Killer Joe is a 2011 American Southern Gothic crime film directed by William Friedkin. The screenplay by Tracy Letts is based on his 1993 play of the same name. The film stars Matthew McConaughey in the title role, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon, and Thomas Haden Church.


In West Dallas, Texas, 22-year-old drug dealer Chris Smith comes to the trailer park home of his dimwitted father Ansel and his cheating step-mother Sharla after his mother Adele, Ansel's ex-wife, threw Chris out of her house. To make matters worse, Adele stole his drugs he was supposed to sell and now owes the dealer money; now he (Chris) is desperate to pay off a $6,000 debt to his connection, Digger Soames. Chris tells Ansel that by killing Adele, they can collect on a $50,000 life insurance policy, of which Chris's sister Dottie is the sole beneficiary. Chris and Ansel agree that after paying a hit man from the proceeds of the insurance policy, they will split the remainder four ways between themselves, Dottie, and Sharla. Dottie approves of the plan and Chris arranges a meeting with Joe Cooper, a police detective who has a side career as a contract killer. Before the meeting, Dottie tells Joe that Adele tried to kill her once when she was an infant.