Killer Joe

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“A likeably unpleasant slice of adults-only Texas noir, which aims at the funny bone as much as the jugular.” — Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter

Year: 2011
Country: USA
Running time: 103 mins
Genres: Crime, Thriller

Producers: Nicolas Chartier, Scott Einbinder
Screenplay: Tracy Letts. Based on his play
Photography: Caleb Deschanel
Editor: Darrin Navarro
Production designer: Franco-Giacomo Carbone
Costume designer: Peggy Schnitzer
Music: Tyler Bates

With: Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe Cooper), Emile Hirsch (Chris Smith), Juno Temple (Dottie Smith), Gina Gershon (Sharla Smith), Thomas Haden Church (Ansel Smith)

Festivals: Venice, Toronto 2011; SXSW 2012

Matthew McConaughey is Joe, a Texan cop with a sideline in murder (for hire) in this lurid, trailer-trash melodrama adapted with relish and skill by William Friedkin from a play by Tracy Letts. Chris (Emile Hirsch), his father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) and stepmom (Gina Gershon) hatch a plan: they'll hire Joe to bump off Chris’ mother and cash in her life insurance policy.

“Full-frontal in every sense, an unabashed pulp romp stuffed with ugly acts and primal screams… Performances are across-the-board terrific… McConaughey freezes blood as a man whose dogged adherence to a bent code of conduct fills the vacuum in a not entirely negative way. It’s a game-changer of a part, just as the film catapults British actor Juno Temple, as Dottie [Chris’ Baby Doll sister], into the first league. It’s 40 years since Friedkin made The French Connection. With Killer Joe he looks like a talent as fresh as a paper cut.” — Catharine Shouard, The Guardian

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