Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 26
  2. Negative: 7 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 13, 2011
    88
    Unlike many films that hope to be called black comedy, it does not skimp on either the black or the comedy.
  2. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    May 13, 2011
    80
    Director Spencer Susser doesn't try to make Hesher anything other than a sociopath - a walking, profanity-spewing id - and to his credit, neither does Gordon-Levitt.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 15, 2011
    75
    There's meaning, great meaning, in Susser's wonderfully oddball little film.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    May 16, 2011
    75
    Bad role models sometimes make the most interesting movie characters. The ill-mannered, unkempt, foulmouthed and hot-tempered title character of Hesher is just such a walking contradiction.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 12, 2011
    75
    As played by the spectacular Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hesher is the id run rampant.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 12, 2011
    63
    It's a fearsome and giddily unhinged performance in a movie that isn't entirely sure what to do with it.
  7. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    May 12, 2011
    60
    Portman is also a producer of Hesher; it is the first of her new company's films. It's not too tough to see what might have drawn a producer to the project: The story's mix of the mythical and the mundane has become an indie staple, and Hesher's edge might have proved artful instead of shredding everything in its path. For any actress, however, the part of Nicole is embarrassingly thin.
  8. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    May 10, 2011
    60
    That T.J. and his family willingly allow this headbanging psycho(analyst) to move into their cluttered, dankly lit abode-the emotional damage is palpable, yo!-is just one of the film's many eyebrow-raising contrivances.
  9. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    May 9, 2011
    60
    Too dark for a very broad audience, it will flummox some viewers drawn by its cast but will strike others with its more-than-prickly approach and standoffish humor.
  10. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    May 9, 2011
    60
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt dominates this slight, worth-a-watch dramedy.
  11. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    May 27, 2011
    58
    The chief thing he (Susser) has going for him is Gordon-Levitt, whose intense immersion in his overwritten character is laudable if the result isn't exactly likeable.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    May 13, 2011
    50
    Director Spencer Susser, who wrote the film with David Michod, has a kinetic filmmaking style and an impish, crash-and-burn sense of humor that keeps sentiment at bay long enough to let us appreciate the loose, uncomplicated performances from a cast that includes suddenly ubiquitous Oscar winner Natalie Portman.
  13. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 12, 2011
    50
    Hesher has its genuinely affecting scenes, but too much of the time it feels false and shallow.
  14. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    May 12, 2011
    50
    Writer-director Spencer Susser and cowriter David Michod (Animal Kingdom) generate fresh hells at a surreally rapid clip but cop out with an incongruously sentimental ending.
  15. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    May 11, 2011
    50
    As the checkout girl everyone's got a crush on, Natalie Portman makes a winsome return to her "Garden State" gawkiness.
  16. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    May 12, 2011
    40
    Rather than a character rooted in some sort of reality-social, satirical, psychological, take your pick-Hesher is an abstract notion animated by false energy.
  17. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    May 12, 2011
    40
    Hesher is a muddle of inchoate feelings that never really grasps the clichés to which it raises its middle finger.
  18. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    May 10, 2011
    40
    Still, Hesher finds uncommon sympathy for people at loose ends, and although Hesher himself is sentimentalized and backhandedly inspiring, he never softens into an actual role model.
  19. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 9, 2011
    40
    The problem with the script by Susser and David Michod, working from a story by Brian Charles Frank, is that Hesher's uncouth behavior is so aggressively pushed to single-minded, crudely exploitative effect.
  20. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    May 12, 2011
    38
    Speaking of that middle-finger finale, there is one redeeming trait: At least it signals the end credits.
  21. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 12, 2011
    25
    Hesher is about as awful as independent films get, a mix of ugliness and unearned sentiment, with a flat story, repellent and pathetic characters and dialogue that consists of lots of stammering and cursing.
  22. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 12, 2011
    25
    For the rest of his life, Spencer Susser can brag to the other ditch diggers that he persuaded two of the best young actors in Hollywood to star in one of the worst movies ever made.
  23. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    May 12, 2011
    25
    It's all quirk, posturing, attitude, and needless exertion signifying nothing beyond its own sad need to impress.
  24. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    May 10, 2011
    25
    Only the great Piper Laurie delivers dollar value. Otherwise, Hesher is to movies what graffiti is to a rotting fence.
  25. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 13, 2011
    20
    Any way you slice it, writer-director Spencer Susser's movie is bad company, full of wanna-be-outrageous anecdotes from the fringe.
  26. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    May 12, 2011
    20
    You see, this character, who is given no back story, is Life with a capital L. He is the Forneys' guardian angel who rouses them out of their funk. Given the movie's U-turn into allegory, maybe he's supposed to be a punk Jesus. Not even Mr. Gordon-Levitt's unremittingly savage performance can begin to salvage such hokum.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 56 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Aug 29, 2013
    8
    Esta pelicula me gusto mucho, la vi increible y fascinante, con un guion perfecto y con una actuacion impecable de Joseph Gordon-Levitt.Lo que mas me gusto de la pelicula fue el drama que tuvo, lo vi muy bien actuado. Full Review »
  2. Feb 23, 2013
    7
    Hesher is a strange story that only works because of a terrific cast. The story follows a family who is suffering from a tragic loss. A mysterious stranger shows up and takes refuge in their garage and in his own twisted, up way, tries to help. That's what we were told, but I didn't see Hesher as anything more than a nuisance to the them. It's unbelievable that no one would have called the cops on this guy! Anyway, ignoring the weak story and obvious plot holes, this movie was good because of its cast, plain and simple. JGL continues to be the most under-appreciated talent in Hollywood. I guess that's what happens when you start out on a sitcom. Newcomer Devin Brochu in his first major role was amazing as TJ, he's gonna be a big star one day. Even Natalie Portman, who I don't usually like, was great! Hesher isn't the best story ever written, at times it's slow, at others it just doesn't click, but the amazingly talented cast manages to keep your interest and makes this one worth seeing. Full Review »
  3. Jan 19, 2013
    4
    A film that seemed to contain a morale deep within. But after all the chaotic events that unfold in the end, it seemed unclear as to who and why the film was made for. Full Review »