Killer Joe

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Killer Joe

William Friedkin (2011)

18 Certificate


Our Score
In this southern-fried thriller, cash-strapped Emile Hirsch cooks up a plan to kill his mother and collect on the insurance, but he gets in way over his head by hiring psychopathic detective Matthew McConaughey (the Joe of the title) to do the dirty deed. Needless to say, all does not run smoothly, and Hirsch's sweetly innocent sister (Juno Temple) soon becomes the object of Joe's perverse attentions. Leading man McConaughey certainly tears into the title role with full-blooded relish, yet as the final showdown approaches, the film revels unnecessarily in graphic violence. The script by playwright (and Pulitzer Prize winner) Tracy Letts clearly flags itself as the blackest of comedies, yet there seems scant justification for the carnage on display, as veteran director William Friedkin goes overboard on shock value. Famed for The French Connection and The Exorcist, Friedkin remains an expert technician to this day, but it's difficult to understand his enthusiasm for this seemingly juvenile exercise in trailer-trash excess.


A man heavily in debt to drug dealers plans to kill his mother and cash in her life insurance. He hires a cop who moonlights as a hitman to carry out the job, but when he is unable to pay up front, the assassin claims his employer's sister as collateral. Comedy thriller, starring Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple and Thomas Haden Church.

Cast & Crew

"Killer" Joe Cooper Matthew McConaughey
Chris Smith Emile Hirsch
Dottie Smith Juno Temple
Ansel Smith Thomas Haden Church
Sharla Smith Gina Gershon
Digger Soames Marc Macaulay
Director William Friedkin
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: E1 EntertainmentGuidance: Violence, swearing, nudity, drug abuse. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 29 Jun 2012
Comedy Drama