A batshit Southern Gothic, assembled in a fractured, hallucinatory style; then, as if they thought better of it too late, given an overly explanatory voiceover by Macy Gray.
Sure, The Room is entertaining in its incompetence, but it’s still the unpleasant product of an adolescent, solipsistic misogynist. The Paperboy is the product of a more deranged, experienced mentality and so far more carcrash-watchable as bad movies go.
Oyelowo, all snakey and swaggering, steals his every scene. He stops just short of chewing the scenery, which is more than you can say for Kidman (but you can’t take your eyes off her just the same). Zac “WHAT’S THE PLASTIC FOR!?!” Efron, frequently in tighty-whiteys, is clearly being shot by a gay director.