Killer Joe is a brutal, blood-splattered and blackly comic thriller from The Exorcist director William Friedkin. Chris, a dropout drug-dealer with huge gambling debts and family problems, comes up with a plan to kill his mother and profit from her lucrative insurance policy. Chris employs sadistic cop and part-time assassin Joe Cooper (a startling performance by Matthew McConaughey) to carry out his plans. But when Joe encounters Chris’ doe-eyed teenaged sister Dottie, everything turns sour.
Play it Again Staff Recommendation
Slowly but surely Matthew McConaughey is beginning to shed his heartthrob status and evolve into something rather sinister, slimy if you may. This isn’t a little phase for McConaughey but a role he adopts best, peculiarly he’s at his most alluring when he’s a threatening force. From the moment Killer Joe starts, audiences are forced into a violent bubble; everything on screen screams violence. Friedkin details the characters so impeccably that the violence against them feels almost personal and even nastier than it is. Whilst it’s not Friedkin’s best, Killer Joe remains a fantastic piece of cinema and is the perfect slice of subversive summer entertainment.
Jay Crosbie, Cornerhouse LiveWire Young Film Critic