but it goes nowhere and ends inconclusively. If this movie was a vending machine, I'd be banging the sides, trying to get my money back.
  5. Nov 5, 2012
    6
    Even when Killer Joe goes over the top, and it does, way over the top, McConaughey and the rest of the cast create a fiery energy that keeps you on your toes.
  6. Jun 3, 2013
    6
    As described by many, Killer Joe is a neo-noir set in Texas. For lovers of noir, it is a welcomed occurrence, because the genre is not popular. However, it definitely carries things very far. It breaks censorship's boundaries unimaginable in the 40's and pushes the limit very far even for 2012.

    The plot revolves around a family of dim-witted red-necks plotting a murder to collect
    As described by many, Killer Joe is a neo-noir set in Texas. For lovers of noir, it is a welcomed occurrence, because the genre is not popular. However, it definitely carries things very far. It breaks censorship's boundaries unimaginable in the 40's and pushes the limit very far even for 2012.

    The plot revolves around a family of dim-witted red-necks plotting a murder to collect insurance money. The key word being dim-witted. Chris (played to perfection by Hirsch) is the son, a pathetic looser who sets the plot in motion due to his debt with a drug lord. Despite his many shortcomings, I could not help feeling sorry for Chris, also because of all the beating he takes.

    Enter father Ansel and step-mum Sharla (some entrance she makes). They both agree with the plan to kill Chris's mum, a drunkard with an insurance policy and a boyfriend named Rex. The beneficiary of the policy is said to be daughter Dottie. Being the dumbest of the family, she is also the more dangerous, because her actions are completely unpredictable.

    Chris hires Killer Joe and from then on the movie takes an even darker turn, as if planning to kill one's mother is not bad enough. Joe decides to keep Dottie as a retainer, since the family cannot pay in advance for his services. This upsets Chris, who is protective towards little sister Dottie, although in a disproportionate way. After mum's been disposed off, huge trouble erupts.

    Without giving too much away, I would suggest keeping double indemnity in mind and not only as a reference to one of the best classic noirs ever made. Also, do not forget about Rex, those face remains unseenÂ…For what concerns the notorious scene at the end, I never saw a drumstick used like Joe does and I hope never to see it again. As far as disturbing goes, that will be a scene difficult to top. Think about Blue Velvet/Rossellini/Hopper, but sicker.

    Contrary to audiences in the US, nobody left the screening room in Brussels. However, considering the level of gore reached by horror movies, I wonder why part of the audience is squeamish only about some scenes but can watch bodies being dismembered without any problemÂ…

    The biggest surprise of the film was McConaughey playing cool and brutal cop/hired killer Joe. I am so used seeing him playing the bland boyfriend I did not think he could be convincing. I loved the scene of Joe arrival and the watch dog shutting up, after non-stop barking. It just sets the right atmosphere without any word being spoken.

    So far I thought of McConaughey as an American Hugh Grant, but I honestly do not think Grant could manage anything of the sort. Hope McConaughey will continue trying interesting roles and drop the "boyfriend" route.
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  7. May 27, 2013
    5
    Posted on 5/19/13 09:42 AM
    Altogether ill say this is a trashy film the straw that broke this camel back was the drum stick.
  8. Aug 31, 2014
    6
    Wtf? Did anyone notice Matt M. (K.J.)'s badge number was 714. ...the same number that Jack Webb had in Dragnet.... The same number that was written on a quaalude .... WTF ?
Metascore
62

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: Joe Williams
    Aug 24, 2012
    63
    Killer Joe is one of the most repugnant parodies of small-town stupidity that you will ever see, and Friedkin amplifies the shrill obscenities with blaring cartoon and kung-fu footage from his art director's fever dreams.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 24, 2012
    80
    An unflinchingly ugly -- but downright mesmerizing -- tale that plumbs the depths of human immorality and, along the way, offers a dash of subtle commentary on just how far we, as a 312 million-member nuclear family, might have lost our way.
  3. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Aug 24, 2012
    50
    You end up feeling sorry for all the actors forced to humiliate themselves, except for McConaughey, whose portrayal of sadistic, manipulative evil is mesmerizing, in part because it was so unexpected. He continues to surprise. Friedkin, sadly, continues to coast.