Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. 100
    One of the best films of the year.
  2. 100
    Anderson, who makes as impressive a directing debut as has been seen in some time, creates a perfectly modulated mystery that doesn't even feel like one. It's a character play, and Hall, Reilly and Paltrow are so convincingly damaged they take on the properties of fine china.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Four excellent lead performances, vividly evoked ambience and a masterfully sustained mood of quiet desperation mark Sydney as an impressive piece of work.
  4. Impressive for its lean and unblemished storytelling, but even more so for its performances.
  5. 88
    Movies like Hard Eight remind me of what original, compelling characters the movies can sometimes give us.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Feb 7, 2014
    Really well done. Amazing to think that this was Paul Thomas Anderson's first effort, because he handles everything like a grisled vet in this. The film was slow, but built up nicely and the characters were all marvelously crafted. Main complaint were that while it was really well done, it never really made that "jump". I think this one could have been even better, but it seemed content being what it was and was relatively safe all around. In addition, I just never really bought into John C. Reilly's performance. All of the other performances were great, but his stood out to me as something that just did not quite fit with the rest of the film. Full Review »
  2. Apr 7, 2011
    **** is this movie great. There are only a few number of filmakers that have a flawless track record. And PT Anderson is definitely one of those. Because this film has some great characters. ANd it has everything that Ocean's Eleven should've had. Full Review »