The Paperboy

"Excellent"

The Paperboy Review


Filmmaker Daniels follows up his acclaimed hit Precious with what might be the trashiest movie in recent memory: a swampy thriller packed with desperate characters hiding grisly secrets. Daniels and his cast dive headlong into this garish world, refusing to blink as they take us to the fringes of human behaviour. It's so marvellously audacious that we feel like we need a shower after watching it.

The film takes us into the steamy backwoods of central Florida in 1969, as Miami journalist Ward (McConaughey) returns home with his black colleague Yardley (Oyelowo), who sparks whispers of racism everywhere he goes. Staying with his editor dad (Glenn) and delivery boy brother Jack (Efron), Ward is investigating the case of death row inmate Hillary (Cusack), whose trashy fiancee Charlotte (Kidman) is filing an appeal. The 20-year-old Jack is instantly smitten with the overtly sexual Charlotte, who seems happy to seduce every man she meets. And as Ward, Yardley and Jack dig deeper into the case, they get several startling surprises.

Daniels keeps the film sweaty and snarky as he delves into the story's seriously dark corners. And the actors all go along with him. The always terrific Kidman really goes for broke here, prowling through each scene and oozing raw sexuality. It's no wonder she triggers Jack's lust, and Efron plays him with a delicate balance of intelligence and naivete, underscored of course with relentless horndog desire. None of the characters are as dumb as they look, and McConaughey, Oyelowo and especially Cusack revel in playing against expectations. Each actor packs every line with attitude and insinuation, creating fascinating chemistry along the way.

All of this may seem totally over-the-top, but it's also intriguingly naturalistic, since the characters are grounded in lurid authenticity and realistically tetchy relationships. It also helps that Daniels and his team give the film a superb 1960s exploitation vibe through first-rate production design, photography and sound mixing, while racism and jealousy gurgle under every scene. The plot loses some of its momentum due to the odd decision to have Jack's childhood nanny (Gray) narrate the story, and there are a few too many twists and revelations along the way. But the final sequence is so bonkers that we can't look away. If more filmmakers were willing to get this messy, the cinema would be a far more interesting place.

Rich Cline



The Paperboy

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 17th October 2012

Box Office USA: $0.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $692.6 thousand

Budget: $12.5M

Distributed by: Millenium Films

Production compaines: Benaroya Pictures, Lee Daniels Entertainment, Millenium Films, Nu Image Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 60 Rotten: 78

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Ed Cathell III, , , Hilary Shor

Starring: as Jack Jansen, as Ward Jansen, as Charlotte Bless, as Hillary Van Wetter, as Yardley Acheman, as Anita / Narrator, as W.W. Jansen, Nealla Gordon as Ellen Guthrie, as Tyree van Wetter, Gary Clarke as Weldon Pine, Nikolette Noel as Nancy

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.