For a movie that had a lot of promise, I thought THE PAPERBOY was dull and unfocused. I didn’t get what the point of it was, as ultimately it has a far too simplistic plot made convoluted and complex for no apparent reason. 

Set in the backwoods of South Florida in the 1960s, Jack’s (Zac Efron) investigative reporter brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) and his partner Yardley (David Oyelowo) come to town to find the truth about the murder of the local sheriff. 

Hilary Van Wetter (John Cusack) has been convicted and faces the execution, but he may have been framed for the murder. To complicate matters, he has a groupie in the sexually promiscuous Charlotte (Nicole Kidman) who is bent on marrying him even though they have just met in person for the first time. 

As they continue to dig into the murder their investigation as well as their friendships unravel. 

Directed by Lee Daniels (PRECIOUS), THE PAPERBOY has a great cast, a great milieu and an intriguing plot. But it’s a hot mess. 

My biggest problem was the constant shifting of focus. For some odd reason, the movie is told via voiceover from Jack and Ward’s housekeeper’s (Macy Gray) point of view who is a peripheral character at best. The movie is called THE PAPERBOY in reference to Jack’s day job and one would assume that he would be the central character, but by the end of the film it has become such an ensemble piece that he fades into the background. 

There are also major plot and character revelations that are so subtle or sub-textual at times that it pulled me out of the movie as I tried to process the new information and what it means. Mind you I don’t need to be hit over the head, but I do need to know what the hell is going on. 

Near the end of the 1st Act, I did start to dig the film, but by Act 3, I was so bored by the stories lack of tension or direction that it was a chore to sit through. It’s the first time in awhile that I felt like giving up on a film…and that is all the news fit to print.


         PURCHASE                      INSTANT VIDEO

FEBRUARY 25, 2014