Excerpt: Killer Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) kills people. For $20,000 he will take care of any problem you have, permanently. That is, when he's not tied by his day job as Dallas homicide detective. And that's the good news. The bad news is that down-on-his-luck wannabe drug dealer Chris (Emile Hirsch) doesn't have enough cash up front to hire Killer Joe to take care of his down-on-her-luck wannabe drug dealing mother, so he puts up as a retainer the only thing he has Killer...
Conclusion: Killer Joe is not a universally appealing film. This Southern-trash epic from William Friedkin is populated with ugly, remorseless characters doing stupid things. The violence is brutal and shocking, but Killer Joe is often very funny. Matthew McConaughey impresses as Killer Joe Cooper, a hired gun who gets mixed up with a feuding family, including Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church and Gina Gershon.
Summary: It's never a good idea to brand people with labels. Case in point: my eldest sister, who is quite a bit older than I am (well into her sixties now) was driving through a North Carolina parking lot when she evidently inadvertently cut off another driver, a young and apparently fairly hot headed African American woman who screamed out at my sister, "Watch out, you crazy crack ho!
Conclusion: As Friedkin mentions in the featurette, SXSW intro and the commentary, the intent of the film is elicit a strong response from the audience. He mentions that though he is not concerned which side of the fence the audience lands, he is concerned with the viewers experiencing some kind of emotional reaction from the events depicted on screen.
Excerpt: Matthew McConaughey is this generation’s Robert Mitchum. This isn’t to say that the prime years McConaughey squandered shirtless in dire romantic comedies put him on equal footing with the iconic star of The Night Of The Hunter and Out Of The Past . But they have the same dangerous magnetism—lithe, relaxed, preternaturally self-assured, and almost feminine in their power to seduce.
Excerpt: Texas. Chris (Emile Hirsch) owes a lot of money to a local gangster. Staying with his father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church), stepmother Sharla (Gina Gershon) and younger sister Dottie (Juno Temple), he and Ansel hatch a plan. They hire local cop Joe (Matthew McConaughey), who is a contract killer on the side, to do away with Chris' mother and Ansel's ex, Adele: Dottie will be the beneficiary of the life insurance.
Excerpt: The opening titles are simple but accurate: "William Friedkin's Film of Tracy Letts' Killer Joe ." And make no mistake--William Friedkin has made a film of it, but this is undeniably "Tracy Letts' Killer Joe ." Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winner's first play, it is a dark, twisted, chilling piece of work, and with this writer, that's saying something. It is also Friedkin's second film adaptation of a Letts play, after 2006's harrowing (and underseen) Bug .