MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 659 this week

Child of God (2013)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  28 April 2014 (UK)
5.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.6/10 from 1,278 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 20 user | 54 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

A dispossessed, violent man's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 02 Oct 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 12 Nov 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 17 Aug 2013
 
a list of 50 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Child of God" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Child of God (2013)

Child of God (2013) on IMDb 5.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Child of God.
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Based on the 1930 classic by Faulkner, it is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest to honor her wish to be buried in the nearby town of Jefferson.

Director: James Franco
Stars: James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack
Coldwater (2013)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A teenage boy is sent to a juvenile reform facility in the wilderness. As we learn about the tragic events that sent him there, his struggle becomes one for survival with the inmates, counselors, and the retired war colonel in charge.

Director: Vincent Grashaw
Stars: P.J. Boudousqué, James C. Burns, Chris Petrovski
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

AVN Male Performer of the Year, Richard Peter Johnson retires from pornography at the height of his career to re-pursue his original dream of acting on the silver screen.

Director: Devin Crittenden
Stars: Katherine Adams, Amanda Ashley, Aleks Awad
The Rover (2014)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

10 years after a global economic collapse, a hardened loner pursues the men who stole his only possession, his car. Along the way, he captures one of the thieves' brother, and the duo form an uneasy bond during the dangerous journey.

Director: David Michôd
Stars: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A look at the trials and tribulations of The Compson siblings, living in the deep south during the early part of the 20th century.

Director: James Franco
Stars: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Joey King
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A vacationing family encounters an alien threat in this thriller based on the real-life Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon in North Carolina.

Director: Matty Beckerman
Stars: Katherine Sigismund, Corey Eid, Riley Polanski
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A biography of American poet Hart Crane who committed suicide at the age of 32 by jumping off the steamship SS Orizaba.

Director: James Franco
Stars: James Franco, Michael Shannon, Stacey Miller
April Rain (2014)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

When an eclectic group of terrorists plot to attack the United States from within, it's up to a quasi-military special investigative unit to identify, infiltrate and neutralize the threat.

Director: Luciano Saber
Stars: Ming-Na Wen, Ryan Guzman, Ally Walker
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

17-year-old Eli has just moved with his family deep into the backwoods of Kentucky to work on the isolated farm of a local recluse. Inexplicably drawn into the strange forest that lies ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Barker
Stars: Brad Dourif, Spencer Daniels, Alexia Fast
Sal I (2011)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

James Franco's Sal chronicles the final hours of the life of actor Sal Mineo, one-time teen idol and star of the blockbuster films Rebel Without a Cause and Exodus.

Director: James Franco
Stars: Val Lauren, Jim Parrack, James Franco
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews re-imagine the lost 40 minutes from "Cruising" as a starting point to a broader exploration of sexual and creative freedom.

Directors: James Franco, Travis Mathews
Stars: Val Lauren, Christian Patrick, James Franco
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Deputy Cotton
...
Sheriff Fate
...
...
Salesgirl (as Ciera Parrack)
...
Girly
...
Ernest
...
Victim #1
...
Boy With The Rifle
...
Narrator
...
John Greer
...
Lady In White
Kristen Adams ...
Ms. Walker
...
Boyfriend of Victim #1
...
The Pitchman
Edit

Storyline

Set in mountainous Sevier County, Tennessee, Child of God tells the story of Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man whom the narrator describes as "a child of God much like yourself perhaps." Ballard's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing aberrant sexual content, nudity, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 April 2014 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Dziecie boze  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$27,630 (USA) (1 August 2014)

Gross:

$37,949 (USA) (8 August 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Scott Haze moved to Sevierville, Tennessee to prepare for the dynamic and challenging role of Lester Ballard. Scott Haze lived in an isolated cabin in the woods, lost 50lbs and was reportedly sleeping in caves some nights. See more »

