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Killer Joe


Watch If You Like Gruesome Violence

Genre: Thriller
MPAA Rating: NC-17
for hardcore human depravity, graphic disturbing content involving violence, sexuality and brutality
Runtime: 102 minutes
Our Rating:
Directed by: William Friedkin
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon
Review by Diana Saenger

The Jerry Springer Show has finally made it to the big screen. Only they’re renamed it Killer Joe. At least that’s what this William Friedkin (The Exorcist) film feels like before it even gets far into what they call a plot.


Emile Hirsch & Matthew McConaughey

The dismal movie begins when Chris (Emile Hirsch) has the stash of drugs he sells stolen by his mother. Barely surviving by staying with his father, Ansel (Thomas Haden Church), sister - Dottie (Juno Temple), and stepmother - Sharla (Gina Gershon), in a beat-up trailer, Chris is on the run from the low-life’s he owes six-thousand dollars.
When local Detective "Killer" Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) begins to nose around, things heat up. He’s not the credible law officer people think he is. Joe is all about Joe. He wants money and women, especially if that includes owning the teen virgin Dottie. That’s the bargain Joe makes with Ansel to keep him out of trouble. When Chris objects he nearly dies from Joe’s beating. But then they make a bargain that revolves around Chris’ mother’s will. Joe, also available for murder for hire, is licking his lips. The scheme, also involving Ansel and Sharla goes terribly wrong.
Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple
In addition to this film about idiots, it’s very violent and contains vivid sexual acts. I admit there is some humor, but it’s followed by grotesque violence, like scenes of Joe continuously smashing Chris in the face with a can of pumpkin. Watching blood spurt all over a room instantly makes anything that was laughable, forgettable. Watching a young teen parade around her house in front of family and Joe practically nude, along with other scenes I can’t describe, made me question why this film was made and who would watch it.
Granted watching Matthew McConaughey’s deliberate and long-drawn-out manner of his character juxtaposed against his depraved character was interesting but not worth sitting through this smut to see it. Killer Joe is a misogynistic and lecherous movie not for mainstream moviegoers. And remember the NC-17 Rating (which most theatres will not show) is for hardcore human depravity, graphic disturbing content involving violence, sexuality and brutality. 
Photo Credits: LD Entertainment
Recommended Audience:
Those who like gruesome violence