Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy" purports to be the story an investigation into the murder of a Florida county sheriff, but could be more aptly described as a study of characters, motivations, and relationships between the players involved in the investigation. Shot through a lens that provides hiccups of style and a clear late '60s/early 70s aesthetic, the film is tawdry, trashy, sweaty, and southern-fried. The story is secondary to its characters which allows Daniels to depart from any kind of solid narrative path and spend the film's running time doing other things, like fetishing Zac Efron.
Overall, the experience is interesting but uninvolving. Thematically, the film may be about love and its power to both build and undo; but those themes are left unexplored under the humid gloss in which the film revels.