Killer Joe (2011) Poster

Killer Joe (2011)

  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 20,265 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 29 June 2012 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 102 min (original version) | 98 min (cut version)
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Killer Joe (2011)

Killer Joe 2011tt1726669.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Killer Joe (2011)
  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 20,265 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 29 June 2012 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 102 min (original version) | 98 min (cut version)
  • Filming Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • Budget: $10,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $220,282(USA)(5 August 2012)
  • Director: William Friedkin
  • Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch and Juno Temple|See full cast and crew
  • Original Music By: Tyler Bates   
  • Soundtrack: Led Pud
  • Sound Mix: Dolby
  • Plot Keyword: Debt | Police | Murder | Police Detective | Fried Chicken

Writing Credits By:

  • Tracy Letts (screenplay)
  • Tracy Letts (play "Killer Joe")

Known Trivia

  • Killer Joe was the first play Tracy Letts wrote, in 1991.
  • In an interview Gina Gershon revealed that she wore a merkin. After ordering a wide variety, she settled on one she named Bertha.
  • In one scene Dottie asks if Joe is a detective like Magnum PI. Matthew McConaughey was in the running for playing Magnum PI in a big budget movie remake of the series in 2007, as of 2012 the project is dead in the water.
  • Near the end of the movie, Joe tells Chris, “caveat emptor”. This is Latin for “let the buyer beware”.
  • The film was released theatrically with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA for “graphic aberrant content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality” but was edited down to an R rating for the home video release so that the DVD and Blu-ray could be sold in certain stores. The reason for the R rating given by the MPAA was for “strong and disturbing violence, sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language”.

Goofs: Continuity: When Chris returns home after Digger's thugs beat him up, his teeth are perfectly white, yet in the close-up shot, they are all bloody and messed up.

Plot: When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance. Full summary »  »

Story: Finding himself in considerable debt, Chris a Texan drug dealer, decides the only solution is to murder his mother to collect the insurance money. Getting together with his father, the ex-husband of Chris' mother, they decide to hire Joe Cooper a contract killer, who also happens to be a police detective. The plan is that the money will go to Chris' sister Dottie. However due to the size of the contract fee, Chris agrees that Joe can take Dottie as a retainer until the insurance comes through.Written by Anonymous  


Synopsis: Finding himself in considerable debt, Chris Smith, a Texan drug dealer, decides the only solution is to murder his mother to collect the insurance money. Conspiring with his father, Ansel, the ex-husband of Chris’s mother, they decide to hire "Killer Joe" Cooper, a police detective who has a parallel career as a contract killer. They plan to give the money to Chris’s sister Dottie, who Chris thinks is the beneficiary of the mother’s life insurance policy. Chris is unable to front Killer Joe’s fee. However, Chris agrees that Joe can take Dottie as a retainer until the insurance comes through.

Acting upon the retainer, Killer Joe carries out the contract on Chris’s mother. After the killing, it is discovered that Rex, her boyfriend, provided false information about the life insurance policy and that he is the actual beneficiary. Also, Chris’s step-mother, Sharla, who is also involved with Rex, pushed Chris into hiring Killer Joe. When he discovers this, Killer Joe confronts Rex, kills him, and recovers the insurance check. Chris, knowing that he will be Killer Joe’s next target, quickly makes plans to escape to Peru with Dottie.

In the final scene, Killer Joe arrives at the Chris’s trailer and violently confronts Sharla, forcing her to admit that she and Rex conspired against Chris and left him at the mercy of Killer Joe. Since the family is unable to pay his fee, Killer Joe intends to take Dottie as agreed. When Chris arrives and threatens Killer Joe with a gun, the two struggle. In the subsequent confusion, Dottie recovers the gun and shoots Chris, killing him and mortally wounding their father. Dottie turns the gun on Killer Joe, telling him that she is pregnant. Killer Joe feigns enthusiasm as he inches closer to Dottie. The film ends as Dottie moves her finger back on the trigger. From Robert Cohan: No one, in any review to date, has ventured to explain the ending rather than simply accept it. What the veiwer must figure out is that Dotties brother is the father of the baby. That is why she shot her brother and it is why her brother was so desperate to keep her to himself. Also, Killer Joe could not have been the father as he had only been staying at the house for a few days in which case Dottie could not have known if he had been the one to impregnate her.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Nicolas Chartier known as producer
  • Vicki Cherkas known as executive producer
  • Molly Conners known as executive producer
  • Scott Einbinder known as producer
  • Zev Foreman known as executive producer
  • Laurence Freed known as co-executive producer
  • Patrick Newall known as co-producer
  • Jamin O'Brien known as co-executive producer
  • Eli Selden known as associate producer
  • Roman Viaris-de-Lesegno known as executive producer
  • Ryan Westheimer known as line producer
  • Doreen Wilcox Little known as associate producer
  • Christopher Woodrow known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Matthew McConaughey known as Killer Joe Cooper
  • Emile Hirsch known as Chris Smith
  • Juno Temple known as Dottie Smith
  • Thomas Haden Church known as Ansel Smith
  • Gina Gershon known as Sharla Smith
  • Scott A. Martin known as Pizza Manager (as Scott Martin)
  • Gralen Bryant Banks known as Pizza Patron
  • Carol Sutton known as Saleslady
  • Danny Epper known as G-Man
  • Jeff Galpin known as Biker Thug
  • Marc Macaulay known as Digger Soames
  • Gregory C. Bachaud known as Filpatrick
  • Charley Vance known as Preacher
  • Julia Adams known as Adele
  • Blain Sanchez known as Prisoner
  • Geraldine Glenn known as Pizza Patron (uncredited)
  • Sean O'Hara known as Rex (uncredited)
  • Tony Severio known as Pizza Patron (uncredited)
  • Lynette Zumo known as Waitress (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Marcos Gonzales known as department head hair
  • Krystal Kershaw known as makeup department head
  • Krystal Kershaw known as makeup designer
  • Krystal Kershaw known as special makeup effects department head
  • Adrienne Lynn known as makeup artist
  • Kent Richard known as key hair stylist

