Thursday, September 8, 2011
Friedkin's "Killer Joe" may not travel the festivals circuit but seems thoroughly entertaining
"The William Friedkin of The French Connection and The Exorcist may be but a distant memory, but Killer Joe proves that at 76 the Academy Award-winning director is certainly no back number. A likeably unpleasant slice of adults-only Texas noir, which aims at the funnybone as much as the jugular, this adaptation of Tracy Letts’ play proves better suited to a big-screen adaptation than the last Friedkin/Letts collaboration, the hysterical Bug (2006).
And with Texas’ own Matthew McConaughey in fine sardonic form as the eponymous Joe – a West Dallas detective who operates a lucrative sideline as a hitman-for-hire – the new picture certainly has stronger commercial possibilities." (Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter)
“Killer Joe” is funny but pitilessly withering in its evocation of undated Southern blue-collar living, casually peppering its script with curled-lip references to thrift stores and fried chicken. Does it think this ill of all such class members or just this one nasty little family?" (Guy Lodge, In Contention ***)
"It won’t change the face of cinema history, and it won’t win any awards (it’s too downright dirty for that), but it’s furiously entertaining, and a very strong piece of drama from a director who hasn’t much luck in the last thirty-odd years. Whether his collaboration with Letts continues or not, let’s hope that Friedkin has more in the pipeline closer to “Killer Joe” than to " (Oliver Lyttelton, IndieWire, B+)