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The Paperboy

Thriller . Drama

A reporter returns to his Florida hometown to investigate a case involving a death row inmate.

Actors: Zac Efron , Matthew McConaughey , Nicole Kidman , John Cusack , David Oyelowo , Macy Gray , Scott Glenn , Nealla Gordon , Ned Bellamy , Gary Clarke
Directors: Lee Daniels
Country: USA
Release: 2012-10-17
More Info:
  • Todd McCarthy

    In the spirit of the venture, the entire cast gets down and comes off all the better for it. Both Efron and McConaughey get very messed up physically, and both actors seem stimulated to be playing such flawed characters.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    Nicole Kidman gives her best performance since "To Die For."

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    The Paperboy is over-the-top every which way you look.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    I've never seen a movie like this. Not on purpose. Daniels isn't saying he's tasteful. He's just saying that his tasteless trash is as deserving of our attention as the tasteful trash we feel like we have to see. The whole thing's a crazy fantasy, like watching a porno dream it can win the Oscar.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Gator-filled swamps, an ultra-grungy murderer, racial undertones and a sexually charged atmosphere make up the tense and lurid world of The Paperboy.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    The Paperboy is great trash, and as Pauline Kael told us, the movies are so seldom great art that if we can't appreciate great trash, we might as well not go at all.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    There is such unflinching passion in the piece that The Paperboy deserves to be seen even though it can feel almost as flawed as its characters.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    This is a curio that demands to be seen.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Jonathan Kiefer

    When not contriving to get Efron out of his clothes, The Paperboy gropes for familiar movie language of its period setting: Soul music swells up excitedly over a jumble of jerky zooms, befuddling cuts, and spatial vagueness. But sometimes hot messiness has its charms.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Mary Corliss

    All the actors rise or bend to the challenge, giving juicy performances and seemingly having a fine old time.

    Time Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Much of what happens in The Paperboy is so luridly bizarre you can't quite believe what you're seeing.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    This hot mess got booed by the snobs at Cannes, but there's no denying its profane energy.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    There are some splendidly over-the-top performances - chiefly those of Nicole Kidman and John Cusack, both cast against type - but the biggest narrative hole lies at the center. The lead character, played by Zac Efron, is dull, uninteresting, and poorly conceived.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Angie Errigo

    A superb Kidman takes off the handbrake, and most everything else, in Daniels' southern-fried follow-up to "Precious." Watch it with "Killer Joe" for the ultimate sweaty, twisted double-bill.

    Empire Full Review
  • Jamie Graham

    A grindhouse mix of "Wild Things," "Killer Joe" and "Streetcar Named Desire," The Paperboy won’t be for all. But it boasts a soupy atmosphere and Kidman’s best turn for years.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    While the portrayal of Southern race relations in the '60s is less central here than in "The Help," it's also less labored and earnest, and one could argue that it's subtler, more intimate and more honest. Full Review
  • Stan Hall

    While Daniels' work disappoints, his film is saved from disaster by uniformly terrific performances.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Most of the performances are good in a flailing sort of way, and McConaughey, especially, is a standout in this year of his reinvention. Despite all its garish accoutrements and salacious underpinnings, The Paperboy can be a hoot to watch.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    The Paperboy is southern Gothic wallowing in the swamp of low camp. And if the wallowing were deliberate, this might have been hugely funny.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    The movie itself is a tad overheated. In the lurid, swampy, yet almost perversely engrossing follow-up to director Lee Daniels's "Precious," the temperature is set to "sizzle." Ironically, it could have used a little more time in the oven.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    It is by turns lurid, humid, florid, languid and stupid, but it is pretty much all id all the time.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    To say The Paperboy doesn't work is one thing; to say it's dull is a lie. This movie is berserk, which is more interesting than "eh."

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • R. Kurt Osenlund

    The Paperboy deserves to be seen for its pulpy, well-executed excess, but as a filmmaker, Lee Daniels seems ignorant of how the shocks distract from the story.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Alison Willmore

    The Paperboy is a nutty movie in terms of content, but it's also assembled in a demented fashion - there's a sense that literally anything could happen, and that its raunchy, heat-dazed story could wander down any path without regard to sense or an overall narrative.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Eric Hynes

    The problem is that the filmmaker brings D-grade craft to these B-movie exertions, making his florid maximalism more entertaining to talk about than endure - despite the best efforts of his ardently slumming A-list cast.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Lee Daniels' The Paperboy is a rare case of serious commitment to outright silliness.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    A risibly overheated, not unenjoyable slab of late-'60s Southern pulp trash, marked by a sticky, sweaty atmosphere of delirium and sexual frustration that only partly excuses the woozy ineptitude of the filmmaking.

    Variety Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Despite all the freaky business on display - and there are moments here when you cannot believe your eyes - The Paperboy suffocates you with boredom like a hot, wet blanket. You want to push it away and escape. It makes sleaze boring.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    The Paperboy can't decide whether to be an unfunny sex comedy, a half-hearted detective story or a woeful race drama - so it decides to be all three, then becomes yet another movie (a swampy "Heart of Darkness") in the final act.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    So why is The Paperboy so bizarrely dull? It's as if the filmmakers combined 18 different kinds of scalding-hot peppers, yet inexplicably emerged with oatmeal.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    This is the kind of film that feels like a dream - but not in the good way. Rather, it resembles a dream in that it is made up of disjointed, loosely connected bits of surrealist craziness - ideas that might have seemed interesting in the twilight hours but that don't come close to standing up to the light of day.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    It offers a deranged hodgepodge of tones and acting styles and strange mannerisms and affectations and narrative dead ends that feels like it was assembled by a committee of bipolar extraterrestrials.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    It is likely to become an unintended camp classic, something we haven't had since "Showgirls."

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    The words "florid" and "inert" are not quite antonyms, but it would nonetheless seem impossible for those two adjectives to apply to the same thing. And yet here comes The Paperboy, a swamp noir so spectacularly incompetent that even the ripest pulp attractions are left to rot in the sun, flies buzzing lazily around them.

    NPR Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    This raunchy dreck, cut from the same disposable toilet tissue as the recent trailer-trash creepfest "Killer Joe," is a leap downhill from "Precious."

    New York Observer Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    A lurid, florid, humid, flaccid and insipid waste of time and money for the audience and for everyone who made it.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    "Southern fried" is as good a phrase as any to describe The Paperboy...It fits, really, because it causes the same reaction. You eat a mess of fried okra or tater tots, and it's tasty going down. It's only after you're done that you feel a little queasy. [18 Oct 2012]

    Arizona Republic Full Review
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