Art Department:

  • Spencer J. Abadie known as construction buyer
  • Michael Arena known as greens
  • Charles Bodenheimer known as painter
  • Rick Broderman known as head painter
  • Jeffrey Pratt Gordon known as assistant prop master
  • April LaBranche known as art department coordinator
  • Nicole LaBranche known as art department coordinator
  • Andrew H. Lewis known as carpenter helper
  • Lindanne Lewis known as painter
  • Cory Parker known as on set dresser
  • Alixandra Petrovich known as additional on-set dresser
  • Sian C. Sanzone known as painter
  • Ember Soberman known as painter
  • Courtney Talbot known as set designer
  • Marcus Turchi known as construction coordinator
  • Brook Yeaton known as property master




Production Companies:

  • Voltage Pictures
  • Picture Perfect (I)
  • Worldview Entertainment
  • ANA Media

Other Companies:

  • 360 Communication Rentals  walkies
  • ARRI / Camera Service Center  camera equipment provided by
  • Cajun Stunts  camera atv
  • Cajun Stunts  camera quad
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera car
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera cranes
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera dollies
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Eisner & Frank  production legal
  • Event Restroom  restrooms
  • Film Production Capital  tax credit financing
  • Hollywood Trucks  Entertainment Transportation
  • Intelligent Media  international monitoring agency
  • Milan Records  soundtrack
  • Runway  post-production
  • Screen Actors Guild (SAG)  special thanks (as Screen Actors Guild)
  • Second Line Stages  sound stages
  • Silver Screen Supply  location equipment/rentals
  • Silver Screen Supply  production services
  • Stone Management  product placement
  • Todd-AO Studios  post-production facilities

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  • Audio Visual Entertainment (2012) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Belga Films (2012) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Bolero Film (2012) (Italy) (theatrical)
  • Entertainment One Benelux (2012) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Entertainment One (2012) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Future Film (2012) (Finland) (theatrical)
  • LD Entertainment (2012) (USA) (theatrical)
  • PARLUX Entertainment (2012) (Hungary) (theatrical)
  • Pyramide Distribution (2012) (France) (theatrical)
  • Roadshow Film Distributors (2012) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2012) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Califórnia (2012) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Lions Gate Films Home Entertainment (2012) (USA) (DVD)
  • Midget Entertainment (2012) (Denmark) (all media)
  • Nu Metro Productions (2012) (South Africa) (all media)
  • Top Films (2012) (Russia) (all media)
  • VVS Films (2012) (Canada) (all media)
  • Village Roadshow (2012) (Australia) (all media)
  • WVG Medien GmbH (2012) (Germany) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Digital Post Services (title design)
  • Digital Post Services (visual effects)

Release Date:

  • Italy 8 September 2011 (Venice Film Festival)
  • Canada 11 September 2011 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Spain 15 October 2011 (Sitges Film Festival)
  • USA 10 March 2012 (South by Southwest Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 28 April 2012 (Imagine Film Festival)
  • Australia 7 June 2012 (Sydney Film Festival)
  • USA 9 June 2012 (Seattle International Film Festival)
  • UK 20 June 2012 (Edinburgh Film Festival)
  • Ireland 29 June 2012
  • UK 29 June 2012
  • Germany 1 July 2012 (Munich Film Festival)
  • USA 27 July 2012 (limited)
  • Iceland 1 August 2012
  • Canada 10 August 2012 (limited)
  • France 2 September 2012 (Deauville Film Festival)
  • France 5 September 2012
  • Greece 20 September 2012
  • Sweden 22 September 2012 (Lund Fantastisk Film Festival)
  • Belgium 26 September 2012
  • Finland 28 September 2012
  • Italy 11 October 2012
  • Netherlands 25 October 2012
  • Netherlands 26 October 2012 (Leiden International Film Festival)
  • Serbia 29 October 2012 (Cinemania)
  • Germany 2 November 2012 (DVD premiere)
  • Sweden 7 November 2012 (DVD premiere)
  • Turkey 9 November 2012
  • USA 21 December 2012 (DVD premiere)
  • Brazil 18 January 2013
  • Hungary February 2013
  • Russia 28 February 2013

MPAA: Rated R for strong and disturbing violence, sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language (edited for re-rating)



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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