A blue collar criminal must scrape together enough cash to pay
for his stepson's funeral after he's killed in a suspicious accident.
God's Pocket (2014)
Directed by John Slattery
Written by Alex Matcalf and John Slattery
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks,
John Turturro, Richard Jenkins, Domenick Lombardozzi,
Jack O'Connell, Caleb Landry Jones, Eddie Marsan
Based on the novel by Peter Dexter
I'm a fan of pretty much everyone involved in the making of this film, particularly the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, which is why my disappointment is far greater than it would've been for just any old bad movie. This film has Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro, Richard Jenkins, Eddie Marsan, and it's directed by Mad Men's John Slattery. There is absolutely no reason why this shouldn't have been an indie crime masterpiece. Instead, God's Pocket loads up on tired cliches and one-dimensional characters who do absolutely nothing to further what little plot it actually has.
As usual, it's small-town criminals at work trying to mind their own business until a big score falls into their lap. In this case, it's meat, so not a big score. The film dances around what exactly their motivations are, but everything changes when Mickey's (Hoffman) psychotic stepson Leon (Caleb Landry Jones) is found dead at his factory job. In truth, he was whacked on the head for being a smartass and nobody seems to want to investigate this because the kid was such a s**t. The only person who cares is Leon's mother Jeannie (Hendricks), who cries, mopes, and then sleeps with Richard Jenkins. This film is a jumbled mess of half-written plotlines that never quite connect and are never really resolved. It's like an episode of The Sopranos written by Damon Lindelof.
I'm sad to say that this was Philip Seymour Hoffman's last completed film before he died from a drug overdose in 2014. Such a fine actor deserves a better movie to end such a distinguished career with. This film wasted a brilliantly talented cast by giving them almost nothing to work with. The script is horrendous, as is the editing. In the end, you'll be frustrated because nothing actually happened in the past hour and a half. It's just another day in some strip of land in Generic Mob Town #5, NJ.