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Killer Joe 2011

When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

Starring:
Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch
Runtime:
1 hour, 38 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Comedy
Director William Friedkin
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch
Supporting actors Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon, Marc Macaulay, Gralen Bryant Banks, Carol Sutton, Danny Epper, Jeff Galpin, Scott A. Martin, Gregory C. Bachaud, Charley Vance, Julia Adams, Geraldine Glenn, Sean O'Hara, Blain Sanchez, Tony Severio, Lynette Zumo
Studio Entertainment One
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 July 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Desperate times call for desperate measures; but the key participants in this piece are cursed by disloyalty, foolishness and greed, and they are cats paws in the hands of the more powerful and cunning. Splendidly played by all of the cast the story makes even these simple observations more subtle still. This isn't a film for the squeamish or those who hate Michael Hanecke style films; but it demonstrates what American cinema can do when it chooses to.

For good and ill.
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Format: DVD
What makes Killer Joe, a cold and brutal film, work is that it's very funny. It's a true black comedy, with nary a hint of restraint. The film faced censorship in America but William Friedkin, its director, refused to cut it, reasoning that he would have destroyed it by doing so. Good for him. Though the film defines the notion of "adults only" its unpredictability and clear-eyed take on its squalid characters is what makes it disturbing, as opposed to just the level of its violence. It's not a Human Cenitpede or even a recent Texas Chainsaw. Rather, it relies on coldly efficient storytelling to disturb us, and make us laugh. Killer Joe was written by Tracy Letts, based on his play. Its humour comes from juxtapositions between bleak reality and social pleasantries, like when a gangster makes small talk with a man he's about to have savagely beaten.

Drug dealer Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) hires "Killer" Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a cop who moonlights as an assassin, to kill Chris' mother, so he can collect her life insurance and pay some dangerous creditors. In on the plan is Chris' clueless father, Ansel (Thomas Haden Church), slutty stepmother, Sharla (Gina Gershon), and mentally immature sister, Dottie (Juno Temple). Because Chris won't be able to pay Joe until the job's done, Joe demands to be set up with Dottie as a deposit. Chris accepts this more reluctantly than Ansel.

McConaughey, a talented actor, transcends his hunky persona to play Joe as a control freak. Joe's attracted to Dottie, I think, partly because he can use her to act out, unquestioningly, all of his dreams and desires, and partly because her child-like innocence exists in a world outside the stinking horror of his. Even psychopaths appreciate nice company, I guess.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In this 2011 dark comedy crime thriller, 22-year-old drug dealer Chris Smith, desperate to pay his debt to loan sharks, decides to murder his mother, Adele, to collect the $50,000 of insurance money. Enlisting the co-operation of three other family members; his dim-witted father Ansel, his new step mother and, his younger sister Dottie’ who will be the sole beneficiary. Can the dysfunctional family get it together long enough to pull it off?
The pace is relaxed, the music quirky & suitably menacing and the story intriguing. With good acting, strong characters and dry deadpan humour, this tends to have plenty to maintain the interest, including some atmospheric sets and good photography. The pace really picks up about the halfway mark as events take a dark turn and the script gets a lot sharper bringing various elements together.
Opening to 4 trailers the single disc offers play, chapters, set up [audio English 5.1/2.0 default, subtitles English HoH on/off] and extras [5 interviews with cast and crew]. I found these selections difficult to do but it is the non-highlighted one that is selected.Rated 18 this has swearing and crude language from the outset, as well as full frontal nudity, but it’s the little details and actions that add realism to this trashy world, such as the bouquets of flowers. If you like your films slightly ‘out there’ then this is a good one. Although the graphic ‘domestic’ style violence and humiliation toward the end will upset and offend many. Keep playing to the end of the credits for the final comment!
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Format: Blu-ray
Killer Joe is not an easy movie to watch. Grim and grubby this won’t provide a cosy night it but it is riveting from start to finish.

Carl needs money and he needs it fast so he decides the best thing to do is to bump off his estranged mother and inherit her life insurance. So with the help of his father he enlist Killer Joe, a police officer moonlighting as an assassin. When Joe finds out that payment can’t be made until the murder takes place he decides to take Carl’s sister as a retainer. Suffice to say the rest of the story doesn’t quite go to plan and everything spirals out of control.

The film itself is not as controversial as some would have you believe but it does have some uncomfortable moments which will make you squirm. The film is littered with interesting characters each with their own secrets and flaws and these come to light as the film progresses. The twist in the tail is well handled and in fact the last half an hour is superbly tense.

A powerhouse performance from an increasingly exciting Matthew McConaughey only serves to make this film all the more tense. He has a seething menace and violent streak just waiting to burst from his immediately calm demeanour.

Killer Joe is a film with intent. Intending to make you wriggle in your seat which it succeeds at doing. It isn’t the quiet masterpiece that some may have hoped for, but it shows that directors like Friedkin still have the guts to push some boundaries.
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