Matthew McConaughey is a Texan cop with a sideline in murder (for hire) in this lurid and bloody trailer-trash melodrama. With Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon. “Unabashed pulp.” — The Guardian
Screened as part of NZIFF 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