Movie Review: Joe

When you try your best to stay out of trouble, what would make you get involved with someone you know will bring trouble your way? In April 2014, Joe found something worth getting into trouble over.

Directing this 118 minute drama is David Gordon Green.

Some of the cast is: Nicolas Cage as Joe, Tye Sheridan as Gary, Ronnie Gene Blevins as Willie-Russell, Gary Poulter as Wade and Adriene Mishler as Connie.

Joe's an ex-con that works hard and tries to stay out of trouble. Try as he might, he doesn't always succeed. Between his life and the battle he fights with his demons, Joe's not exactly the type of guy you would call a
role model. Yet after meeting a 15 year old boy named Gary and seeing what he's going through, Joe tries to do what he can for him.

So Cage's crazy role that we (as fans) tend to see (in every film) finally found a proper place. The Joe character is a tormented individual that lashes out from time to time and has trouble staying leveled. So you get this person with focus issues who is emotionally all over the place. Hm, yep, sounds like every Cage character I've seen.  Again, this is a good role for Cage, and the storyline was something a little different from the films I've seen him doing. It's a main role but he doesn't shine above the other cast members. Instead, he glows evenly with everyone, which brings more light on to the film itself. Also Sheridan does a great job, and I think he and Cage had a great chemistry that shows through the bond built between Joe and Gary.

This film's based off of a novel called Joe (1991) written by Larry Brown. I don't know anything about the book but as far as the movie, the work Gary Hawkins did on the screenplay... wow! Hawkins wrote up a script that gives you a front row view into the life of Joe and Gary. I think Green did a great job as the director and had a good eye to capture moments in the scenes. It wasn't about making the scenes look big really, but it felt like you were a part of it. Again just another example of that front seat view. All of this put together is what created a real life window into something that's not nice or clean but in the mix of all that, we get to witness a little shining scrap of good floating around in all the muck.

The movie has such a good, but sad playthrough at the same time. It reminds me that people (sometimes) do the best they can with what they have. Be that with what is around them or what's inside of them. Unfortunately, as people, we all have our limits, for whatever reasons, and can only do so much. However, sometimes that little bit is what's needed the most in life, and even though it may not be pretty, it's still good.

For 118 minutes the movie moves quick, and it didn't feel like it had been that long while I was watching it. That's always a plus in my book because that means not only was I entertained but it held my attetion the whole time. So in the overall I'd say it's worth the time to see it, but if you're on the fence about this one or another film, I'd go with the other one. Upside, you can always catch this one later.

It's rated R for violence, language and nudity.

3 stars

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