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Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Louis Ballard's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard, a violent man, descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 17
  2. Negative: 5 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jul 31, 2014
    80
    What Mr. Franco does have is Mr. Haze, whose mesmerizing performance gives the movie its ballast and its fitful, nervous energy.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    Franco’s hand-held camerawork draws the story forward as unfussily as a shepherd leads a sheep, and yet with a kind of ghastly grandeur. This is functional filmmaking more than it is flashy. But there is, at its heart, a single virtuosic performance.
  3. 70
    James Franco’s adaptation of the sick little Cormac McCarthy period novel Child of God is surprisingly pretty good.
  4. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Jul 27, 2014
    50
    James Franco's general aesthetic is ugly and ambling, not so much because of its brownish-gray monochrome, but because it registers like the jerky result of a college kid wielding a DV cam.
  5. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jul 31, 2014
    40
    It’s McCarthy’s complex use of language, rather than the plot’s grueling imagery, that elevate the book. There’s simply not enough insight here to make the punishment worthwhile.
  6. Reviewed by: Sam Weisberg
    Jul 29, 2014
    30
    As it stands, Child of God is brazenly, outstandingly bad, as vague, pretentious, and pointless as its sorry title. But it's certainly memorable, full of inadvertent howlers and destined to create a whole new subgenre of burlesque, audience-torturing cinema.
  7. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Sep 17, 2013
    25
    The whole thing feels sort of tossed off, like it was made by film students over a couple of weekends.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

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