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God's Pocket

Director:  John Slattery
Year Released:  2014
Rating:  1.0

In a dingy part of Philadelphia (what used to be called "Devil's Pocket"), a youngish dirtbag (Caleb Landry Jones) is killed at a construction site for being a racist ass and his death is covered up by the other workers, leaving his mob-affiliated step-father (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Mother (Christina Hendricks) to do some investigating (aided, in part, by a newspaper columnist/chronic alcoholic, played by Richard Jenkins). The film is marked as being a "comedy," though any comedic aspects intended by Pete Dexter (who wrote the source text) are lost by Slattery's depressive approach: none of the characters are remotely redeemable (some are downright pathetic and slimy) nor is there any reason to care much about the death of the Jones character since he's only 'defined' by his anti-black ranting. What remains is a slog of half-cocked ideas and a miserable set of characters who escape in the bottle or by engaging in petty crime: Eugene O'Neill this is not.

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