“ Slow, boring and amateurish .
“ At first I found the movie highly compelling.
“With three directorial efforts under his belt, and a fourth one on the way, Whaley proves that he enjoys glaringly flawed characters, who consistently try to do good by doing bad, which immediately makes for an intriguing story.
“ This is a well intentioned but dismally dull and wretchedly written indie exercise in lower working class experience.
“ Joe the King is a coming of age story based loosely on writer-director Frank Whaley's life that looks like a Dickens story updated.
“ This uneventful and seemingly pointless film is a good journeyman production in all respects with the exception of the story which is too pedestrian to be interesting and seems to have no moral, meaning, or message.
“ Actor Frank Whaley's directorial debut is an ambitious but unsuccessful look at a teenager's coming of age in a 1970s slacker neighborhood.
“ In the hopes that YOU wouldn't waste your time the same way.
“ The movie overall was pretty boring and slow, I would have blocked out the showing of the naked bottom of the boy getting spanked by his teacher, instead I would have shown the part where the teacher drops his pants and bend him over her knee, then I would have gone to the shot showing his face at an upward angle, eliminating showing any bare parts of the child's bottom, because today this would be considered explicit video of a minor, and in today's society that would be taken harshly by the police and child protective services.
“ In real life, Joe could've ran to the principal's office to report the abuse and they would've dragged that teacher out the school.
“The idea behind Joe the King is incredibly intriguing, focusing on a young boy who, through all the abuse and neglect, still loves and deeply cares for his parents, which is a rarity in these kinds of films.
“ If you are looking for a slow, non moving, depressing, stagnant, dreary, annoying, lame, did I mention slow and goes no where film....
“ It was very slow and the only reason why I kept watching was because I kept saying "This better be going somewhere.
“ Gripping movie that I could not break away from.
“ I enjoyed it.
“" Like lots of actor-helmed vehicles, this one's loaded with big name walk-ons, "Joe The King" is also chock-full of trite and truths to life--the lead that seems to be born into the hard-luck life of an abusive alcoholic father, the weak whimpering mother who doesn't care if her husband pounds on her kids as long as he doesn't pound on her, the guidance counselor who's all thumbs--aren't they all?
“ But this is a slice-of-life, and while technology, trends and ideals constantly change, some things remain trite and true whatever era you're living in.
“ Thus was the case for me with "Joe the King," a lethargic, pointless film that offers virtually nothing in the way of revelation or entertainment.
“The film portrays with stunning clarity a bleak period in the life of Joe, a fourteen year old boy from a lower class neighbourhood whose father is an alcoholic and works as a janitor in Joe's school.
“) This version of the troubled kid, coming of age story has a refreshing honesty, and sensitivity without being overly sentimental or manipulative that is seldom seen.
“ Second, if I'm already mad about wasting time watching the film, why did I waste more time writing about it?
“ Noah Fleiss does a generally admirable if largely unspectacular job as Joe Henry, and Val Kilmer plods valiantly through the script as if on the edge of death, which must have been the idea.