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Review: The Devil All The Time (18)

Written by Culture, Film

One of the most anticipated Netflix Originals has finally dropped but The Devil All The Time is a prime example of why great performances do not make a great film.

Set in the years after World War II, The Devil All the Time follows several different characters in and around a small town as they struggle with sin, religion and some of the darkest things a human can do.

You might think that plot sounds a bit vague, and you’d be correct. But sadly it isn’t just my writing to blame for that this time. One of the biggest weaknesses of The Devil All The Time is the plot or lack thereof. Due to a few too many characters moving in a few too many directions the final product feels stuck in the water with nothing really pushing it anywhere.

Image credit: IMDb

With a star-studded cast including the likes of Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, and Sebastian Stan, chances are this film has already been on your radar for a while. And let me tell you – they don’t disappoint. While the plot is in shambles for the majority of the film, I can’t think of one bad performance in its 2 hours 18 minutes run time. Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson in particular hand in superb performances with shockingly good southern accents. The Spider-Man star really gave everything in this role, showing everyone that he is more than just a few quips under spandex and hopefully we get to see him in even more serious roles in the future. As for the upcoming Batman star Robert Pattinson, it’s yet another brilliant, scene-stealing performance – further cementing him as one of the best actors working today. If only he got more screen time.

Image credit: IMDb

But having all these talented actors working at their peak just made the viewing so much more frustrating as we get far too little time to enjoy them. The film constantly goes back and forth between several different stories, giving little time to grow attached to a character before five more are introduced.

I think the main issue with The Devil All The Time is that it is trying to cram way too much in. While all the acting was great, some of the characters could have been dropped and the film would have played out more or less the same. Either that or make it into a TV series so we can spend more time with each of these characters individually and give each actor a chance to shine.

So to summarise, while The Devil All The Time had almost limitless potential with an all star cast that give some of their best performances, it sadly misses the mark resulting in a lengthy misery tour about why religion is bad.

Rating: 5/10 (three of which are Robert Pattinson)

Feature image credit: IMDb

Last modified: 19th September 2020

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