Screened as part of NZIFF 2012

Killer Joe 2011

Directed by William Friedkin

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

USA In English
103 minutes 35mm



Nicolas Chartier
Scott Einbinder


Tracy Letts. Based on his play


Caleb Deschanel


Darrin Navarro

Production designer

Franco-Giacomo Carbone

Costume designer

Peggy Schnitzer


Tyler Bates


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


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