Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 29
  2. Negative: 5 out of 29
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    May 15, 2014
    88
    While the subject matter is often bleak, this isn’t a depressing journey. Seeing great actors at the top of their game working with such rich material is never a downer.
  2. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 7, 2014
    88
    As for Hoffman, the shambling Everyman naturalism he shows here gives God’s Pocket an added elegiac layer that makes its bitter ironies that much more painful.
  3. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    May 7, 2014
    83
    The performance, one of Hoffman’s last, is unostentatious, but sensitive. Hoffman inhabited lifelong losers better than any other actor.
  4. 80
    Slattery adapted the book with Alex Metcalf and gets the tone just right. The film is damnably amusing.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 8, 2014
    80
    Gritty, funny, rich adaptation of a Pete Dexter novel.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 15, 2014
    75
    You can tell by some loose threads and hurried workmanship that God’s Pocket is a knock-off, but it’s so stuffed with value, it’s an offer you can’t refuse.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    May 8, 2014
    70
    Because the actors are uniformly strong, though, and because the neighborhood itself provides such a credible context, Slattery manages to create the impression of an immense backstory that informs every interaction, making any sketchiness seem like naturalism rather than a failure of imagination.
  8. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    May 14, 2014
    67
    The drama may not be as focused as we might like, but Slattery’s outstanding gallery of actors make this an ensemble piece that commands our attention: These dead-end characters stick out like bas reliefs in the community framework.
  9. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    May 15, 2014
    63
    You might call it a black comedy of errors, but the humorous side of the film is less well executed than Slattery’s impeccable creation of a certain neighborhood feel.
  10. Reviewed by: Daniel Green
    Aug 6, 2014
    60
    Slattery does at times struggle to bring anything new to the impoverished blue-collar, working-class trope. Relying heavily on several top-drawer character actors to lift his occasionally flat, even nihilistic story of love and death amidst urban decay, it's Hoffman and Jenkins that deserve the largest proportion of praise, while other characters quickly fall to the wayside of our interest.
  11. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    May 10, 2014
    60
    The material isn’t excited or shaped toward any insight — the Mike Leigh of "Naked" did this sort of thing brilliantly — and the arrival of a sluggish investigating journalist (Richard Jenkins), himself a bar fixture and underachiever, doesn’t offer a valid counterpoint.
  12. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    May 15, 2014
    58
    Everything feels flat and listless, like an August afternoon in the city with no air conditioning. Hoffman shambles through his scenes, no spark in his eyes, getting it done without the energy and spirit that was his stock in trade.
  13. Reviewed by: Robert Cameron Fowler
    May 5, 2014
    58
    The numerous belly laughs are undermined by jarring flashes of darkness that never organically sync with the plot.
  14. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    May 15, 2014
    50
    Best, probably, to appreciate the movie for what Slattery, Hoffman, and the cast do most effectively: craft a pervasive atmosphere of tired people trudging through tired circumstances that only seem to grow more, well, tiring.
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    May 15, 2014
    50
    Many of the individual scenes are compelling, with a gritty tension that recalls "The Wire" and other good television. But too many of the attempts at "The Sopranos"-style comic drama fail.
  16. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 15, 2014
    50
    Although it contains some interesting characters, God's Pocket, like the neighborhood it depicts, is the kind of place you can't wait to escape, even if its inhabitants cannot.
  17. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 9, 2014
    50
    This is a flat, boring affair.
  18. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 8, 2014
    50
    The script, written by director John Slattery and Alex Metcalf, drifts too quickly into blue-collar cliches, leaving its interesting collection of characters only half-drawn at best.
  19. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    May 7, 2014
    50
    In one of his final roles, Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as a man whose no-good stepson is killed on a construction job, while John Turturro, Richard Jenkins, and Christina Hendricks round out a formidable cast that isn’t given much to work with.
  20. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Apr 18, 2014
    50
    The film only intermittently displays the snap, precision and stylistic smarts a mixed-tone project like this requires; a half-good effort is not enough where buoyancy and a sly-to-mean spiritedness are required at all times.
  21. Reviewed by: Cory Everett
    Apr 18, 2014
    42
    The film is almost unrepentantly nasty towards its characters.
  22. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Aug 4, 2014
    40
    An uneven debut from John Slattery that nonetheless shows flashes of flair and a jet-black sense of humour.
  23. Reviewed by: Alonso Duralde
    May 8, 2014
    40
    These characters and their dilemmas could be the stuff of great, or at least good, drama, but Slattery's insistence on accentuating their sorrows with clinically depressed art direction wears thin rather quickly.
  24. Reviewed by: Michael Nordine
    May 6, 2014
    40
    The story... could have worked well as a pitch-black comedy, but first-time director John Slattery (Mad Men's Roger Sterling) takes the material so seriously that the mood never changes much after leaving the funeral home.
  25. Reviewed by: Nick Prigge
    May 5, 2014
    38
    Throughout, it becomes difficult to know whether we're meant to empathize with these characters or laugh at them.
  26. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    May 8, 2014
    30
    As this strained, foul-mouthed exercise in gallows humor proceeds, God’s Pocket sustains a facade of meanspirited deadpan comedy. But there are no laughs, not even smirks to be had.
  27. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Apr 18, 2014
    30
    John Slattery makes a wobbly transition into feature filmmaking with this drab and uninvolving dark comedy.
  28. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    May 7, 2014
    25
    There’s nothing remarkable or even remotely intriguing about the dyspeptic gang of submental sad sacks in this dull, flat fiasco.
  29. Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
    Apr 18, 2014
    20
    We are encouraged to find these people stupidly brutal or comedic without being given the slightest idea as to why they might be that way.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Mar 27, 2015
    6
    Well this pocket is empty. The acting in the movie is really good, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro and Richard Jenkins did really goodWell this pocket is empty. The acting in the movie is really good, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro and Richard Jenkins did really good in this film. But the movie lacks on characters and the writing in the movie wasn't that good to be honest. I wanted to like this movie but it kind of let me down, because I thought i was going to love this movie but i didn't. Overall god's pocket is a mediocre film with good acting but a weak script. Could have been better. Full Review »
  2. Sep 10, 2014
    6
    A very well acted worth while film that's very dark and depressing. The acting is top notch and well the story isn't great it's still worthA very well acted worth while film that's very dark and depressing. The acting is top notch and well the story isn't great it's still worth at least one viewing. B Full Review »
  3. Aug 10, 2014
    10
    Some reviews have suggested that the plot is weak. It is true that nothing much happens, but that is the point; nothing much happens in God'sSome reviews have suggested that the plot is weak. It is true that nothing much happens, but that is the point; nothing much happens in God's Pocket. The plot is really just a vehicle for character exploration, but does provide some irresistible black comedy. The real beauty of the film lies in the evocation of a particular time and place, and in the study of the characters, which is compelling in itself. This is one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's final films, and he was quietly brilliant, to the extent that I couldn't imagine the film working with anyone else in the lead. At forty-six, he was probably only halfway through his career, and it is very sad to think of all the wonderful films he was yet to make. Full Review »