The Paperboy

Paperboy-span-thumbstandard-v2 Convinced by a death row inmate's female pen pal that the convict is innocent, a reporter and his brother investigate and discover a case marred by deceit, seduction and betrayal. Meanwhile, one brother falls for the convict's mysterious confidant.
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Netflix Rating: 3.1
NYT Review
“The Paperboy," a tangled and steamy drama directed by Lee Daniels, stars Nicole Kidman as a woman whose fiancé, played by John Cusack, is an alligator hunter on death row. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

See all The Paperboy Reviews

"The Paperboy" is one of those rare examples where you might wish the movie was less faithful to the book.
Rafer Guzman, Newsday  full review
Yes, it's a dizzying stew set to boil.
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post  full review
The Paperboy is southern Gothic wallowing in the swamp of low camp. And if the wallowing were deliberate, this might have been hugely funny.
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail  full review
The Paperboy bears some promise as a good-bad movie, but it unfolds as a bad-bad one.
Peter Howell, Toronto Star  full review
It's a movie that seems to have a mild form of heatstroke: it's blurry, as if filmed long ago, and feverish, and the story wanders all over the place as if lost in a bayou. When it's over, you want to wipe your brow.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times  full review
The Paperboy is over-the-top every which way you look.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer  full review
This one has it all: sex, violence, torture, incest, jellyfish attacks, telekinetic masturbation, Nicole Kidman peeing on Zac Efron and a gator gutted in revolting close-up.
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald  full review
This is just the sort of movie certain people are hoping to see when they go to the movies but would never say they go to the movies for.
Wesley Morris, Boston Globe  full review
"The Paperboy" suggests something Tennessee Williams might have come up with, if he didn't know how to string together a plot.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune  full review
It's a good story about people who are not what they seem, about identity wavering in the heat-a true swamp tale-but the movie is messily ineffective.
David Denby, New Yorker  full review
Simple ugly trash.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger  full review
The entire cast of "The Paperboy" glistens with a golden sheen, as if they've been sprayed with Pam cooking oil.
Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post  full review
'The Paperboy" can't decide whether to be an unfunny sex comedy, a half-hearted detective story or a woeful race drama - so it decides to be all three ...
Kyle Smith, New York Post  full review
The movie is definitely a mess.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
Daniels' deft adaptation of Pete Dexter's 1996 novel is even more disturbing on screen than on the page. It's a Southern Gothic noir thriller with a terrific ensemble cast.
Claudia Puig, USA Today  full review
Some of The Paperboy's missteps would be forgivable if Daniels delivered them with any conviction, but he doesn't seem capable of it.
This hot mess got booed by the snobs at Cannes, but there's no denying its profane energy.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone  full review
There is so much sweaty, gum-smackin', Southern-accented *acting* going on, you'd applaud if you weren't appalled.
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News  full review
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