Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 30
  2. Negative: 6 out of 30
  1. With Hard Candy, the innocent are tortured along with the guilty -- the innocent, in this case, being the audience.
  2. Icky, incoherent thriller.
  3. Though Hard Candy clearly believes pedophiles should be chopped into little pieces and buried in an unmarked grave, its only purpose is exploitative. Sure, it's a cautionary tale for all those sicko wolves out there, but it's nothing more than an unabashed lurk-and-dread fest.
  4. Tautly directed by David Slade, this drama probably offers more sadism than anyone could possibly want...The characters are absurd, but if you're up for this sort of thing, then surely you can con yourself into accepting them. Personally, I'd rather have this movie obliterated from my memory.
  5. During the ensuing narrative unpleasantness and visual incoherence (meaningless choker close-ups, pointless slow motion), Hayley subjects Jeff to a range of torture, all in the name of, well, what? Despite the two fine performances, it's hard to say.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    High-minded sleaze, the film deceives you with its first 10 minutes, which are interestingly creepy.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 245 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 64
  2. Negative: 12 out of 64
  1. Aug 6, 2013
    I can't say that Hard Candy is a great movie but i can't either say that it is a disaster. First of all it has great actors and an excellent cinematography. At the beginning it is a really lame and slow movie and it gets to the last minutes. It is really disturbing all these tortures and I can say that really annoyed me in a good way as i really like movies like Saw. I had great expectations for Hard Candy and I think they were a little bit high. You will only like it if you like sadistic movies like Saw otherwise you will waste your time and you will might feel really seek after watching that film. I give it 6/10 because it starts really bad and it is quite boring. After half an hour it gets more interesting. If only the first scenes were better.... Full Review »
  2. 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 »
  3. Dec 23, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. It is one of the most disturbing and engrossing movies. It sure does
    holds our attention after watching it and it is a perfect one time
    watch movie. The highlight of the movie is lead performances by Ellen
    Page and Patrick Wilson. About Page,she did her job so good.One of the
    most creepiest performances. She looks so sweet and act grievously,she
    really is a hard candy in the movie.She is one of the natural actors.
    Patrick Wilson too well-acted the character of a pedophile who got has
    been stuck with an insane girl who kills pedophile. His depiction of
    anger,pain and surprise is really great. The cat and mouse game holds
    us onto the edge our seats. The plot is totally unpredictable and many
    scenes amazes us throughout the movie. Changing frequency and shaky
    camera style in some scenes is also dazzling. Writers picked a
    controversial topic and with a low-budget they turned it into a
    capricious suspense thriller. If there were no flaws it would been the
    one of the best thrillers. Character development and repetition of same
    dialogues i.e."You are a pedophile" "No i am not" "You killed her" "i
    didn't kill her" etc. seems cheesy. Though the plot is unpredictable it
    is a bit crumby in scenes. But it is great two time watch movie. I
    enjoyed it. Hats off to Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page.
    Full Review »