DVD review: 'Killer Joe'

Tracy Letts' dark, southern-fried trailer-trash comedy is a winner.
BY GENE TRIPLETT Entertainment Editor etriplett@opubco.com Published: December 28, 2012
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‘Killer Joe'

His mother is upbeat, down-home Oklahoma novelist Billie Letts, but you sure can't tell it from playwright/screenwriter Tracy Letts' down-and-dirty works.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his 2008 play “August: Osage County” (now an upcoming 2013 film shot in Pawhuska and Bartlesville, starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts), the Tulsa-born Tracy Letts' first play, 1993's black comedy “Killer Joe,” was made into one of the best films of 2012, under the same name, directed by William Friedkin (“The French Connection,” “The Exorcist”), starring Matthew McConaughey as Dallas police detective “Killer” Joe Cooper — who moonlights as a contract killer.

Now available on DVD and Blu-ray, “Killer Joe” also stars Emile Hirsch as 21-year-old drug dealer Chris Smith, who's in trouble with some nasty debtors and enlists the help of his dim-witted daddy Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) to arrange the death of Adele — who is Chris' mother and Ansel's ex-wife — in order to collect on Adele's $50,000 life insurance policy, of which Chris' somewhat mentally damaged little sister Dottie (Juno Temple) is the beneficiary.

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