Worldview Entertainment, Dreambridge Films, Muskat Filmed Properties,

Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Sue Rock, Heather Kafka, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Adriene Mishler, Gary Poulter

Joe is an ex-con and now the foreman of a team of woodsmen that poison trees using a homemade solution so that the lumber companies can come through and cut down the ugly trees to plant new ones. The law prohibits them from cutting live trees, so this band of misfits comes along to kill them. Joe is no role model, but when a 15 year old boy shows up to ask for work, Joe takes him under his shoulder and when he finds out how hard life is for the boy, he becomes a sort of unlikely mentor for the boy.

This is a really good film, but it’s very dark and disturbing at the same time. Set in rural America where people live in shacks, struggle to get by, and there is no hope of redemption or a way out. It’s a bleak picture. The gang who works with Joe are hurting and disturbed, but the things the boy has to endure is really heartbreaking as well. These are really low class people. Gary (Tye Sheridan) is a basic good kid, despite his classless alcoholic of a father who has no morals at all. Joe is not looking to be a role model for anyone, but it seems everyone likes him and depends on him for their survival which he reluctantly gives to everyone in town. This role is classic Nicolas Cage and is the best performance from him that we have seen in many years. He is excellent in this movie, and he carries the whole story on his back just like he carries the town as his character. There’s R worthy violence and some horrible things happen which we get to sit through with disgust, but it’s real and in your face with the problems of these poor people who will never have a chance to dig themselves out of the squalor they survive in. I was blown away at the directness of this movie, and I really enjoyed the experience. I like Joe, and as a result Nick Cage stock has shot up in my book. Though hard to watch without wincing and looking away, I recommend this film as one of Nick’s best roles ever.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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