Review: "The Devil All the Time"

As much as you want to be repelled by the depraved characters and relentless violence of The Devil All the Time, this film manages to keep you curious. Maybe more impressively, it makes you care for some of the broken souls inhabiting its two map-speck towns.

This is no easy feat. The well-known international cast pulls off playing evil while hinting at the weaknesses and trauma fueling their characters' actions, forcing you to grapple with comprehending characters even as they make appalling, morally questionable choices.

At well over two hours long, the film could have done this even better by cutting out a couple of the less-developed stories -- for example, the corrupt sheriff's dealings with a mistress and local crime bosses.

Director Antonio Campos seems fascinated by the darkest side of human nature, but he has set the film to a blend of period gospel, folk, country, and other music that keeps the mood from feeling as miserable as the stories warrant.

Adapted from the novel (often labeled "hillbilly gothic") by Donald Ray Pollock, who narrates the film, Devil is set in the gloomy borderlands between West Virginia and Ohio between 1957 and 1965. This location and between-war period is characterized in the film by financial and spiritual poverty.

Still, there are no easy moral lessons here, no heroes, and few characters or themes painted in black and white. It won't be for everyone, but given a chance, Devil could surprise more than a few initially reluctant viewers.

Read the full review at Common Sense Media.


A note about privacy: This web is hosted on the platform. provides us with the online platform that allows us to share our content you. We do not share personal information with third-parties nor do we store information we collect about your visit to this blog for use other than to analyze content performance through the use of cookies, which you can turn off at any time by modifying your Internet browser's settings. We are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other web sites or media without our permission. All art and posters from films used on this site are sourced from distributors where possible, and always represent official art released for press coverage of films. Please contact me directly with questions. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.