Available On: Netflix
Duration: 138 minutes
Story: The Devil All The Time follows a young man, Arvin Russell, who learns to fight to defend himself at a young age and strives to keep his loved ones safe in a town full of corrupted and sinister people.
Review: Based on Donald Ray Pollock's 2011 novel of the same name, The Devil All The Time is a cinematic audiobook that takes you on a long ride filled with bad people and the ones who deserve to die. The film follows a group of cynical Faithmeisters, serial killers, delusional Bible belters, traumatized war veterans, their affected offspring, and corrupt cops.
Every bit of the film makes you question these characters, their sanity and the film's plot but the narrator, present throughout the run time, makes it easier to see the direction in which Antonio Campos intended to take the film. With many characters to follow and their stories to be told, it is pretty easy to lose the purpose of the film but with author Donald Ray Pollock's fine toned narration the audience is kept grounded.
Bill Skarsgård As Willard Russell
The kids in the film, suffer through their parent's shortcomings and fall into a similar cycle of helplessness. The common ground for all the characters is the praise for the Lord in different ways and by the end, it leaves you with the belief that maybe all of it was the Lord's plan to end all evil with the start of an evil.
Robert Pattinson As Reverend Preston Teagardin
Full of toxic masculinity, and the senselessness of violence, the story follows a group of people across two cities spanning between 1957-1965. We meet Willard Russel (Bill Skarsgård) who is taken by the violence at war and ends up influencing the same behaviour on his nine-year-old kid, Arvin Russel (Michael Banks Repeto). He makes sure to teach his son, "you have to pick your time to win a fight" and he continues to do so years later (Tom Holland), when it is his time to fight in a town full of corrupted and sinister people.
Tom Holland As Arvin Russell
The Devil All The Time has a starry cast including some of the biggest names today like Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgård, Riley Keough, Jason Clarke, Sebastian Stan, Haley Bennett, Eliza Scanlen, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattinson. All the characters have very little time to develop their stories on screen but the talented cast does its best to bring a deeper meaning into their portrayal. It is hard to imagine Robert as a Southern Reverend with a dubbed voice, but it's hard to see Tom lose his shaky southern accent in the first five minutes of his appearance.
Sebastian Stan As Sheriff Lee Bodecker
However, it doesn't affect the film. Instead, it's the haphazard storytelling and jumping between timelines to create a potboiler thriller, which we do not get. The film turns out to be lost in itself, trying to convince their viewers there is a reason for everything. It is rather naive towards its own violence but takes the consequences too seriously.
Overall, The Devil All The Time is not boring at best but it could have turned out to be a bigger deal with more finesse.