User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 103
  2. Negative: 12 out of 103

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  1. Sep 30, 2014
    10
    A comedy as black as Beelzebub's soul. Brutality, sexual violence - not a film for the faint of heart or easily shocked. William Friedkin shows he hasn't mellowed in old age. Matthew McConaughey gives a brilliant performance as a cop who moonlights as a hit man and exploits with glee a family whose stupidity is matched only by their greed. This is Tennessee Williams on steroids.
  2. Mar 26, 2014
    9
    Dark, Funny, and true to It's story line, Killer Joe is a enjoyable cinematic experience for any fans of mystery movies with brutality. The only question is--- Would Colonel Sanders be proud?
  3. Mar 20, 2013
    9
    Killer Joe is Chiller Joe. This is the last word in dysfunctional families. The movie is by turns comic and horrifying, with no wrong notes struck and a happy ending to end all happy endings. We really do need to let Texas secede if they care to.
  4. Mar 11, 2013
    9
    This film shows everyone how good Matthew McConaughey is when he's in the right role. Sure there are a few disturbing things in this film, but I kind of dug it anyway.
  5. Dec 22, 2012
    10
    This is the work of a seasoned, masterful Director leading a cast through a " black as coal" script - and it works perfectly. Matthew McConaughey leads a terrific cast, all of whom commit to everything in the script. Kudos to the entire cast for taking this risk. This is a modern day film noir classic, just be prepared for a film that doesn't flinch.
  6. Nov 16, 2012
    9
    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. Collapse
  7. Sep 8, 2012
    9
    If you are turned off by violence realistically portrayed (no computer-generated antics here), stay away. None of it is gratuitous, all are essential -- and it is strong stuff. The movie builds in intensity relentlessly, all the way through, maintaining a reality within its milieu, and left us almost breathless as the final encounter builds and builds. Every character is believable while the story line goes deeper and deeper into their desperation, arrogance, cowardice, greed, love, infidelity, stupidity, and sadistic domination. "Love Story" it ain't. But it is a gem of what it set out to be. Expand
  8. Aug 21, 2012
    10
    Killer Joe is definitely an underrated gem for 2012. given an NC-17 will probably ruin any hopes of a good theatrical run but this film is on the fast track to be a cult classic. The direction that William Friedkin drives this film is slow and dirty. The Gallows Humor found in this film is hilarious and the violence is electrifying. Saying Killer Joe is just a regular noir film is a downright insult to the cast and crew. Expand
  9. Jul 31, 2012
    9
    Matthew McConaughey completely steals the show in Killer Joe, where he plays a detective who also works as a hired gun. McConaughey has moved himself away from the typical "pretty boy" roles he usually takes on and instead portrays a cold, ruthless killer with a contrasting strange taste for fine etiquette. Definitely the performance of the year thus far.
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.