This is my first review in a long time so, I may be a little rusty. Pardon my dust.
I put off seeing Joe for a long time because honestly, I am not the biggest Nicolas Cage fan. We all know his films are all over the place. He can be a brilliant and make Leaving Las Vegas or, he can be downright insane with The Sorcerer's Apprentice. He is a very eccentric actor to say the least.
This brings me to Joe. After hearing numerous good reviews, I decided to give Nic a chance. First thing first, I am glad I did, This is an excellent film. Based on the book by Gary Hawkins and written by Larry Brown. Director David Gordon Green, best know for Pineapple Express and Your Highness brings this dark, brooding story to the screen with resounding success.
Gary has numerous fights with his father, played by Gary Poulter in his first and last role. Months after filming finished, Poulter was found dead in the streets of Austin. Knowing this before you see the film adds to the extremely disturbing ending with Poulter and his final scene. Joe has an enemy in Willie-Russell, played by Ronnie Gene Blevins. Blevins too has a very disturbing scene towards the end of the film. Willie-Russell and Joe clash throughout the film which leads to an unforgettable ending.
The rest of the supporting actors are equally impressive. Most have never acted before and, that just gives you a feeling of total authenticity. I was pulled into Joe's conflicted world and grew attached to him. Joe is not a feel good movie, it is a dark look at a dark world. I enjoyed my stay.
This also marks one of Cage's best performances in years. He captures the classic brooding behavior he is famous for. I can't recommend the film enough, this is a stand out surprise.
5 Milwaukee beers out of 5
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