Saturday, April 26 2014, 11:16 AM MDT
Movie Review: Joe
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: David Gordon Green
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Gary Poulter
Recommended To: Those looking for a dark Southern drama featuring a great performance from Nicolas Cage.
Synopsis: Gary (Tye Sheridan), the 15-year-old son of an abusive alcoholic, is taken under the wing of Joe (Nicolas Cage), an ex-con with anger issues.
Review: It is unfortunate that Nicolas Cage has developed the reputation of being a terrible actor. He’s certainly made some questionable career choices and in recent years many of his roles have been dictated by Cage’s financial troubles and as a result many have forgotten his performances in films like Adaptation, Leaving Las Vegas, Raising Arizona and even Kick-Ass. With Joe Cage reminds us that he is capable of greatness if properly cast and motivated. We’re also reminded that David Gordon Green, who made somewhat of a comeback with last year’s Prince Avalanche, is a far better filmmaker than his mainstream films (Pineapple Express, The Sitter, Your Highness) suggest. The film is reminiscent of Mud, which also starred Tye Sheridan, and the under appreciated Out of the Furnace. All three films have a Southern-sweat-soaked grittiness to them and a sense of Wild West lawlessness that gives the movies a heightened sense of tension. Anything can happen because there is no one strong enough to stop it. Mud is the most hopeful of the trilogy, but Joe, despite its darkness, isn’t void of promise and liberation. It’s a hard, but rewarding experience that I hope doesn’t go unnoticed.
-Ryan Michael Painter