#SXSW Quickie: JOE


SXSW Quickie Review

An ex-con with serious anger issues befriends a young homeless kid whose alcoholic father endangers the lives of the whole family.

This Southern Gothic drama starring Nicolas Cage in the title role is a return to form for director David Gordon Green, who as of late hasn’t created anything at the level of his early works George Washington, All the Real Girls and Undertow. Thankfully, this movie is as good as, and maybe even better than, anything David Gordon Green made at the dawn of his directing career.

Because of that, Joe isn’t the easiest film to watch and has shocking moments of male aggression that can make even the most unaffected audience member skittish. It sits somewhere in between Mud and Killer Joe on the spectrum of dark tales from the south. Like those movies, Joe also features a career performance from the male lead… in this case, Nicolas Cage.

Along with Cage, co-star Tye Sheridan, who also starred in Mud alongside Matthew McConaughey, establishes himself as one of the brightest young talents working in the business as the homeless teenager. It’s a fiercely-acted, finely-directed motion picture that may not be a masterpiece but certainly comes close.