David Gordon Green’s ‘Joe’

Synopsis: An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.

The story is about Joe (Nicolas Cage) a local, blue-collar average Joe for the most part. He earns a living running a small crew that poisons trees “under the table” for lumber companies who are trying to skirt the rules. His life is uneventful for the most part, and aside from a dog and frequent visits to a brothel, his existence is pretty much uneventful. The story feels dark, but it’s honest to the world it’s representing and the people who really live there. 

A young boy, Gary (Tye Sheridan), befriends Joe and asks him for work in order to provide for his destitute family and alcoholic father. The movie is somewhat slow at times as we get to know Joe and Gary and peer into the struggles of their living. If the story does’t sound like it packs too much of a punch just go into knowing that David Gordon Green’s style is well suited to Drama. I enjoyed Pineapple Express and The Sitter as much as the next guy, but Green’s true gifts to the world come from small, true to life tales like Joe.