Goofs

Lester seems to have and endless supply of bullets. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Lester Ballard: Get off my fuckin property!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Vignettes of Feral Insanity
30 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I sat still after the United States premiere of James Franco's "Child of God" at the New York Film Festival, not as much contemplating whether or not it was good as I was considering whether or not I liked it. Mostly true to the Cormac McCarthy novel on which it was based, the film follows the cloistered and violent existence of Lester Ballard (Scott Haze) who lives isolated in the woods of Tennessee committing crimes of the most grotesque caliber. I won't say much more about the plot other than the fact that the sadistic actions shown on screen evoke an uneasy humor, a disturbing essence of comical brutality. To say the least, this movie is not for the queasy or the fainthearted. You will squirm.

Organization:

James Franco decided to organize the film into three acts, clearly distinguished from one another by title cards. While the producer argued this was done to manifest the passage of time, I felt it had no such effect. To add to this distortion of time and space, scenes are executed as vignettes. There's a constant transition fading in and out of the action, not only prompting confusion as to how much time passes between each scene, but also distracting the audience from the plot by means of excessive filmmaking. Some scenes exist solely for the purpose of character development while others seem to have no function at all. The relevant vignettes are strung together by a consistently distressed brain. While this structure may detract from the linear storyline, it instead leaves more up to interpretation and imagination. No number of scenes can embody the true insanity of Lester Ballard, we can only imagine what madness must be going on between the fades.

Performances:

Scott Haze's performance as Lester Ballard is probably the most memorable and noteworthy aspect of the film. Haze, who lived alone in caves and lost 45 pounds to prepare for this dynamic and challenging role, brilliantly expresses the complex lunacy of Ballard. He adjusted his voice to a barely comprehensible Tennessee accent and habitually licks his lips and bares his teeth, similar to Heath Ledger's Joker. Admitting that he channeled troubles from his own past when confronting the character, Haze often appears ignorant and childlike, constantly screaming and salivating, a repulsive portrait of a man bore from nature's womb. While sometimes funny, his interactions with his victims are unsettling yet strangely amorous. Just like in the writing of Cormac McCarthy, the audience lacks any sympathy for Ballard, for it's nearly impossible to relate to him. Franco isn't looking for your sympathy, he wants nothing more than your intrigue and attention. To witness Haze is to observe an animal, wild, vicious, and savage. The only other notable performance is that of Tim Blake Nelson playing Sheriff Fate. He conducted the role with a mediated honesty, constructing as realistic a character as possible and standing out within the frame, even with minimal screen time.

Technicalities:

All things considered, the technical aspects of the film are quite impressive. Funded out of James Franco's own pocket, the movie looks and sounds great considering its modest budget. The cinematography of the rural Tennessee landscape is eerily beautiful, shot hand-held on a handful of Canon 5Ds. The desaturated and gritty colors add an appropriate rustic feel to the film, further enhancing the forest terrain. The original music, although not particularly memorable, suits the setting well. Furthermore, the nameless narration was true to McCarthy's technique and certainly added to the tone of the film, keeping the audience attentive all the same. Overall, the movie's unsensational filmmaking is entirely fitting, ensuring the horrors on screen are ever more explicit, ever more real.

Conclusion:

You can tame the land, but you can't tame a man. "Child of God" is a commentary about the dispossessed in an incestuous homeland. Littered with existential imagery and dialogue, the film offers a respectful and honest rendering of the novel. While I may not agree with some storytelling elements and approaches, Franco still manages to get the point across and deliver a message, a testament to rejection, violence, and humanity. The film is definitely worth a watch if you can stomach it and works as a cogent visual supplement to the novel. I look forward to seeing more James Franco adaptations in the future.


49 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A few questions about the movie. JAWheat411
WILL THIS BE IN THEATERS???? codyeatruck-865-106543
James Franco is Now Set to Adapt Cormac McCarthy's 'Child of God' nutwood
Toronto, Venice, New York Film Festivals jamesfranco-471-754478
Some reviews complain... candre0714
Great Reviews jamesfranco-471-754478
Discuss Child of God (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?