(2013)

Critic Reviews

50

Metascore

Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Child of God is a shocking tale of backwoods lunacy and one man's descent into hell. Perhaps the most shocking thing about it is that it's really rather good.
60
Dramatically, Child of God is hit or miss; some scenes are ferociously captivating while others are given clumsy handling, almost to the point of indifference.
60
The crazed intensity of Franco’s filmmaking, while duly evocative of Haze’s primitive state, is ultimately too hectic and unmodulated for anything to burrow deep and stay there.
50
Slant Magazine
James Franco's general aesthetic is ugly and ambling, not so much because of its brownish-gray monochrome, but because it registers like the jerky result of a college kid wielding a DV cam.
40
It could have been so much worse; we wish it was a lot better.
30
The Dissolve
What’s left in the absence of McCarthy’s prose is a sincere but fundamentally pointless ode to a madman, which does little more than invite viewers to gawk at the unspeakable.
30
Village Voice
As it stands, Child of God is brazenly, outstandingly bad, as vague, pretentious, and pointless as its sorry title. But it's certainly memorable, full of inadvertent howlers and destined to create a whole new subgenre of burlesque, audience-torturing cinema.
25
The whole thing feels sort of tossed off, like it was made by film students over a couple of weekends.
25
The prevailing mood of Child of God, published in 1973, is filth, alienation and inertia. You can have it.
25
Child of God is, like the source novel, loosely inspired by the notorious real-life cannibal murderer Ed Gein. So was Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.’’ Nobody left that classic bored — but they sure will be by Franco’s film.

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