Joe (Cage), an ex-con with a hair-trigger temper who is trying to stay out of trouble, making an honest yet meager life for himself, is the unlikeliest of role models. But when he meets a troubled 15-year-old homeless boy (Sheridan) in need of help from a violent and destitute father, Joe is faced with the heartbreaking choice of redemption or ruin. Based on the novel by Larry Brown. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Director David Gordon Green, composer David Wingo, and Actor Brian D. Mays; a making-of featurette (HD 11:15); The Long Gravel Drive: The Origins Of Joe featurette (HD 15:55); two deleted scenes (HD 02:46); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed digitally with the Arri Alexa Plus camera system. The imagery exhibits raw realism in backwoods country. The color palette exhibits natural hues that are well balanced throughout, with perfectly toned fleshtones. Primaries are never exaggerated, yet hued toward warmth. Contrast is well balanced with natural blacks and shadows that are nicely defined. This is a really raw visual experience that projects absolute realism. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audioô 5.1-channel soundtrack is primarily fontal focused, with limited atmospherics and sound effects that envelop the soundfield. At times rain and thunder liven the affairs. Otherwise, this is a principally dialogue-focused soundtrack. The music score is subtle and never dominates the sonics for the most part. There are more intense scenes in which the music projects more aggression. Still, the sonics deliver a powerful emotional and supportive experience in the telling of the story. (Gary Reber)