Killer Joe

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 115 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 115
  2. Negative: 13 out of 115
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  1. Jun 8, 2013
    8
    I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie considering how dark, brutal, and sometimes down-right disgusting it can be. More impressive is how it can make you laugh. It's a look at the darker, greedier side of people and how simple ignorance can cost us greatly. The cast is fantastic, Matthew McConaughey, Juno Temple, and Thomas Haden Church give the best performances I've seen fromI'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie considering how dark, brutal, and sometimes down-right disgusting it can be. More impressive is how it can make you laugh. It's a look at the darker, greedier side of people and how simple ignorance can cost us greatly. The cast is fantastic, Matthew McConaughey, Juno Temple, and Thomas Haden Church give the best performances I've seen from them yet, and let's be honest Emile Hirsch was born to give fantastic performances like this one. It's a great movie, the only complaint I have is that the ending was kind of a cliff hanger. It's perfectly acceptable, but it really felt like there should have been a few more minutes before the credits rolled. In the end it's a great and graphic movie that you should check out. Just be sure you can handle brutal movies, or this one will mess you up. Expand
  2. Aug 1, 2014
    8
    Vile, twisted, disgusting, disturbing, perverted, over the top, and violent, Killer Joe is actually a really good film. Now, it is entirely twisted, but the pitch black comedic moments lighten things up a bit. The sexual scenes are also a little much for my taste and at times this one was basically pornographic. However, Matthew McConaughey is so good in this one it hurts. Joe Cooper, hisVile, twisted, disgusting, disturbing, perverted, over the top, and violent, Killer Joe is actually a really good film. Now, it is entirely twisted, but the pitch black comedic moments lighten things up a bit. The sexual scenes are also a little much for my taste and at times this one was basically pornographic. However, Matthew McConaughey is so good in this one it hurts. Joe Cooper, his character, is easily one of the best villains I have seen in a long time, maybe the best I have seen since Hannibal Lecter. Twisted, sadistic, and entirely crazy, McConaughey's Cooper commands the screen and incites terror the first time you see him and even more so as you see just how insane and sadistic he truly is. Nobody is really safe from his wrath, not even the viewer, as by the end, it feels like he has even taken a piece of you. This one is violent and a tough watch, so it is not for everybody without question, but if this one does not leave you speechless at the end, I do not know what will. Very well made film here with a phenomenal, Oscar worthy turn from Matthew McConaughey. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. Aug 9, 2012
    8
    It's by far the best B-movie, film noir, grindhouse-style film I've seen in a long time. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and it's funny as hell. McConaughey is terrific - it's almost an extension of his role on Magic Mike - an egotistical control freak. But Thomas Haden Church steals the show with his deadpan style of humor. Great fun.
  5. 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?
  6. Aug 11, 2013
    8
    Because it’s based on a play the action does all seem to occur in one place; predominantly the Smith family trailer. I didn’t find this too distracting but I did find it a little claustrophobic at times. All of the performances were truly excellent but I have to say the critics were right; Matthew McConaughey really does stand out in this one. There are some really violent scenes in thisBecause it’s based on a play the action does all seem to occur in one place; predominantly the Smith family trailer. I didn’t find this too distracting but I did find it a little claustrophobic at times. All of the performances were truly excellent but I have to say the critics were right; Matthew McConaughey really does stand out in this one. There are some really violent scenes in this one so I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for younger viewers; the 18 Certificate is definitely more than a guideline here. I really liked the underlying dark humour throughout; it gave the narrative a little more interest. Over all, an interesting watch with some nice touches; it doesn’t have any particularly stunning effects but it’s a well crafted character-driven piece. Well worth a look if you get the chance.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 7.7/10.
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  7. BKM
    Feb 25, 2013
    7
    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.
  8. 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 forThis 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. Expand
  9. Mar 20, 2014
    8
    this film marked the beginning of the McConaissance and with good reason: mcconaughey is perfection. smartest guy in the room, charming, and cold. brilliant and gutsy career choice. thomas haden church is also perfection. two great texas boys. i'm not a grindhouse fan, but the black humor. gorgeous cinematography, and friedkin's direction made this B-movie modern noir. had to watch somethis film marked the beginning of the McConaissance and with good reason: mcconaughey is perfection. smartest guy in the room, charming, and cold. brilliant and gutsy career choice. thomas haden church is also perfection. two great texas boys. i'm not a grindhouse fan, but the black humor. gorgeous cinematography, and friedkin's direction made this B-movie modern noir. had to watch some with one eye closed, but, hey, i had been warned. to think a director in his mid-70s made this film and wouldn't compromise makes me admire william friedkin all the more. Expand
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 believableIf 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
  13. 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.
  14. Apr 28, 2014
    7
    An uncompromising film that allows Friedkin to showcase all the tricks he has acquired throughout his extensive career. With clever casting lead by the flawless McConaughey, Killer Joe is a dark and twisted story that draws the viewer into the sordid truth of human morality. A film that does not try strive for artistic perfection at the expense of entertainment. A refreshing blend ofAn uncompromising film that allows Friedkin to showcase all the tricks he has acquired throughout his extensive career. With clever casting lead by the flawless McConaughey, Killer Joe is a dark and twisted story that draws the viewer into the sordid truth of human morality. A film that does not try strive for artistic perfection at the expense of entertainment. A refreshing blend of experience and youth allows this film to stand out from the crowd and is certainly worth a watch. A must see for all KFC enthusiasts. Expand
  15. 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.
  16. 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 aKiller 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
  17. Jan 2, 2013
    8
    I am a 23-year-old man and this movie is going to give me nightmares. I don't think I've ever seen a more disturbing movie. The only character that's actually likeable in the entire film is "Ansel". I can't think of anything else to say except this movie is both good and extremely unsettling.
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.