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The Paperboy

HD   R Closed Captioning

Lee Daniels

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About the Movie

A sexually and racially charged film noir from Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious), The Paperboy takes audiences deep into the backwaters of steamy 1960s South Florida, as investigative reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and his partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) chase a sensational, career-making story. With the help of Ward's younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) and sultry death-row groupie Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), the pair tries to prove violent swamp-dweller Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) was framed for the murder of a corrupt local sheriff. Based on the provocative bestselling novel by Pete Dexter (Mulholland Falls, Rush), The Paperboy peels back a sleepy small town's decades-old façade of Southern gentility to reveal a quagmire of evil as dark as a Florida bayou.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 139
  • Fresh: 60
  • Rotten: 79
  • Average Rating: 5.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: "The Paperboy" is one of those rare examples where you might wish the movie was less faithful to the book. – Rafer Guzman, Newsday, Oct 26, 2012

Fresh: The Paperboy is over-the-top every which way you look. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct 11, 2012

Fresh: Yes, it's a dizzying stew set to boil. – Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, Oct 19, 2012

Rotten: The Paperboy bears some promise as a good-bad movie, but it unfolds as a bad-bad one. – Peter Howell, Toronto Star, Oct 18, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Critics Are So Wrong

I thought Lee Daniels made an amazing film. The critics were so busy writing about one small scene in the movie (When Zac Efron's character, Jack is stung by jellyfish) to care about the whole meaning of the movie. And there are so many different meanings and feelings in this movie. The Actor's all did a brilliant job. Thank you, Lee Daniels for giving Zac Efron a chance. His performance is beyond any part he has every played. Honestly I cannot believe Zac didn't receive a Supporting Actor Nomination. I loved the scenes between, Matthew McConaughey & Zac Efron. I could truly feel the love between them as brothers and always looked out for one another. John Cusack's performs was also amazing and scary as hell. I could also see why The Golden Globes gave Nicole Kidman a nomination. She was so great. Again, I've never seen her in a role like this. I love watching Actors step out of their comfort zone and try something different. And After watching The Paperboy, you could see the Actors certainly did. Brilliant job by Lee Daniels and the whole cast. Judge for yourself and don't let the critics judge for you.


The acting is good, but the story is not interesting and much of the sex and violence are just gross. Left me feeling sick. I'm disappointed that so many movies out there right now are boring and/or overly violent. I like McConaughey a lot, but his roles Recent roles are hard to watch.

Good movie

Not sure why the critics didn't care for this film but I am a movie person and see everything, and I don't agree at all on their ratings of this. Clearly an above average movie, I thought it was very good. Loved Zac Efron in this, he is transforming into a fine actor. Kidman is always good and all the other supporting actors were fantastic. Characters kept me guessing and the movie was disturbing at times. I thought about this one long after I finished watching.

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