kiersreviews’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Devil All The Time is a film that you'd watch once, appreciate and move on from. Whilst the cast list is terrific, their share of screen time is good awful. This film is made up of several stories that result in one big culmination even though the timeline is shifted around a lot. Quite a few people I know found Birds Of Prey a little hard to follow and understand as Harley jumps all over the place with her chronology. I find that a credible point but this movie was messy chronologically that the proper story didn't become noticeable until way past the end of the first act. This was a particular and vital factor in why this lost a lot of points in my final score. Inconsistency is a key reason as to why the chronology was way off-point given that there would always be time cards when jumping back in time but once it came to about three or four time jumps, it became annoying but also incredibly confusing because the audience had no clue whether a new story arc was going to begin or whether an already existing arc would continue.
The credibility for the quality of The Devil All The Time lies in its cast and while it was nice to see such a long list of such A-list actors and actresses, the balance became a worrying thought. I was hoping for a Knives Out style of sharing out screen time or even the separation of time like in The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs. None of those particular styles were adopted. The film ended up revolving around Tom Holland, Eliza Scanlen and Robert Pattinson's characters with every other high ranking name being spread thinly across the 140 minute runtime. I have to say that since I saw Tenet and the new trailer for The Batman while also having his performance in Good Time in the back of my mind, I couldn't help but be astounded at how much Pattinson stood out amongst everybody else, including Holland. His character had such drive and surprising negatives to himself that he became such an enticing person to watch. It was truly spectacular to see.
Tom Holland was fine as the lead in this film as more of the content he was involved in separated himself from his iconic role as Spider-Man but there was still very much of a Spider-Man character within the role he was attempting to play. This also took away points from this movie, the same way the constant reminder of Bane while watching Tom Hardy in Venom took away magnificent points for that movie. It's not like it can't be done as Adam Sandler completely separated himself from his awful comedies when he was in Uncut Gems but it feels like Spider-Man has such a resonance (of course it does) within Tom that he didn't fully benefit what this movie called for him to do. This makes me quite nervous for Uncharted as I hope he develops as an actor and I'm looking forward to seeing his progression.
Overlong with too many characters and too many messy points of chronology, The Devil All The Time failed to please aside from its cast and its fair share of exciting and increasingly violent scenes. As Pattinson steals the show over Holland, the supporting cast felt very absent after the first act. Basically, I found this film to be incredibly messy but even though I enjoyed the movie, I'd probably never rewatch it.