jackcasson1’s review published on Letterboxd:
After taking a few days break from movies (really haven't been feeling myself recently, lots of back to school stress lmfao) I decided to come back just for one of my long awaited watches. I will say I was not disappointed by the majority of this picture.
"The Devil all the time" is a dark, violent exploration of fate, faith and religion. From the opening narration we are told of a somewhat foreseen meeting of two completely different individuals. It seems as though everything that happens to these characters from this point forward are determined by a 'wheel of fortune'. The weaving in of religious allegory is slightly controversial. A grooming priest and characters deluded by their belief in 'God' all drive a narrative that is thrilling and tense. As each character is introduced you find yourself questioning their relevance to their plot but as the story progresses they seamlessly get intertwined into eachohters lives. This in itself is such a good reflection of real life: a series of meetings that may seem significant but could coincidently change our lives.
As an antsiest I recognise the pain the characters are going through that lead them to turn to God, but their belief brings more pain than good, and maybe that is what this movie is all about. Our reliance on a transcendent being to save us, to repent us from our sins only draws the devil out of us. We are being observed by the devil all the time, judging, deciding, twisting fate. Obviously I don't believe in the devil and god but I see the narrator as the orchestrater of this story, almost the fate wilder himself.
The first 40 minuets of this movie is most definitely my favourite I love how it jumps back and forward through time introducing us to new characters that may disappear for a while but we know for sure will pop up later.
Speaking of new characters, the cast is phenomenal. Each actor brings a strong and unique performance. Tom Holland is a power house in this film. He presents a truly complex character beginning as a angry teen following in his footsteps of his father to an angry impassioned boy overcome by the hardships of his entire life and finally ending in a state of complete isolation. Each time a new actor came on screen I was fuelled with even more excitement MY GOD THIS CAST IS SO GOOD.
Shot on stunning 35mm we are truly immersed into this highly faith driven 50's-60's community of hopeful people in hopeless situations. The 35 mm film however is the unfortunate reasoning behind my 4 stars. Some shots in this film were stunning. However, at times moments felt out of focus and shots felt, and I hate to say it, lazy. Similarly, I think this film could have been 30 minuets shorter and still withheld its themes and ideas.