Killer Joe

Featured In Issue 174, February 2013

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Strong disturbing violence, sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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William Friedkin
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"Killer Joe" Cooper (McConaughey) is a Dallas detective who doubles as a hit man with the charm of a southern gentleman. Chris (Hirsch) hires Joe to kill his mother in order to collect her life insurance and pay off his debts. Unable to pay for the service upfront, Joe takes Chris' sister Dottie (Temple) as a retainer until he can be paid. (Gary Reber)

The unrated version (01:42:59) is presented. Special features include commentary with Director William Friedkin (unrated version only), the featurette "Southern Fried Hospitality: From Stage To Screen" (HD 25:44), an SXSW Q&A with cast (HD 39:28), the SXSW intro by Friedkin (HD 03:41), the "White Trash" Red Band theatrical trailer, and upfront previews.

The 1080p AVC picture exhibits a densely dark appearance with a nicely saturated color palette. Fleshtones are naturally hued throughout. Resolution is generally good, though, backgrounds are softly focused. Detail is evident in close-ups, which reveal fine textures, but the detail comes and goes. Much of the storytelling is confined to a claustrophobic trailer. The outdoor segments exhibit better clarity and sharpness. Contrast is generally good, though, shadow delineation is often lacking. Still, this is an engaging visual experience that works. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced, with the trailer sequences exhibiting excellent dialogue reproduction. Dialogue in the outdoor segments is ADR and wanting in spatial integration. The outdoor segments provide good spatial dimensionality and aggressive surround envelopment, with dynamic energy, while the indoor segments are quiet. Atmospherics and special effects enhance the dramatics, especially during the rain storms. Bass extension is heightened during the storm and motor cycle chase scenes. The music score is essentially synthesized and immersive. Overall, this is a well-produced soundtrack with good fidelity and dialogue presence. (Gary Reber)