David Gordon Green returns to form with his latest drama, “Joe”, about an ex-con who finds himself in the tough position between a young, innocent boy and his twisted, abusive father. Proving that his best days may still be ahead of him, Academy Award winning Nicolas Cage produces one of his best performances ever, as the title character. Joe runs a tree killing business with a bunch of work-for-hires, and meets Gary (Tye Sheridan) when he comes looking for work. Becoming a role model for the simple minded boy, Joe eventually meets Gary’s father, Wade, played convincingly by first-time actor and actual homeless man (now deceased) Gary Poulter, who delivers one of the most frustratingly real villainous turns to ever grace a drama. Unable to control his temper, Joe must keep his distance while still seeking a better life for the young Gary. Tye Sheridan proves that his unforgettable performance in last year’s “Mud” was no fluke, also proving to be the number one young actor to watch in the years to come. Finishing with a song by Ryan Bingham, a talented musician that finds his way into many of the films I love, “Joe” is, without question, my favorite film so far this year and will hopefully make it on some “best of” lists by the year’s end. With a strong sense of conflicting emotion and with the entire cast at the top of their game, one cannot begin to fathom that the man that directed “Your Highness” and the man that directed “Joe” are one in the same.
Five stars out of five.
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