The Paperboy
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A sexually and racially charged film noir from Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious), The Paperboy takes audiences deep into the backwaters of steamy 1960s South Florida, as investigative reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and his partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) chase a sensational, career-making story. With the help of Ward's younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) and sultry death-row groupie Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), the pair tries to prove violent swamp-dweller Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) was framed for the murder of a corrupt local sheriff. Based on the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

""The Paperboy" is one of those rare examples where you might wish the movie was less faithful to the book."
‑ Rafer Guzman, Newsday
"The Paperboy bears some promise as a good-bad movie, but it unfolds as a bad-bad one."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"There's something undeniably compelling about the cast's daringly go-for-broke performances... but Daniels fragments the narrative and throws in so many tricksy directorial touches that the whole thing becomes an annoyingly indulgent mess."
‑ Jason Best, Movie Talk
"If you're bothered by frequent utterances of the "N-word" and the sight of Kidman spreading her talent - and her gams - wider than Sharon Stone in 'Basic Instinct,' you're gonna wanna look away from this sick, sizzling display."
‑ Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger
"The Paperboy is flawed, more deserving of a rubbernecking than a viewing. But it's hard to tear your eyes away."
‑ Kate Muir, Times [UK]
"Yes, it's a dizzying stew set to boil."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"It's a movie that seems to have a mild form of heatstroke: it's blurry, as if filmed long ago, and feverish, and the story wanders all over the place as if lost in a bayou. When it's over, you want to wipe your brow."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"The sweaty, lurid, self-serious nonsense is hard to take seriously, but I'll say this much for the film: it ain't boring. 
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"While there's much here about family loyalty and a 'don't mess with the swamp' aspect, Daniels' film has nevertheless been most discussed for its sex stuff, with every character having some sleazy secret or a scene devoted to their raunchy pleasure."
‑ David 'Mad Dog' Bradley, Rip It Up
"You certainly couldn't accuse anyone involved in The Paperboy of playing it safe, and for this reason, Lee Daniels' film is one to file under misjudged must-sees."
‑ Catherine Bray, Film4
"The Paperboy is southern Gothic wallowing in the swamp of low camp. And if the wallowing were deliberate, this might have been hugely funny."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"The Paperboy is over-the-top every which way you look."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"I'll just get it out of the way now: The Paperboy is unbelievably awful."
‑ Violet Lucca, Film Comment Magazine
"A seething, swampy murder investigation infused with the sweaty smell of bodies and driven by a casual force that is seductively unstable, darkly funny and strangely exhilarating. Daniels is a visionary."
‑ Simon Weaving, Screenwize
"( ... ) a film that captivates, puzzles and loses its own sense of direction in equal measure"
‑ Graham Young, Birmingham Mail
More reviews for The Paperboy on Rotten Tomatoes