Joe the King

Director/Writer:Frank Whaley
Trimark; R; 100 minutes
Cast:Noah Fleiss, Val Kilmer, Karen Young, Ethan Hawke

Joe The King brings a glamour-free realism to the big screen, casting Val Kilmer and Ethan Hawke in their least flattering roles to date. Kilmer plays Bob, Joe's drunk and unpredictable father. As the embittered teen protagonist, Joe (Noah Fleiss) does a good job of squandering his days in a dreary blue-collar 1970s neighborhood. Bullies beat on him, debt collectors harass Joe for his father's bills, and nobody's really surprised when he turns to a life of petty crime. With the help of a guidance counselor (Ethan Hawke) Joe may reach a better path, but society's tables are turned against him in this bleak drama.