The Devil All the Time

The Devil All the Time ★★½

Got time for a sinner?

Maybe I'm just missing something with it, and that's alright. It's undeniable that it has a great cast all giving good performances. The camerawork being shot on 35 mm film does give the feature's look some texture that adds to the overall aesthetics. I appreciate that for it having the kind of big cast that it does, it doesn't shy away from being as bleak, nihilistic, and violent as it is. These things being said, not very much landed for me with The Devil All the Time. The performances are those kind that work in the moment, but after the film's all done, you can't remember too much about the work. (I will say that I enjoyed Tom Holland's performance in particular my fair share, at least.) It's all more serviceable than anything. The cycle of violence and the dread that comes from faith are both interesting concepts that have been explored in far better ways in far better movies. (The Place Beyond the Pines does the multi-generational, gritty violence and characters thing a whole lot better than this.) The narration would switch between being essential and completely unnecessary, though I do think it's kind of neat that the author of the book the film's based on does the voice-over. The plot being told in a kinda sorta non-chronological manner feels more confusing than anything, and it even unfortunately feels unnecessary to be told as a story that branches as much time as it does. The characters aren't that interesting, us being more told what they feel or the kind of person that they are instead of witnessing it. Not bad, just not very good.


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