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

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Universal acclaim- based on 248 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 between a 14-year-old girl and the 32-year-old man she suspects of pedophilia and murder. (Lionsgate) Expand
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
    Hard Candy is impressive and effective. As for what else it may be, each audience member will have to decide.
  4. Reviewed by: Winda Benedetti
    Hard Candy is not perfect, but it is a provocative piece of filmmaking with a dark and daring heart that makes it worth seeing.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Hard Candy is the rare movie that may be worthiest for the arguments you'll have after it's over.
  6. 50
    It takes creepy, spooky, and altogether ooky to a hideous new level.
  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: 51 out of 66
  2. Negative: 12 out of 66
  1. SeanM.
    May 5, 2006
    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
    Absolutely fantastic: actors director and photography are perfect.
  3. 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 Expand
  4. 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.
  5. 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. Expand
  6. StephenS.
    Jul 13, 2006
    Seasoned cinemagoers are entitled to read
  7. Mike
    Oct 9, 2006
    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 66 User Reviews