Killer Joe ★★★½

You ever hear of Joe Copper? He's a cop. A detective actually. He's got a little business on the side.
-Chris Smith

Alfred Hitchcock would have directed a film like this... if he was born in America... and raised in a trailer park... in Texas. It's a Southern Gothic dark comedy based on the play by Tracy Letts. The dark humor in the film will probably either make it or break it for most people. It's so dark some might not even realize something was supposed to be funny.

As it's almost a filmed play it's success depends solely on the performances within it, and it succeeds brilliantly. Surprisingly though, in this "actor's film", it's Matthew McConaughey that completely dominates the movie as the title character. Joe is the alpha male that can't help but assault people whether it's psychologically or physically, whatever the situation dictates.

The other characters are first presented as white trash stereotypes but as the film progresses they become fully realized characters. Whether or not they are likeable characters is another question, but when you have great performances from the likes of Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon and Juno Temple it doesn't matter. It is interesting however to see characters that feel they are beyond reproach in their little world and how that drastically changes when they invite a real predator into their midst.

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