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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Monday, March 09, 2015

Movie Review - God's Pocket

God's Pocket (2014)
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro, Eddie Marsan, and Caleb Landry Jones
Directed by John Slattery

Talk about a snooze fest.  One of Philip Seymour Hoffman's last films, God's Pocket tells the tale of a working class Philadelphia neighborhood known as Devil's Pocket wherein tough guys and broads abound.  Leon (Caleb Landry Jones) is a live wire -- a twentysomething factory worker whose racist remarks and poor work ethic don't sit well with his co-workers.  One day, after a spouting a particularly cruel diatribe against an older black man, the elderly gentleman whacks him on the side of the head with a pipe and Leon dies.  The manager of the factory and the crew decide to cover up the death, saying that it was an accident...and one would think that the movie would be about setting up whether these crew members would be discovered for their crime.

But no...after the murder in the film's opening ten minutes, we don't really revisit the investigation in the slightest.  Sure, Leon's death looms over the rest of the film's proceedings, but the film instead focuses on Leon's mother and stepfather Jeannine and Mickey (Christina Hendricks and Hoffman) and Jeannine's newfound affair with a reporter (Richard Jenkins) investigating Leon's death.  Taking place over the course of three days, God's Pocket goes nowhere with all of its characters wallowing around in dank, dark places not talking about anything of much importance except how hard life is in The Pocket.

This is actor John Slattery's first film as a director and there are sparks of interesting moments, but nothing ever truly lights up.  The acting is all so dreadfully sullen and dull that there's never a moment of respite from the dreariness.

The RyMickey Rating:  D

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