Kevin Chan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Despite a prologue that trudges its way through mud and stones plus scenes and subplots that sometimes don’t exactly tango properly, the way it all knots together into the fully formed culmination of one character’s journey is very substantial and tranquil. This film is filled with varieties of sin—acts that are wrong, but are done with justification; actions that are just plain evil; and wrongdoings that are done not out of will, but out of necessity.
In a way, for those of faith, this movie shows the complications and entanglements of human life and sin that makes one ask the age-old question, “Why does God let such things happen?” But simultaneously tells you that the world works in mysterious ways, and it’s your journey to work your way through such malice. Tom Holland’s very good in this, and his first appearance in the film is actually quite great after witnessing what happened in the beginning. And Robert Pattinson is just nuts. Kinda like Christian Bale in that he’s a chameleon of an actor, so I guess quite fitting he’s going to be Bruce Wayne (can’t wait!). Also, as Chris Evans’ replacement, Sebastian Stan was cool! Dudley Dursley wasn’t too bad either.
There is an unsettling feel through the film and a pretty good control of mood despite the odd execution of time jumps and subplots. The narration by the author of the book this film was based on was forgettable in spite of his good speaking voice. But Arvin’s story and his place as the real just character who might appear to be a rascal in the eyes of others is the highlight. And it’s tragic that after that ending, more dangers could befall him after dealing with an insane childhood, a corrupt preacher, two on the road crazies, and a corrupt sheriff. So therefore, fitting title for a movie.
But gotta say, this movie exaggerates many actions of the religious and more so focuses on trying to be a performance pleaser rather than telling a story.