Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films Martin Scorsese's List Of 85 Must-See Films The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

William Friedkin's 'Killer Joe' Starring Matthew McConaughey & Emile Hirsch Gets NC-17 Rating

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 1, 2012 at 9:21AM

It seems the MPAA is still getting under everyone's skin. With controvery over the R-rating for The Weinstein Company's documentary "Bully" still brewing, the ratings board has dropped another eyebrow raising decision, stamping William Friedkin's deliciously dark "Killer Joe" with the dreaded NC-17 rating. 
5
Killer Joe Matthew McConaughey Emile Hirsch

It seems the MPAA is still getting under everyone's skin. With controvery over the R-rating for The Weinstein Company's documentary "Bully" still brewing, the ratings board has dropped another eyebrow raising decision, stamping William Friedkin's deliciously dark "Killer Joe" with the dreaded NC-17 rating. 

There's no doubt that at the very least, "Killer Joe" is an R-rated film. Based on the play by Tracy Letts ("Bug" which Friedkin adapted into an underrated thriller; "August: Osage County" which is being turned into a vehicle for Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep) the film tells the story of a young man (Emile Hirsch) who contracts out a crooked cop (a wickedly evil Matthew McConaughey) to kill his mother for the insurance money, and puts up his younger sister (Juno Temple) as collateral to pay for the job. It's twisted stuff, but also rioutously funny and completely fucking bonkers.  It treads strange territory in ways that sub-Tarantino/Coen wannabees could only dream of doing, but NC-17? There's no explicit sex (though there is nudity), nor any particulary graphic violence (though yes, it does get bloody), however we do have a pretty good idea why the movie has run foul of the board.

**SPOILERS BEGIN** The film's unbelievably explosive finale features a lurid, funny and disturbing (all at once) scene in which Gina Gershon is forced to perform fellatio on a piece of fried chicken. We won't get into why, but it's both revolting and absurd, but given the generally conservative nature of the ratings board, we'd bet our money that's the scene that has their panties all in a bunch. **SPOILERS END**

Distributors LD Entertainment plan to appeal the rating, and good luck to them. If Harvey can't convince the MPAA that a documentary about bullying might be something that kids need to see, we presume they'll be even less lenient about an already pretty transgressive B-movie. But we hope wiser heads prevail, because this film is a blast and it would be a shame if it was kept from finding an audience. No release date yet, but "Killer Joe" is slated to hit later this year.

This article is related to: Killer Joe


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates