'Killer Joe' written by the brilliant, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tracy Letts (based on his play) and directed by the 70+ year old, William Friedkin (Exorcist) blew me away for many reasons.
But the main one is Matthew McConaughey's extraordinary Oscar worthy performance as cop/hitman, Killer Joe Cooper. Never has McConaughey been better or more terrifying.
The film is a black comedy. It's violent, sexual, raw, thrilling and yes, funny in a very dark twisted, sort of way.
The story revolves around a trailer trash dysfunctional family and the killer they hire to knock off someone, that is definitely NOT near and dear to them.
Sharla Smith (Gina Gershon) is a woman who enjoys parading her naked body around her stepson. Chris (Emile Hirsch) shares a trailer with her loser hubby, Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) and his daughter, Dottie (Juno Temple).
Chris borrowed a large sum of money from a group of nasty men and now they want it back. Trouble is, Chris is broke and can't pay them. But the dude has a plan...Kill his mother (Ansel's ex-wife) and collect the insurance money.
Daddy Ansel thinks it's a super idea and he's more than willingly to help his son execute the plan (now that's a good father).
Unfortunately, as creepy as our guys are, murder is not exactly their thing. So they hire a cop/hitman, Killer Joe Cooper to do the job for them.
Problem solved, right? Not quite. Killer Joe won't do the hit unless he's paid his fee of $10,000 upfront. Looks like the boys are back to square one and Chris's days are numbered.
But miracles do happen, even for a low life like Chris. Seems Joe has taken a fancy to kid sister Dottie and he agrees to forgo his $10,000 fee for...one dinner date with the lovely girl. Chris says no way, but Miss Dottie agrees.
Dinner starts out perfect, but then...well I don't want to spoil the fun by giving anything away.
What I will say is, what happens in 'Killer Joe,' is definitely jaw dropping shocking, making this movie one you'll remember for a very long time.
This is also one of director William Friedkin's best films...Which just goes to prove the saying 'some things do get better with age.'
John and I both gave 'Killer Joe' which opens in theatres Friday July 27, 2010 4 1/2 bagles out of 5....John's biggest bagel score in a really long time.
Check out of video for more of our thoughts.
Two Jews on Film - By Joan Alperin Schwartz