Joe the King

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Joe the King ★★ 1999 (R)

Undistinguished coming of age pic, set in the mid-'70s, about a boy caught up in violence. Fourteen-year-old Joe (Fleiss) and his older brother Mike (Ligosh) are subjected to the constant drunken abuse of their father Bob (Henry) and the indifference of their overworked mother Theresa (Young). Joe begins stealing to get by but his crimes gradually becomes less than petty. A troubled student as well, Joe is befriended by guidance counselor Len (Hawke), whose attempts to help only result in a stint for Joe in a juvie center. Slow-paced and developmentally challenged. 101m/C VHS, DVD . Noah Fleiss, Val Kilmer, Ethan Hawke, Karen Young, John Leguizamo, Austin Pendleton, Max Ligosh, James Costa; D: Frank Whaley; W: Frank Whaley; C: Mike Maysers; M: Robert Whaley, Anthony Grimaldi. Sundance ‘99: Screenplay.