Nevertheless, God’s Pocket is a film we watch at some remove. Slattery captures a cross-section of mostly blue-collar life in a particular place and time, but we don’t much care what happens to the characters.

Although God’s Pocket—which has been received with critical scorn—is nowhere near as bad as its cumulative reviews indicate, it doesn't quite come together in a way that makes it an easy sell for potential viewers. Rather, this is a film you might stumble onto some day on TV, where you can appreciate it for the small pleasures it offers. Those pleasures are real, but even at a trim 88 minutes, God's Pocket feels too long, unsure of what it wants to say and how it wants to say it.

CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers):

  • Language/Profanity: Lord’s name taken in vain; Several uses of the “f” word, including “mother—”; lots of foul language; racial and religious epithets; scatological language and jokes; references to male and female sex organs; discussion of sex with prostitutes.
  • Drinking/Smoking: Victor drinks excessively; scenes of beer drinking and drinking liquor from a bottle, and drinking while behind the wheel; scenes set in a bar.
  • Sex/Nudity:A man and woman are shown having sex under bed sheets; the woman puts a robe on over a nighty; the woman’s son gets out of bed in his underwear and puts on pants; a woman’s breast is seen, and she tries to arouse an impotent man; fear of contracting a sexually transmitted disease; two people are shown briefly having sex outdoors on a blanket.
  • Violence/Crime:The people of God’s Pocket are said to cheat at cards, to have stolen or, when kids, to have set fire to someone’s home, and they know who cheats and slaps their kids; man wields a switchblade; a fatal blow to the head; the men steal trucks and their cargo; heavy gambling debts; a man is punched; disposal of a corpse; eyes are gouged out.
  • Religion/Morals/MarriageThe only thing the people of God’s Pocket can’t forgive is not being from God’s Pocket; a funeral director says, “Sometimes you wonder about God’s plan”; an accusation of adultery; people are said to argue about things they don’t understand, like race and religion; gambling at the track; a verbal reference to Christians and lions

*Publication date: May 16, 2014