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Joe

David Gordon Green film about an ex-con, Joe (Nicholas Cage) who has a temper that he has difficulty controlling, and Gary (Ty Sheridan, who was teh shining young star in Mud) as the 15-year old boy he takes under his wing. Gary, who has primary responsibility for supporting his sister and mother (his father is a mean alcoholic) seeks out Joe for a job. The movie is about the relationship that develops between Joe and Gary as Joe becomes more emotionally involved with him and his family. I really enjoyed the movie a lot; this is David Gordon Green at his best. He and his longtime photographer Tim Orr capture the sense of “place” of the south and the essence of the characters, most of whom are in poverty and broken in some way. I loved Nicholas Cage in his earliest days, and this movie, for me, is a great “comeback’ for him; Ty Sheridan is again absolutely wonderful as a boy who angry yet determined and hopeful. The actor playing the father is also frighteningly convincing. Thumbs up from me for a movie that is is very gritty and brutal in some places but also balanced by the work of Ty Sheridan. D.G.G. fans should definitely put this on their list. (2014; 4 Stars)

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