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Jack James, former swimming champion and current newspaper delivery boy, joins his hotshot investigative journalist brother in an effort to clear a local redneck, Hillary Van Wetter, of the murder of the town sheriff.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Above Average The irony of the resolution will not be lost on viewers but the movie as a whole is a rather grim, dismal experience where the elements never quite gel.
Roger EbertFull Review Good 'The Paperboy' is great trash, and as Pauline Kael told us, the movies are so seldom great art that if we can't appreciate great trash, we might as well not go at all.
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above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
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Miami Times reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) returns to his sleepy
hometown of Lately, Florida, where a decades-old façade of Southern gentility
strains against the sweeping social changes of the 1960s. Accompanied by his
writing partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) and sultry death-row groupie
Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), Ward is chasing the career-making story of
violent swamp rat Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), who claims to have been
framed for the murder of a corrupt local sheriff. Drafting his younger brother
Jack (Zac Efron) to serve as his driver, Ward tries to unravel the mystery of
the crime, aided by a mountain of evidence Charlotte has amassed to prove Van
As the prisoner awaits the electric chair, the Jansen family's longtime maid
Anita (Macy Gray) watches in alarm as Jack becomes more and more infatuated with
the alluring Charlotte. But when Ward's investigation reveals a web of
deception, it sets off an explosive chain reaction that pulls everyone involved
into a quagmire of evil as dark as a Florida bayou.