Director: Lee Daniels
Stars: Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray, Scott Glenn
With the Oscar-nominated Precious, director Lee Daniels duped us all into thinking he could very well become an elite filmmaker. The truth came out, though, with the mesmerizingly bad The Paperboy, a sleazy, sexually charged oddity that's best described as an entertaining Nicole Kidman performance surrounded by truly awful things.
Daniels clearly wanted to make some kind of perverted camp classic, which would've been fine if he didn't also strive to produce a topical race drama and a sex comedy all at the same time. In the end, none of his intentions manifest themselves into anything that's even remotely impressive.
Ultimately, The Paperboy—the story of two newspaper reporters (Matthew McConaughey and David Oyelowo) investigating a perhaps wrongfully jailed death row inmate's (John Cusack) case—embarrasses more than it titillates. Case in point: the now-infamous scene in which Kidman pisses on Zac Efron to alleviate a jellyfish sting. Where's Mo'Nique knocking down Gabourey Sidibe and an infant when we need it?