God's Pocket

God's Pocket is a 2014 American drama film directed by John Slattery, his feature film directorial debut. Slattery co-wrote the screenplay with Alex Metcalf, based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Pete Dexter. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro, Christina Hendricks, and Richard Jenkins. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival to mixed critical reviews, and was picked up for domestic distribution by IFC Films. The film is set in a poor working class South Philadelphia neighborhood modeled on Devil's Pocket, but filmed in Yonkers and New Jersey.

God's Pocket
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Slattery
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • John Slattery
  • Alex Metcalf
Based onGod's Pocket
by Pete Dexter
Music byNathan Larson
CinematographyLance Acord
Edited byTom McArdle
  • Park Pictures
  • Cooper's Town Productions
  • Shoestring Pictures
Distributed byIFC Films
Release date
  • January 17, 2014 (2014-01-17) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • May 9, 2014 (2014-05-09) (United States)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$170,000[1]

Hoffman died within two weeks of the film's premiere at Sundance's 2014 U.S. Dramatic Competition.


When a blue collar worker's stepson is killed in a mysterious accident, he tries to cope, but things become difficult as the characters continue to intertwine in unexpected ways.



God's Pocket received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 36% based on 89 reviews, with the critical consensus reading, "Well-cast but frustratingly clichéd, God's Pocket fails to strike a sensible balance between comedy and drama."[2] On Metacritic, the film received a score of 51 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[3]

The Hollywood Reporter called it a "half-good effort" that lacked the "snap, precision and stylistic smarts a mixed-tone project like this requires."[4] Screen International called it "too shaggy and tonally inconsistent to hold together." Stephanie Merry from the Washington Post said, "What began as an intriguing snapshot begins to feel grotesque and inscrutable."[5]

The film received some positive reviews from notable critics. Richard Roeper said, "John Slattery's direction is skilled and steady.... Great actors at the top of their game working with rich material."[6] David Edelstein of New York Magazine/Vulture said, "Slattery adapted the book with Alex Metcalf and gets the tone just right. The film is damnably amusing."[7] In a Sundance first-look review The Guardian gave the film 4 out of 5 stars.[8] The New York Post said the film was "crafted with great skill".[9]


IFC Films gave the film a limited release on May 9, 2014.[10] Domestically the film widest release was in 80 theaters, generating only $170,000 in box office.[1]

Arrow Films acquired the UK rights and Electric Entertainment handled the international rights.


  1. "Box Office Mojo - God's Pocket". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  2. "God's Pocket". rottentomatoes.com. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  3. "God's Pocket Reviews". Metacritic. 2014-05-09. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  4. McCarthy, Todd (2014-01-17). "God's Pocket: Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  5. Merry, Stephanie (15 May 2014). "'God's Pocket' movie review". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  6. "God's Pocket". RichardRoeper.com. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  7. Edelstein, David. "Movie Review: God's Pocket". Vulture. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  8. Barnes, Henry (18 January 2014). "God's Pocket: Sundance 2014 - first look review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  9. Smith, Kyle (2014-01-17). "'God's Pocket' crafted with great skill". New York Post. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  10. Cunningham, Todd (6 March 2014). "Philip Seymour Hoffman's 'God's Pocket' Gets Release Date". thewrap.com. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
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