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The 50 Greatest Movie Endings of All Time

50. Killer Joe (2012)

Director: William Friedkin
Screenwriter: Tracy Letts

If there's one feeling Killer Joe leaves you with, it's the urge to shower away the grime of the final scene. William Friedkin's adaptation of Tracy Letts' play follows a down-on-his-luck drug dealer, Chris (Emile Hirsch), who's scheming to pay back the ruthless loan sharks who want to fuck him up. To save his life, he hires a corrupt cop/contract killer, Joe (Matthew McConaughey), to off his mother, who allegedly has $100K worth of life insurance waiting to be claimed by his younger, teenage sister, Dottie (Juno Temple). With Chris unable to front a down payment, Joe claims Dottie as a retainer, and a begins a deeply gross affair with the young girl. She's a toy that gets pushed around by not only her brother and Joe, but also the dumb-as-bricks parents (Thomas Hayden Church and Gina Gershon) who've got their own plans with money.

However, when Chris' plan falls through, the young girl watches as her family and Joe beat each other to the brink of death. In a rage, she picks up Joe's gun and starts firing away, killing Chris and severely wounding her dad. As Joe pleads to spare his life, she tells him she's pregnant. The scene ends with her pulling back on the trigger.

Suddenly, everything becomes clear: Despite all the manipulation and fuckery her family has put her through, Dottie has always had their lives in her hands. —TA

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