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Universal acclaim- based on 248 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 248

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  1. Sep 20, 2010
    A very disturbing, but great movie. When I first saw that Ellen Page was the lead I watched it. I soon found out that young people are not always innocent. The last line of the movie when she says "Or Not" really shows that if you are convincing you can get anyone to believe you. A shocking thrill ride that will make you cringe, cry and maybe even smile a little
  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 Expand
  3. 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.... Expand
  4. Aug 19, 2010
    Man meets young girl on Internet, lots in common, meet at coffee shop, go back to his house, get drunk, gets weird.
    Thriller that tackles a difficult subject but plays it out well helped by the brilliant Ellen Page.
    It has its uneasy moments but it's very well written & you're never really sure, even after the end credits, of what was what & who did what.
  5. Aug 26, 2010
    The strange philosophies of "Hard Candy" will no doubt polarize audiences, but pure exploitation tends to overcome any sense of right; there is a lot of brutality and sadism for the sake of justification - the exact type of movie that Michael Haneke's "Funny Games" was made to criticize. It's a shame because the colors are astounding and the acting is terrific, albeit acting for frustrating impossible characters. Expand
  6. Mar 7, 2011
    This flick gave as an example of how bluntly depressive now days entertainment could be."Masterpiece" in therms of, how to make a low-budget movie that aspiring to be a blockbust...sorry a ballcutter
  7. Mar 11, 2011
    Whether you'll like this movie or not highly depends on what you look at when you watch a movie. The acting is stunning, both actors do a tremendous job. Visually, this movie is also superb, the director did an amazing job.

    But the script is weak. The story drags on for waaaay too long, and the movie loses its initial drive to try to surprise us with plot twists that don't make a lot of
    sense and just make the whole seem longer. Worth it to see great acting, but otherwise, there are better movies out there. Expand
  8. Sep 27, 2011
    I watched this one because I saw it at the library and I knew it was supposed to be very interesting. Then a friend told me it was the best thing Page had done even over Juno. I was really excited to see this one. What I saw...*shudder* oh yes, *shudder*

    Acting/Characters: There are only 2 people in this movie. Yes I know Sandra Oh receives top billing but it was like John Rhys-Davies in
    Ferocious Planet, it's just a name draw. It is just Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page interacting with each other. I must say, Ellen Page can play a total psychopath if she wants. In fact, this movie showed me that she can play whatever she wants. I had only ever seen her in Juno, Inception, and X-Men. I agree with my friend that this was the best thing she has done. Her range of emotions and delivery of her lines were spectacular I must say. Patrick Wilson did an excellent job acting with Page. But it was really her show of course. She commanded ever scene. Make no mistake, she was in charge. End of story. Thank goodness she did such an awesome job or this movie would have sucked. 9/10

    Plot: The story itself is original but I don't think the idea behind it is. Role-reversal of stuff like this isn't something I've never seen. The way that they presented it and the actual story is very original as far as I am aware. I was definitely never bored. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. One scene was just so difficult to watch. Anyone who is a guy who has seen this film knows which one. Double shudder on that one. The film wasn't too long although they probably could have shaved off a few seconds here and there...maybe not I guess. It wasn't overly long is what I'm trying to say. It was engaging, not too long, and told very effectively. The theme isn't original but I don't see anything wrong with that. 8.5/10

    Screenplay: I'd like to take a screenplay course someday and see if writing a screenplay for a film like this, that is to say, two or three principle actors who take up all of the screen-time in one basic space, or for a film with lots of people to write for. Whatever the case is, this one was pretty good. It really helped the actors out. it was written well enough for the really interesting bits of Page's character to come out. I don't know how hard it is to effectively write a sociopath, but they nailed it here. Very good job. 8.5/10

    Likableness: I saw it, I'm glad I saw it, but it isn't a film that I'm immediately going to pop back into the good ol' laptop again to watch. It'll be a while before I see this again. It will stay with me though. it is far from a forgettable film. I found myself wide-eyed with horror throughout most of the film. This is far better than any Saw film. It leaves a lot to your imagination which just makes it all the more effective. I would suggest this one to anyone who can handle something like this. It is definitely not for the fainthearted though. especially any fainthearted guys. I liked it a lot though. 9/10

    Final score: 35/40 87% (N)
    Tomatometer rating: 68%
    Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 68%

    TRIVIA TIME: 1. The stunt coordinator's house served as the exterior for Jeff's house. The interiors of Jeff's house were inspired by that of producer David Higgins, who planned to shoot the film there if enough money could not be secured to build sets.

    2. Both cast and crew members have denied that the costume choices for the character of Hayley were intended as a reference to the children's story 'Little Red Riding Hood.'

    3. Despite the intense emotional and physical content of most rest of the movie, Ellen Page said that one of the hardest scenes to shoot by far was the scene at Nighthawks, where for take after take she had to eat more tiramisu than she could ever want.

    4. The final shot of Hayley with the hoody pulled over her head was taken by the DP Jo Willems without Ellen Page knowing. She didn't know about the shot until she saw the final cut.

    5. According to actress Ellen Page, the iconic red hooded shirt (which belonged to Ellen Page) used in the movie and on the posters was, in fact, orange. The color was changed in post-production.

    6. Because Ellen Page shaved her head for her previous film role, during the audition she was mistaken for a boy. The effect was so off-putting she had to put on a wig, where she then gave a phenomenal reading.
  9. Sep 13, 2012
    Hard Candy is one of those films that you just have to see, one of the films that should be on an all time greatest movies list. Ellen Paige plays Haley, a 14 year old girl who is being sexually groomed by 30 something year old Jim. When Jim invites Haley back to his for a 'photoshoot' Jim gets unexpected surprise. After awakening from unconsciousness Haley explains to him that she has had her eye in him for a long time and that he should pay for his involvement for a rape and murder of a teenage girl. As Haley uncovers more secrets to Jim's past she forces him into one very tough decision.
    The film is not overly bloody nor gory for the most part, even its claim to fame scene doesn't have that much blood which at times made me question the 18 certificate, especially when the film is a thriller yet it has no real heart racing moments like a thriller should. Though the acting and storytelling are top notch Hard Candy falls flat when it comes to its 'edge of your seat' moments. Despite this the film is great and should be watched by everyone
  10. Dec 23, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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.
  11. Jun 2, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A brilliant film. The film does leave one major question unanswered...who is Hayley?...but that does not stop this brave film from being unbelievably intense. Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson are absolutely terrific, and Sandra Oh is effective in her tiny role. A must-see film starring Ellen Page, pre-Juno. Expand
  12. Sep 20, 2014
    I haven't seen many of Ellen Page's films, but I've liked her both here and in To Rome with Love. She's really good here, in a strong script. I thought Slade did a good job directing, for a relatively new kid on the block. If you can get past the controversial material and take the film on its own merits, I think you'll find it a rewarding experience. Because we exist in a moderately crappy world where bad things happen to good people, no matter what they do, and since losers, both pedophilic and psychopathic, exist, that make friendships and relationships of any sort a virtual minefield, this film should be mandatory viewing. Expand
  13. Sep 2, 2014
    "Hard Candy" is disturbing, shocking, and difficult to watch. The movies begins as a sort of Dateline episode but quickly changes to a much darker tone. It's difficult to recommend this movie, but if you can stomach an off-screen castration scene, I say go ahead and watch it.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 30
  2. Negative: 6 out of 30
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A spectacular performance by teenage thesp Ellen Page elevates this disturbing slice of designer shocksploitation into a film that's impossible to dismiss on principle.