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Review: Killer Joe

Updated: Monday, August 6 2012, 02:01 PM CDT

Grade:  A

Gritty and unapologetic, Killer Joe is a dark comedy with each scene more compelling than the last ending with something that you will be talking about for weeks to come.  The dry dialog reminds me of the legendary Cohen Brothers style and the action akin to Taratino's raw cinematography.  LD Entertainment tried to get an R rating, but due to some of the violent and graphic nature of the film, it has an NC-17 rating.  It's out not to disappoint.

Directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist), Killer Joe is full of essence. A drug dealer, Chris is in fear for his life when he is indebted to a drug lord.  The only way he can manage his way out of this mess is to hire a contract killer to murder his mother, which will give his sister $50,000 from her insurance policy.  That's where Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) comes in.  He wants $25,000 up front, but of course Chris won't get his hands on the money until after his mother's death so he takes Chris' sister, Dottie, as collateral.  Joe and Dottie develop an unusual relationship.  Dottie is pulled between her protective brother and her new love interest who has lured her into an attraction she has never known.  Her confusion escalates throughout the film until the end where she realizes she alone holds the key to the outcome.  Chris believes he's going to get the money, which he is going to split with Dottie and his dad and step-mother.  Everything is looking up, until something goes awry.

This film is a welcome departure for Matthew who shows his incredible range as a corrupt killer that the audience isn't sure if we should love or hate. It's a rare instance for actors to play both hero and villain and McConaughey is brilliant here.  The same can be said for each and every performer.  Gina Gershon is captivating as the twisted Texas redneck.

Ken The Critic's Movie Review Grading Scale -

A – Superb and solid; a movie that will be etched in your mind 10 years from now

B – Good movie, so good in fact that you would want to see it again before it’s out of the theaters; the story may drag in places

C – Average, entertaining at parts; you might want to wait and rent it

D – Lacks a lot from entertainment, plot, realism, development, etc.

F - Terrible and you will want to walk out of the movie; no redemptive qualities whatsoeverReview: Killer Joe


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