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Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 252 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A cat-and-mouse psychotic thriller as incisive as it is stylish, Hard Candy delivers a provocative take on the revenge drama while jangling nerves at every turn. The film plunges us into an unstable universe where we cannot readily identify the "good guy" in the tense confrontation betweenA cat-and-mouse psychotic thriller as incisive as it is stylish, Hard Candy delivers a provocative take on the revenge drama while jangling nerves at every turn. The film plunges us into an unstable universe where we cannot readily identify the "good guy" in the tense confrontation between a 14-year-old girl and the 32-year-old man she suspects of pedophilia and murder. (Lionsgate) Collapse
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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. The film was reputedly inspired by Japanese teens who trolled chat rooms to find predators, made assignments, then ganged up to beat offending adults.
  3. 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.
  4. 75
    The most extreme English-language studio release I've seen in years.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Hard Candy is the rare movie that may be worthiest for the arguments you'll have after it's over.
  6. Reviewed by: Gene Seymour
    50
    As gripping as Hard Candy is, one can't quite shake the feeling that we're the ones being exploited by its mordant blend of kinky revenge fantasy and push-me-pull-you moral vision.
  7. 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.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 67
  2. Negative: 12 out of 67
  1. SeanM.
    May 5, 2006
    10
    Very intense and unsettling psychological drama. Great performances, not over the top, although some of the scenes definitely are. Two big Very intense and unsettling psychological drama. Great performances, not over the top, although some of the scenes definitely are. Two big thumbs up from me. Expand
  2. EmanueleS.
    Jul 22, 2008
    10
    Absolutely fantastic: actors director and photography are perfect.
  3. Sep 20, 2010
    10
    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 notA 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 Expand
  4. Sep 13, 2012
    8
    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 PaigeHard 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
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  5. Sep 3, 2011
    7
    The tense atmosphere created by the David Slade is sensational, fully appropriate to the situation. The script outputs can find someThe 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
  6. NickD.
    Jan 27, 2007
    6
    Starts off intriguing and tense, but ends up dragging its feet to a silly conclusion all the while transforming the main character into Starts off intriguing and tense, but ends up dragging its feet to a silly conclusion all the while transforming the main character into someone irrational and unrealistic. Would have been better as an 80 minute thriller without all the extra twists and turns toward the end. Expand
  7. Mike
    Oct 9, 2006
    0
    The first 15 mins of the movie, were great! Very interesting and it kept me interested in what would have happened next. But then it went The first 15 mins of the movie, were great! Very interesting and it kept me interested in what would have happened next. But then it went down hill it kept on getting more and more unbelievable, stay away from this movie! Expand

See all 67 User Reviews

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