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Child of God

6/10
Thriller . Drama . Crime
 

A dispossessed, violent man's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation.

 
Actors: Coby Batty , Elena McGhee , Wade Williams , Scott Haze , Jeremy Ambler , Vince Jolivette , Fallon Goodson , Jim Parrack , Tim Blake Nelson , James Franco
Directors: James Franco
Country: USA
Release: 2014-08-20
More Info:
  • Manohla Dargis

    What Mr. Franco does have is Mr. Haze, whose mesmerizing performance gives the movie its ballast and its fitful, nervous energy.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Xan Brooks

    Child of God is a shocking tale of backwoods lunacy and one man's descent into hell. Perhaps the most shocking thing about it is that it's really rather good.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    Franco’s hand-held camerawork draws the story forward as unfussily as a shepherd leads a sheep, and yet with a kind of ghastly grandeur. This is functional filmmaking more than it is flashy. But there is, at its heart, a single virtuosic performance.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    This is ambitious, challenging filmmaking, elevated by Franco's compassion and Haze's revelatory acting. OK, the film trips up on its attempt to lace tragedy with gallows humor. But Franco is out there trying something, balancing literature and cinema in a tightrope act that is never less than exciting to watch.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    James Franco’s adaptation of the sick little Cormac McCarthy period novel Child of God is surprisingly pretty good.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    The crazed intensity of Franco’s filmmaking, while duly evocative of Haze’s primitive state, is ultimately too hectic and unmodulated for anything to burrow deep and stay there.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Rooney

    Dramatically, Child of God is hit or miss; some scenes are ferociously captivating while others are given clumsy handling, almost to the point of indifference.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Scout Tafoya

    Which isn’t to say the film is without merit. It is utterly fascinating to see classic literature re-enacted as if it were theatre, and it takes courage to grab up something as iconic in its darkness as Child of God and just play it straight.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • R. Kurt Osenlund

    James Franco's general aesthetic is ugly and ambling, not so much because of its brownish-gray monochrome, but because it registers like the jerky result of a college kid wielding a DV cam.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    As a McCarthy adaptation, it’s an abject failure; as a piece of art - damaged trash, it occasionally delivers the requisite squirms. Visually and thematically, it has less in common with "No Country For Old Men" or "The Counselor" than with ’90s shot-on-VHS gonzo efforts like "Red Spirit Lake."

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    It’s McCarthy’s complex use of language, rather than the plot’s grueling imagery, that elevate the book. There’s simply not enough insight here to make the punishment worthwhile.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • David Fear

    It could have been so much worse; we wish it was a lot better.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Sam Weisberg

    As it stands, Child of God is brazenly, outstandingly bad, as vague, pretentious, and pointless as its sorry title. But it's certainly memorable, full of inadvertent howlers and destined to create a whole new subgenre of burlesque, audience-torturing cinema.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    What’s left in the absence of McCarthy’s prose is a sincere but fundamentally pointless ode to a madman, which does little more than invite viewers to gawk at the unspeakable.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Child of God is, like the source novel, loosely inspired by the notorious real-life cannibal murderer Ed Gein. So was Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.’’ Nobody left that classic bored — but they sure will be by Franco’s film.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    The prevailing mood of Child of God, published in 1973, is filth, alienation and inertia. You can have it.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Oliver Lyttelton

    The whole thing feels sort of tossed off, like it was made by film students over a couple of weekends.

    The Playlist Full Review
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  • 17. "Largo Ma Non Tanto" (Bach's Double Concerto In D Minor for Violins, 2nd Movement) Performer: Michael Convertino Stream Music Online