Killer Joe | Chicago Reader

Killer Joe

William Friedkin directed this adaptation of Tracy Letts's play about a sadistic Dallas cop (Matthew McConaughey) who moonlights as a hit man. When he's hired by a trailer-park burnout (Emile Hirsch) who can’t pay the fee, the cop takes the client's younger sister (Juno Temple) as a "retainer." The film harks back to the low-budget chamber pieces of Friedkin's early career (The Birthday Party, The Boys in the Band), and he creates a perfect storm of montage and character interplay within a confined space, which culminates in a disturbing loss of humanity. Friedkin and Letts share an appetite for intense encounters between people of questionable morality, and this film, with its grotesque depictions of sex and violence, is either a new high or a new low, depending on how you look at it.



  • William Friedkin


  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Emile Hirsch
  • Juno Temple
  • Gina Gershon
  • Thomas Church
  • Marc Macaulay
  • Gregory Bachaud
  • Charley Vance


  • Nicolas Chartier
  • Scott Einbinder
  • Christopher Woodrow
  • Molly Conners
  • Vicki Cherkas
  • Zev Foreman

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