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. (IMDB)
Writers: Tracy Letts
Director: William Friedkin
Stars:Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon
Run time/Rating 102 Minutes/ NC-17
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn
The more Mathew McConaughey movies I watch during this resurgence of his career over the past couple of years the more I like him. He has found a niche playing roles with similar characteristics in the sense that they are southern, self-obsessed, greasy yet charming guys, but they also have just as many differences in his past few films such as Bernie, Magic Mike, Mud, The Lincoln Lawyer and the great movie that I watched last night; Killer Joe. McConaughey can be relied on to bring his meticulously honed in craft to each performance and it makes him and the films very captivating to watch.
Academy Award winning Director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) directs Killer Joe brilliantly as well. He turns the story of a Dallas family who hires a hit man to murder their Mother/ Ex wife into a thrilling and haunting yet occasionally darkly humorous movie.
Based after the Play of the same name, Killer Joe is written by Tracy Letts. Letts who has written three plays that have been turned into movies also has been an actor in a number of different TV series and will be featured in the upcoming season of Homeland as a new charecter Senator Andrew Lockhart.(Which this writer is incredibly excited for!) I can tell in his screenplay how haunting of a play this must be to see live. Killer Joe is said to work for the Dallas PD but clearly plays by his own set of rules in this local small town. For supplementary income I would imagine, he works as a hired killer whose true colors are shown more and more throughout the movie. What seems like a man who is as normal and professional as a hired hit man can be at the beginning becomes one of the darkest psychotic madmen that has appeared on the big screen – a true testament to McConaughey’s performance, which at times is intensely eerie. Two scenes specifically in the movie stand out as especially twisted and haunting and if for no other reason are why the movie was tagged with the unmarketable NC-17 rating.
Don’t let that rating turn you off, it is uncomfortable at times to watch but it is an engaging story which is brilliantly acted out by everyone with a family like none other ever on the screen before.