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Director: David Gordon Green

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Gary Poulter


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David Gordon Green's Joe stars Nicolas Cage as the title character, the foreman of a work crew hired to poison trees before they are cleared from land owned by people who plan to develop it. One day, 15-year-old Gary (Tye Sheridan) arrives at the worksite looking for


David Gordon Green's Joe stars Nicolas Cage as the title character, the foreman of a work crew hired to poison trees before they are cleared from land owned by people who plan to develop it. One day, 15-year-old Gary (Tye Sheridan) arrives at the worksite looking for a job for both himself and his alcoholic, shiftless father. Joe hires them both, but the self-destructive dad is quickly told never to return. Gary, however, earns his keep, and soon he begins to think of Joe as a father figure. However, Joe has a prison record, and a problem keeping his explosive anger in check, and when a local man develops a grudge against him, both Gary and Joe must take a stand. Joe screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
David Gordon Green's Joe is the director's return to his low-budget roots after a stint whipping up big-budget, pot-laced Hollywood comedies like Pineapple Express and Your Highness. While the movie certainly has the Terrence Malick-like feel of Green's earlier films, the biggest revelation here is a remarkable performance from Nicolas Cage, who does his best work in nearly a decade as the title character. The protagonist is actually Gary (Tye Sheridan), a 15-year-old boy whose physically abusive father Wade (Gary Poulter) is incapable of doing much other than drinking and smacking his family around. Gary understands that he needs to make some money for his mother, and talks his way into a job on a tree-clearing crew run by Joe (Cage). Joe quickly surmises that Gary is a hard worker with a terrible dad, and not only gives the kid a steady paycheck, but ends up becoming something of a father figure to him. Joe, however, is far from flawless. He has a hair-trigger temper that has landed him in jail in the past. In addition, he has become embroiled in a feud with a psychotic local man; after being humiliated by Joe in a bar fight, the man plots with Wade, who's upset over his son's new friendship, to exact lethal revenge. While Gary Hawkins' script, adapted from a book by Larry Brown, serves up a rock-solid story, the movie is a triumph of atmosphere and mood. Green makes sure we never forget that we're in rural Texas, a place that seems to have more in common with the Old West than with modern civilization. At almost every moment, there is the unshakable feeling that violence is imminent. From Wade's outbursts to Joe's barely controlled fury to one of the most savage onscreen beatings in recent memory, the movie is full of brutality, yet it's presented in a way that lets you know that such events are inevitable in this hardscrabble world. Violence is a fact of life, not something that's celebrated or relished. In this difficult environment, Gary proves himself to be smarter than those around him, and in Joe he finds a guide who will help him navigate this dangerous reality. Even in his younger days, Nicolas Cage was the kind of actor who didn't inhabit a role so much as compulsively stretch his characters to the breaking point. He's always been less interested in discipline than he is in extremes, and here he's playing a real person who understands that his occasionally uncontrollable temper will be his downfall. After spending most of the last ten years exaggerating every gesture, there's a poetic rightness to him playing this type of person at this point in his career. David Gordon Green deserves some of the credit for exquisite casting, but Cage astonishes by dropping any hint of mugging or vamping here. He still gets to go unhinged, but this time around it doesn't feel like the actor trying to keep himself and/or the audience interested, but the behavior of a three-dimensional character whose faults are too near the surface for his own good. It's hard to say why he's so much more in command with this performance. Maybe, as with his supporting turn in Kick-Ass, he knew to underplay when working with a child actor. Or perhaps his conception of the character just clicked with Green's brutal yet beautiful aesthetic. Whatever it was, the end result is a vital and vibrant work that reestablishes both Green and Cage as artists capable of returning to their peaks.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Deleted scenes; "The Making of Joe" featurette; "The Long Gravel Drive: The Origins of Joe" featurette; Commentary with director David Gordon Green, composer David Wingo and actor Brian D. Mays

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nicolas Cage Joe
Tye Sheridan Gary Jones
Gary Poulter Wade a.k.a. G-Daawg
Ronnie Gene Blevins Willie-Russell
Adrienne Mishler Connie
A.J. Wilson McPhaul Earl
Sue Rock Merle
Heather Kafka Lacy
Brenda Isaacs Booth Mother
Anna Niemtschk Dorothy
Elbert Evan Hill Shorty
Milton Fountain Milton
Roderick L. Polk Roscoe
Aaron Spivey-Sorrells Sammy
John Daws John Coleman
Kay Epperson Stacy
Lico Reyes Blind George
Lazaro Solares Henry
Elbert Hill Wino
Jonny Mars Young Deputy
Jon Bonzor Deputy
Erin Reed Cathy
Howard G. Hershman Flo
Marie Jackson Cooper Ancient Woman
Effie J. Calico Housewife
Bob Olsen Farmer
Christopher England Chris
Lynette Walden Charlotte
Dana Freitag Sue
Mark Whigham Tomato Face a.k.a. Cokie

Technical Credits
David Gordon Green Director,Producer
Maria Cestone Executive Producer
Molly Conners Executive Producer
Brad Coolidge Executive Producer
Melissa Coolidge Executive Producer
David Wingo Score Composer
Christof Gebert Sound Mixer
Gary Hawkins Screenwriter
Jody Hill Executive Producer
Todd J. Labarowski Executive Producer
Karmen Leech Casting
Karen Malecki Costumes/Costume Designer
Danny McBride Executive Producer
Jeff McIlwain Score Composer
Hoyt David Morgan Executive Producer
Lisa Muskat Producer
Jill Newell Costumes/Costume Designer
Tim Orr Cinematographer
Colin Patton Editor
Sarah Johnson Redlich Executive Producer
Chris Spellman Production Designer
Derrick Tseng Producer
John Williams Casting
Christopher Woodrow Producer
Atilla Yucer Asst. Director


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