Killer Joe (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Killer Joe2012

Killer Joe (2012)



Critic Consensus: Violent, darkly comic, and full of strong performances, Killer Joe proves William Friedkin hasn't lost his touch, even if the plot may be too lurid for some.

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Movie Info

When 22 year-old drug dealer Chris (Hirsch) has his stash of drugs stolen from him by his mother, he has to come up with six-thousand dollars quick, or he's dead. Desperate, he goes to the trailer-park to see his father, Ansel (Hayden Church), and he lays out the plan. Chris's mother, who everyone hates, has a life insurance policy that would clear up his debt and make them all rich. The problem is that Chris' mother is very much alive. Enter Detective "Killer" Joe Cooper, a hired hit man with the manners of a Southern gentleman, who will do the job - for an upfront fee, that Chris and Ansel can't pay. Just as Joe is about to leave, he spots Dottie (Temple), Chris' innocent younger sister. Joe makes Chris an offer, he'll keep Dottie as sexual collateral until the money is collected and his fee can be paid. -- (C) Voltage Pictures

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Matthew McConaughey
as "Killer" Joe Cooper
Emile Hirsch
as Chris Smith
Juno Temple
as Dottie Smith
Gina Gershon
as Sharla Smith
Marc Macaulay
as Digger Soames
Scott Martin
as Pizza Manager
Graylen Banks
as Pizza Patron
Carol Sutton
as Saleslady
Jeffrey Galpin
as Biker Thug
Gregory Bauchard
as Filpatrick
Charley Vance
as Preacher
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News & Interviews for Killer Joe

Critic Reviews for Killer Joe

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (56)

If you like your movies filled with twisted humor, sexual perversion, psychological intimidation and sudden violence, "Killer Joe" is the flick for you.

August 31, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Watching "Killer Joe" to the bitter end is like playing the Pick 6 lottery and getting three of the numbers right. You don't win anything, but you still think you're smarter than all those other idiots.

August 24, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

[Friedkin] has retained his touch ... all these years later. And in Matthew McConaughey, he has the perfect vehicle for madness.

August 23, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

You end up feeling sorry for all the actors forced to humiliate themselves, except for McConaughey, whose portrayal of sadistic, manipulative evil is mesmerizing.

August 23, 2012 | Rating: 2/4

The movie frequently clicks as a sendup of over-the-top film-noir storytelling.

August 16, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4

If y'all like your comedy with a Lone Star drawl and as black as Texas tea, then by all means tuck right into Killer Joe.

August 10, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Killer Joe


It is like the Coen brothers meet David Lynch in this depraved, vicious and incredibly gripping festival of sadism that Friedkin puts us through - a spectacular thriller that is both brutal and hilarious in a twisted way, like what he did in his fantastic Bug, also written by Tracy Letts.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A young drug dealer falls into debt, so he trades his sister for the services of a hitman, who will kill his mother for insurance money. Tracy Letts and William Friedkin follow up their relentless, paranoid thriller Bug with an even more relentless thriller in Killer Joe. Like Bug, it's almost impossible to tell where the plot is going, yet each turn is logical and character-driven. The action moments seem shoe-horned in, but the interactions between the characters are profoundly disturbing and occasionally disarmingly funny. The performances by Matthew McConaughey (the first film in his insurgence toward Oscar-worthy work), Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple, and Gina Gershon are all fantastic. Hirsch and Temple are especially good with characters stripped of dignity and gazing wide-eyed at the world's depravity. Overall, Letts and Friedkin are great together, and Killer Joe is a wonderfully disturbing follow-up.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


I loved this play. I remember it being riotously funny. The humor just didn't translate to the film, and opening up the locations didn't help it any.

Julie B
Julie B

Super Reviewer

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