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God's Pocket

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
God's Pocket

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Imagine a version of ‘Rocky’ filled with alcoholic South Philly losers and sides of beef hanging in meat lockers – yet no boxing whatsoever – and you’ll get the gist of this depressing ’70s-set drama. Based on Pete Dexter’s 1983 novel (and wearing its bleakness like a badge), the movie is beautifully cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Mickey, a slump of a nothing whom the actor makes magnetic. After his wife’s adult son is murdered at a construction site for mouthing off, Mickey is thrust into the role of making things right: arranging the burial with a slimy funeral director (Eddie Marsan) and collecting a debt from a two-bit partner in crime, Bird (John Turturro). He also gambles and drinks himself senseless.

The story lacks excitement and insight, and the arrival of a sluggish journalist (Richard Jenkins), himself a bar fixture and underachiever, doesn’t improve matters. Yet the booze-soaked mood is absorbingly strange; you only wish debut feature director John Slattery had brought to the film some of the spark he’s shown as an actor on ‘Mad Men’.

Written by Joshua Rothkopf

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 8 August 2014
  • Duration:88 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:John Slattery
  • Screenwriter:John Slattery, Alex Metcalf
  • Cast:
    • Philip Seymour Hoffman
    • John Turturro
    • Richard Jenkins
    • Christina Hendricks
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