The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

"Sinister characters converge around a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality."

Sordid crime influenced postwar noir based on the 2011 novel of the same name by author Donald Ray Pollock and riddled with violence!
I had no interest seeing this when it came out. When this film hit Netflix and everyone on Letterboxd was talking about it, I was soaking my brain with horror movies. My fiancée threw this on last night and we watched half of it, then watched the remainder today. My fiancée thought the first half of the film was like watching paint dry, a fair criticism because it's a slowburner, but I was fine with the pace and storytelling approach. For me, The Devil All The Time felt like a Coen Brothers/Quentin Tarantino hybrid. The cast definitely propelled the movie due to the fantastic performances. Tom Holland was the biggest surprise; he does such a phenomenal job, it's amazing rewatching him in the MCU Spider-Man films and not being able to take his perfomance in that seriously because he's so serious here!
The plot is entertaining but it feels like a pastiche of other crime thrillers. I also would have preferred to see what made some of the more obvious sinners tick; like Robert Pattinson's disgusting sad excuse of a preacher character or the Henderson couple who indulge in swinging, photography, and sadistic murder. The movie's main thematic elogance comes off ironically preachy and almost pretentious.
I will say Bill Skarsgård is great too. For his PTSD-stricken, religious but violent father figure to Tom Holland's character, he does a great job in feeling authentic and natural. I was a bit disappointed when he exited early, but his perfomance lingers throughout the runtime and his influence is felt.
If you want to see Spider-Man, Pennywise, future Batman, and Louis Creed go nuts in one movie, The Devil All The Time is the flick for you!

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