Child Of God (2014)



Critic Consensus: An obviously reverent adaptation that fails to make a case for the source material being turned into a movie, Child of God finds director James Franco outmatched by Cormac McCarthy's novel.

Movie Info

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker James Franco, and based on the chilling novel by Cormac McCarthy, Child of God, tells the provocative story of Lester Ballad (Scott Haze), a dispossessed, violent man, attempting to exist outside the social order. Consecutively deprived of parents and housing and driven by famished loneliness, Ballard descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation. Set in a small town in the foothills of the … More

Rating: R (for disturbing aberrant sexual content, nudity, language and some violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Vince Jolivette, James Franco
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 28, 2014
Box Office: $37.9k
Well Go USA - Official Site


as Lester Ballard

as Sheriff Fate

as Deputy Cotton

as First Victim

as Greer

as Auctioneer

as Lady in White

as Boyfriend of First V...

as Boy in the Cabin

as Boy in the Cabin

as Ms. Walker

as Boyfriend of Girly

as Mr. Fox

as Fair Pitchman

as Mother at the Fair

as Little Girl at the F...

as Little Girl at the F...

as Preacher
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Child Of God

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Child Of God

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (23)

Beautifully shot, well acted, and the score is lovely, but the film has nothing to say about the human degradation in which it wallows. If you're gonna make me smell dung for two hours, at least fertilize my lawn.

Full Review… | August 3, 2014
Top Critic

There's no denying Franco's ambition, and in "Child of God" you can see evidence (almost for the first time) that he's reaching for something he may one day attain.

Full Review… | August 1, 2014
Top Critic

"Child of God" fascinates like a song sung just out of tune but rhythmically sturdy enough to keep you listening in the hopes it'll right itself.

Full Review… | August 1, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Surprisingly pretty good.

Full Review… | August 1, 2014
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

This wrong-headed adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's taut 1973 novel, as interpreted by director James Franco, spends too much time trying to create an element of compassion for this devilishly aberrant killer.

Full Review… | July 31, 2014
USA Today
Top Critic

Too bad all this grungy intimacy renders him neither knowable nor fascinating as he hunkers down in a shack and then in a cavern that doubles as a crypt.

Full Review… | July 31, 2014
Orange County Register
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Child Of God


Going out on a limb here, but here goes: second only to Frankenstein (and then only because that was first, but that's the only reason) when it comes to taking a hard look at the rationale for horror, for "monster", the why's and wherefores. And I've seen a lot of horror movies since Frankenstein, but almost none that didn't somehow glorify the taking of life. Here the taking of life is viewed as the curious means to an end, however sad and pathetic that end might be. Its adapted from a Cormac McCarthy story, and I didn't know it was horror until it was well along. That's good.
This one's a keeper.
And from James Franco??? I stand corrected.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Outstanding drama with controversial subjects co-written and directed by James Franco, and starring Scott Haze... I never read the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy but I'll guess it had the reception like the movie. If you know that this film was selected to be screened in the official competition at the 70th Venice International Film Festival and was an official selection of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, be assured that you won't be watching a classical Hollywood blockbuster. I am glad that at the end it was something I could not even guess with the wildest imagination. Starring Scott Haze as Lester Ballard, Tim Blake Nelson as Sheriff Fate, James Franco as Jerry and Jim Parrack as Deputy Cotton, this was the movie which will require from you not to react on the most of the presented taboos of the society, and to concentrate on the heartfelt story of survival.

Scott Haze had his lifetime performance; it is almost impossible beating that! James Franco directed it with such perfection, that I will never miss any of his future movies. From the cinematography, to editing, choice of the fonts for the titles, music... everything was made to look like a perfect Indie movie! I would not waste too many words on it - just "don't miss it"!

Panta Oz

Super Reviewer


James Franco is a strange filmmaker who is on a unique wavelength, that I can't ever really get on. I'm never sure of what he's trying to do, and Child of God isn't much different. I get that we're just following this bizarre character around, but I never felt anything throughout the movie. Yeah, there are some memorable moments, but only because they are so bizarre and gross. I don't know if that's enough.

Child Of God Quotes

– Submitted by Rob N (10 months ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Child Of God on our Movie forum!