100 movies: Killer Joe

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100 movies of 2012
Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

Killer JoeKiller Joe 29/06/12)

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.

After watching this film you will not want to head out for a lovely bit of KFC for a while. Trust me.

Killer Joe sees Matthew McConaughey plays the titular Killer Joe, a police detective who also has a nice little side business of professional killer. For a price, he’ll kill whoever you want him to kill. Emile Hirsch’s Chris is in a bit of spot of bother – he’s in debt. The only way he sees how to get out of his debt is by killing off his mother and collect her life insurance. Chris isn’t the brightest spark in the book, so as you can imagine, things go very wrong.

Matthew McConaughey really does shine in this film. Joe is a charismatic, charming, slimy and calculating kind of guy. All of these qualities make for one interesting character. At one point I was very much on his side, thinking he’s an altogether good guy. Wow, did my views change throughout the entire film. I’ve avoided a lot of Matthew McConaughey’s romcom type of films. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any. The last film of his I remember and enjoyed was Sahara. A guilty pleasure film of mine! He’s a completely different person in this film. For the good. He’s got such a command of the screen as Joe. Just totally drawn into him.

The rest of the cast is great. Thomas Haden Church has some fantastic lines that made me laugh out loud. Though I don’t think I’d say that this film is a comedy. A comedy of errors, but definitely not a comedy.

Felt like the first 45 minutes of the film were a little slow. I was getting shifty in my seat, waiting for something to happen. After that approximate marker the pace changed up a notch and it felt like we were finally heading towards something.

The final scene is brilliant. A little bit squirmy at points. Correction – very squirmy. The ending itself is all I could have asked for out of the film.

Killer Joe is a good film. Enjoyed watching it, with all the uncomfortable-ness in some scenes. I’m glad I decided to rush out of work on the Friday and peg it to my nearest cinema to see it. (In one of the tiniest screens known to man, I might add. It had 5 rows. And this was the Vue cinema at Westfield!) It’s just not the sort of film I’m rushing to go and see again.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

51 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)
  48. Insomnia 3/5 (16/06/12)
  49. Rebel Without a Cause 4/5 (22/06/12)
  50. A Lonely Place to Die 3/5 (26/06/12)
  51. Killer Joe 3/5 (29/06/12)


  1. Wow expected a higher rating after that review! Interesting! Very intrigued by all this talk of the chicken drumstick scene!

    • My defence is that it’s a high 3/5. The films I give higher than that are ones that I don’t mind seeing again. The fact that I feel like this is a one time viewing may have effected my final score.

      That’s not to say it’s not worth it. Totally worth it. Glad I saw it. The chicken drumstick scene is… well, you’ll see.

  2. From what I have heard there is a scene involving fried chicken that would make even the Colonel squirm!

    As a fan of William Friedkin I really wanted to see this and I have probably missed my opportunity to on the big screen. It wasn’t being shown in my area this weekend and I couldn’t be bothered to travel into London; lazy I know.

    People seem genuinely surprised Matthew McConaughey’s dark turn in this. It is understandable as ten years of Kate Hudson rom coms does tend to grind down your expectations, but he has been great in some really good films, Dazed and Confused, Lone Star, Frailty, and I even enjoyed he manic performance as Tip Tucker in Larger than Life. He has range, it seems but only when playing a Texan.

    • The only other William Friedkin film I’ve seen is French Connection, and not long ago. The tension that he managed to fill in that film is definitely something he’s not forgotten to do here. TENSE!

      Hopefully Matthew’s back on track in terms of his pick of films. I’ve heard good things about The Lincoln Lawyer too, which I’ve got recorded. Here’s hoping he’s leaving those bad romcoms behind.

      If I hadn’t have seen this film last Friday, I doubt I would have seen it at all, what with the crappy cinema times and small availability. Shame.

      I do wonder what the Colonel is thinking of the use of his KFC.

      • Probably Friedkin’s most famous film is the Exorcist. I don’t know if you have seen it but it often gets labelled as simply a ‘horror’ film when it is so much more, it is more like a meditation on faith and the eternal battle between good and evil. Well worth watching; don’t let the ‘horror’ tag put you off (assuming you have not already seen it) it really is a classic.

        The Lincoln lawyer looks good, I hadn’t heard of it. So many new films fall through the cracks with me, if I miss it at the cinema I am forever playing catch up as there are still thousands of older films I have to get through.

        With regards to the Colonel, ‘finger licking good’ springs to mind.

        • You know what? I’ve yet to see that film! The Exorcist that is. A commenter told me to check it out after I saw The French Connection, recently.

          Finger Licking good? Why did you go there!?

    • I actually LOVE Matthew’s performance as Tip Tucker in Larger than Life! He’s just so… unhinged in that movie, ahah. I think he has a knack for comedy.

      Ok, I might rent this one Jaina, though on paper it didn’t immediately appeal to me.

      • You don’t do that to me! You don’t do that to Tip Tucker and his Tip-Top Trucking!

      • Me either, but I’d heard such good things about it, thought, why not give it a shot. Rental for this sounds like a good idea.

  3. This doesn’t seem like my taste. I’m more excited about the theater you saw this in. It only had five rows of seats! That’s crazy. Is your home movie experience ten times the effect of this tiny theater?

    • The theatre was probably the size of my kitchen/dining room/living room! Small. People kept walking across from the screen thinking there was another aisle to go up to the “higher” seats. And one woman even walked into the wall doing that.

      Yeah, wouldn’t say this film is for everyone. Definitely not.

  4. Great review! Looking forward to this one and so glad you liked this one. I’m so happy McConaughey is doing different material nowadays, he is very talented when it comes to dramas and other movies that aren’t cheesy rom coms.

    • Yes. Either he’s got a new agent, or finally come to his senses. Either way, he’s done a great job here.

  5. Very interesting. I hate when movies start out slow, but get really good at the end. I wish it was just good all throughout the movie.

    The cast sounds wonderful. I find Matt McConaughey fun to watch (and not bad to look at either). I haven’t heard of this movie, but I’m so glad you did a review on it.

    Are you planning on reviewing Spiderman?

  6. HA Brill! I am chuffed you got to see this one Jaina, even if it was in the smallest screen known to man!!

    I gave it a 5 star rating as you know, I think I enjoyed it more than you.

    Excellent work matey

    • Definitely enjoyed it. I keep flip flopping on whether I need to give it 4 stars as I keep coming back to it and thinking about it.

      I guess the good thing about the smaller screens at this big multiplex type cinemas is that, hopefully, it means they’ll be showing more of these smaller films as well as the big ones.

  7. Between your review and Scott’s at FRC, I am sold on this movie. Can’t wait to see it when it comes out over here! You guys have been lucky lately with your early releases 😀

    • We have. I was surprised we’d got this when we did. Though, still waiting on Brave. And.. ahem… Magic Mike.

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