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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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 1960s Tennessee, a violent loner (Scott Haze) loses his last vestige of humanity as he enters a downward spiral of madness, crime and degradation.

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Critic Reviews for Child of God

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (29)

  • With Child of God, Franco has come up with something distinctive that both captures the atmosphere of McCarthy's neo-Gothic universe and suggests a consolidation on the director's As I Lay Dying.

    September 15, 2014 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    August 3, 2014
  • 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.

    August 1, 2014 | Full Review…
  • "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.

    August 1, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Surprisingly pretty good.

    August 1, 2014 | Full Review…
  • A good faith but blank retelling of McCarthy's first major statement.

    August 1, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Child of God

  • Sep 06, 2014
    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 O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2014
    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. W Super Reviewer

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