Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
A gripping mix of friendship, violence and redemption erupts in the contemporary South in this adaptation of Larry Brown's novel, celebrated at once for its grit and its deeply moving core. Directed by David Gordon Green, JOE film brings Academy Award (R) winner Nicolas Cage back to his indie roots in the title role as the hard-living, hot-tempered, ex-con Joe Ransom, who is just trying to dodge his instincts for trouble - until he meets a hard-luck kid, (MUD's Tye Sheridan) who awakens in him a fierce and tender-hearted protector. (c) Roadside

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The shifting tones keep the movie both buoyant and firmly grounded, and playing out in a sphere pitched somewhere between the mythic and the muddy."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Globe and Mail
"A small-scale, expertly acted character study in which Cage plays an ex-con trying to make a quiet living in a backwater Texas town and trying, above all, to keep certain troublesome character tendencies in check."
‑ Soren Anderson, Seattle Times
"For two hours, Cage's bad-thriller past doesn't catch up with him."
‑ Jesse Hassenger, PopMatters
"It's fascinating watching Cage play a man who is constantly trying to restrain himself, when as an actor he's best known for throwing caution to the wind."
‑ Tom Clift, Concrete Playground
"There is a pleasing synchronicity between Joe's attempts to stem his temper and the effort made by Cage to keep his own actorly excesses in check."
‑ Ryan Gilbey, Sight and Sound
"A tough rural drama by David Gordon Green that digs deep in all the right ways."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"What happens along the way isn't particularly surprising to those familiar with Southern gothic sensibilities. But if the path is predictable, the acting is not."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"A fantastic story of destiny finally calling for a drifter ( ... ) except that Gary Poulter was found dead two months after shooting wrapped, a victim of the alcoholic, hard-living, cancer-ridden existence he had somehow put behind him while on set."
‑ Graham Young, Birmingham Mail
"Generally as raw as the steaks that Cage manfully cuts from the carcass of an impaled deer, the high whiff of which seeps through every frame of the film."
‑ Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]
"Bearded redneck turns out to be a good look for Cage, who puts in his best screen performance since Werner Herzog'sBad Lieutenant"
‑ Tara Brady, Irish Times
"It's young Sheridan's Gary who makes the film work, with his mix of earnest ambition, stubborn courage and hopeful endurance. He gives "Joe" the honesty it needs."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"For Nicolas Cage, whose dumb, rant-for-hire projects have lately been making audiences forget how good he can be, Joe is more than a rescue - it's a re-birth."
‑ Bob Mondello, NPR
"Powerhouse performances from Cage and Sheridan and Green's engaging direction assure Joe is a film that will rattle around in your mind for days."
‑ Blake Howard, 2UE That Movie Show
"Nicolas Cage dials down the craziness to deliver a performance of true sensitivity and depth in this absorbing American indie drama."
‑ Jason Best, Movie Talk
"Nicolas Cage gives a rare internalised performance in this atmospheric drama, which has a stronger sense of its location than it does of its story."
‑ Rich Cline,
More reviews for Joe on Rotten Tomatoes