Metascore
27

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 22
  2. Negative: 16 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    38
    There is some directorial skill here--Argento should be congratulated for a few interesting storytelling choices--but the end result feels grimy and strangely pathetic.
  2. Asia Argento is not what I would call a good actress, but she's a prime specimen of train-wreck sexuality: a debauched Eurotrash starlet who oozes punk cred more than she does talent. It's not too hard to see why she wanted to write, direct, and star in The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.
  3. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    30
    Whatever her limitations, Argento the actor makes certain that Argento the director doesn't lack for "action"--and that the audience doesn't lack for pain.
  4. The performances by all three children are scarily convincing. Still, it's a taxing bit of exploitation, which, although you're glad to know it's a work of fiction, doesn't exactly make a case for itself as art.
  5. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    30
    Though it's decidedly for perverse palates, some kind of cult audience seems assured for this one-note onslaught, which exercises a bizarre fascination despite its excesses.
  6. 30
    An almost comically lurid tale of a little boy abused by his malignant hooker mother, malignant fundamentalist grandfather, and malignant surrogate dads.
  7. This is an execrable movie depicting the improbable events in the life of a young boy being intermittently raised by his crackhead, highway-hookin' mom (actress-director Asia Argento, with a face that makes Courtney Love's mug shot look glamorous), her plumb-nuts evangelical parents and a cartoonishly incompetent West Virginia social system.
  8. 25
    Watchable in a train-wreck kind of way, but you'll probably want to take a shower afterwards.
  9. Reviewed by: Tamara Straus
    25
    Unwatchable.
  10. 20
    A degraded and degrading film, of interest only because it's symptomatic of so much that's wrong with the drearily repetitive tabloid mentality that has infected not just the news media, but the whole culture industry.
  11. 20
    The tale grows only more toxic with time.
  12. 20
    The whole enterprise heaves and strains with a sadistic overkill that even Dario might find too rich.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    12
    The Heart Is Deceitful wants to cauterize us into feeling something -- anything -- but it's far too heartless to know what.
  14. 10
    The movie is terrible, but made with verve and sincerity, all of it pointed in the wrong direction.
  15. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    0
    Inspirationally impaired and dramatically retarded.
  16. Viewer discretion is advised, if only because it's well-nigh unwatchable.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Mar 24, 2012
    10
    Greatly enjoyable. I liked every bit of this movie. Asia Argento, in my opinion, made a masterpiece. I simply do not understand the Critic reviews -well most of them-. This movie is a very good reality check. Do not hesitate to watch it. However, if you do not like movies about children being put in danger and into abuse I advise you not to watch it. Full Review »