Nicolas Cage stars as a hard-living ex-con who becomes friend and protector for a hard-luck kid (Tye Sheridan; The Tree of Life, Mud), in this contemporary Southern gothic tale from acclaimed filmmaker David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls).
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5 stars for Tye Sheridan, a compelling actor, 1 star for Nick Cage, a tired performer. He was great in MOONSTRUCK, which was a long time ago. I almost subtracted another star for gratuitous violence toward animals, including a scene where Cage kills a dog so he can screw a hooker. To make it worse, we a forced to watch his butt bobbing up and down, Is it just me, or does anyone like watching that?
A sombre backwoods tale of a young boy finding protection from his abusive household with an ex-con on his last chance. Beware of internet snobbery - this film was brooding, unsettling, and beautiful, and sad. The performances were honest and heartbreaking, with Cage proving he's just in need of good stories and good direction. Similar to Jeff Nichol's Mud, but grittier and more simplistic. A worthwhile viewing.
David Gordon Green made one of the best debut films of the past fifteen years in 2000 (George Washington) and unfortunately has never matched that hint of genius since. "Joe" has been reported as a return to form after floundering making juvenile humour films like the dreadful "your highness", but unfortunately it too flounders. Tye Sheridan is marvelous here as is the father from hell but the script is weak.
A film about second chances. Joe's conclusion gives it thematic richness - the perfectly sculpted final shot alone echoes and modifies at least three other scenes - but this richness eludes Green in the middle portions of the film, which dwell more on squalid, darkly-lit interiors than the psyches at play in the three central characters.
De vuelta a los pantanos del sur americano, Gordon Green se pone las botas y se salpica barro: Joe es una pelicula rugosa, de cuerpos que desean cerrar heridas pero terminan abriendo nuevas. El peculiar uso del contexto del que el director ha sabido dar cuenta en sus primeras grandes peliculas aparece nuevamente aqui, inmaculado, al igual que la aparición de personajes cuyas vidas estan en constante tensión.
A dense and unsettling stare into the depths of masculine weakness. Joe features incredibly strong performances where the actors are existing true, in each moment with a freshness that is riveting to watch. It's all held together by a driving score that's drenched with dread. My only gripe was the writing of the final act and it's resolution. Solid direction. 4 stars
2.5 stars. Characters are somewhat stock Southern Gothic, with scant examination behind the evil that men do, apart from sense that these are men whose goodness has decayed through poverty & drink. Nic's performance as Joe signifies emotional depth without there being any indication of what this depth might entail, which is perfect since the authentic Joe is hidden behind a carefully constructed mask of masculinity.