Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 30
  2. Negative: 6 out of 30
  1. 100
    A tough sit, but it attracts more than repels you. It commands your attention. Once it lands its hooks in you, there's no tearing away.
  2. To pull this kind of thing off you need exceptional performances, and the two leads rise commandingly to the challenge. Wilson, best known for his work in the screen version of "The Phantom of the Opera" and HBO's "Angels in America," keeps his true colors effectively muted throughout the bulk of their face-off, but it is Page who astonishes.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    A film that forges identification with its victimized heroine like none I've seen in decades. (The Nova Scotia–born Page, a Molly Ringwald type who was only 15 when the movie was made, leaves little doubt as to whether a kid can play a grown-up's icky game and win.)
  4. 88
    Hard Candy is impressive and effective. As for what else it may be, each audience member will have to decide.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Hard Candy, a highly original psychological thriller/revenge fantasy, can be bitterly hard to take and uncomfortably intense, but it's well worth consuming.
  6. 88
    These are two fascinating characters, and watching them thrust and parry proves to be as impossible to turn away from as observing a grotesque roadside accident.
  7. The film was reputedly inspired by Japanese teens who trolled chat rooms to find predators, made assignments, then ganged up to beat offending adults.
  8. Hard Candy is extreme - a battle of the sexes that glides from tricky to angry to shockingly ugly.
  9. Despite the hot-button pedophilic story hook (I'm surprised Jeff and Hayley didn't meet on, Hard Candy ultimately beats with the heart of a stagier, more complicated psychological revenge picture along the lines of Roman Polanski's "Death and the Maiden."
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 239 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 64
  2. Negative: 12 out of 64
  1. Sep 3, 2011
    The tense atmosphere created by the David Slade is sensational, fully appropriate to the situation. The script outputs can find some questionable time to time, but the film is directed behind to perfectness. The performances need no comment. Page and Wilson support the film with great skill, the progression of the tension is admirable, the expressions full of nuances and subjectivity. Movies that are supported primarily through dialogue efficiently are difficult to make. It all depends on how elaborate and interesting are the characters, their goals and their stories. â Full Review »
  2. JeremyF.
    Jan 20, 2007
    I have no idea how anyone can say this movie is horrible. A couple people on here have said that Ellen Page is terrible and overacts in every scene. This is beyond untrue. Her performance is one of the best and most perfect performances of the decade so far. She is powerful, passionate, and sadistically awing. She goes beyond "pulling off" every aspect of her role. As the movie goes, it's impossible to look away. A lot of people and critics say it's sick, and disgusting, and how you can barely sit through it. And that's true. You can barely sit through it, appalled, disgusted... etc. But you do. It's grossness, disgust, and sadistic thrill is what really grabs you. It lands it's claws in you and doesn't let you get away. Your eyes are glued to the screen because you're sitting at the edge of your seat, saying "what's she gonna do to him next?" or "what's he going to do to her." It's suspense is pulled off immensely, which is 85% true because of the beyond spectacular performances from Page and Wilson. The one thing that I think rattles most people is that during the film you don't know who to side with. He's a pedophile, so it's wrong what he's doing. Or is he? Is he a pedophile? Or is she just assuming and insanely torturing him? But also, on the other hand, if he is a pedophile, you agree with Hayley that he should be punished, and despite her sick technique and skill, you almost feel like you're siding with her. But then you feel bad for the pedophile, almost, and that makes you feel bad. It's just an overwhelming thought: who is right? who is wrong? are they both wrong? true, it is sick. true, it is sadistic what she does. but it's also true, that "Hard Candy" is one of the decades best put-together, and best acted films yet. 100 / 10 !!! ps: it's not overhyped, kids, don't worry. Full Review »
  3. MarkJ.
    Jan 2, 2007
    Hard Candy does not surprise in its ability to leave an audience shell shocked whilst failing to achieve critical acclaim. A brave narrative which revolves around the dialogue between an unbelievably psychotic teenager and a middle aged man seeking sex with minors never goes further than cliched one-upmanship which becomes as irritating as it is pointless. If your up for a shock thriller which ultimately leaves you knowing nothing more of the characters than you do after 20 minutes, then this will probably be an entertaing 90 minutes, otherwise avoid this at all costs, you'll only be left feeling cheated that you attempted to invest any emotion in what are two poorly structured and equally un-appealing characters. Full Review »