Opening

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Hard Candy Reviews

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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Personally, I'd rather have this movie obliterated from my memory.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

November 15, 2011
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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Packaged in an increasingly lurid, credibility-free storyline, delivered with unstinting insensitivity by a first-time director determined to show off his ad-man's box of visual tics.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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It's well worth seeing, because it is well made -- apart from a few gaps in logic -- and well acted.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

April 28, 2006
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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... a film that gives you something to think about, raising questions that linger long after the theater lights have brightened.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

April 28, 2006
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Hard Candy is an exploitation film, with very little happening but a guy getting tortured for about 75 minutes of screen time.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 1/4

April 28, 2006
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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... icky, incoherent thriller ...

| Original Score: 1.5/4

April 28, 2006
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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It's cinematic S&M, a bondage-control game masquerading as a thriller.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 3/5

April 28, 2006
Peter Debruge
Miami Herald
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The acting is incredible.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

April 28, 2006
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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... a revolting piece of work.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

April 28, 2006
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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Hard Candy not only trips along a tightrope line between exploitation and art; in some ways, that line is its subject.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

April 28, 2006
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Hard Candy is sweet poison indeed.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: A-

April 28, 2006
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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The questions posed by Hard Candy may not be as profound as the filmmakers believe, but they are enough to keep us thinking for the length of a movie that deftly uses exploitation to explore exploitation.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

April 28, 2006
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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Instead of telling a story, Hard Candy cooks up one grueling ordeal after another.

| Original Score: C-

April 28, 2006
Michael Booth
Denver Post
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Hard Candy is tantalizing, brutal, fetishistic, gripping and exhausting, with plenty of moments for movie patrons to shout advice at the screen.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 28, 2006
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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At the very first, Hard Candy plays hardball. It's hard to watch, hard to listen to, hard to think about. And then it falls apart.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: D+

April 28, 2006
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Hard Candy is the rare movie that may be worthiest for the arguments you'll have after it's over.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 28, 2006
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
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... a movie that will inspire discussions once it's over.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

April 28, 2006
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Seen as a film, seen as acting and direction, seen as just exactly how it unfolds on the screen, Hard Candy is impressive and effective.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 28, 2006
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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It's hard to find a warm spot in the heart for anyone here, or for those who created them.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

April 27, 2006
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Hard Candy is a psychological thriller as chilling as a cold, serrated blade to the jugular.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 27, 2006
Matt Weitz
Dallas Morning News
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Hard Candy is the kind of movie that fairly demands coffee and discussion afterward.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B-

April 27, 2006
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Only two males working in perfectly mediocre pulp harmony would dream up an avenging teen angel like this one.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 1.5/4

April 27, 2006
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Hard Candy is supposed to be another cautionary tale about the dangerous risks of online chat-room dating, but ends up being just another psychological horror flick about pedophilia in which Little Red Riding Hood turns the tables on the wolf.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

April 19, 2006
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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It really takes us on this ride.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

April 17, 2006
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Hard Candy, a highly original psychological thriller/revenge fantasy, can be bitterly hard to take and uncomfortably intense, but it's well worth consuming.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 14, 2006
Gene Seymour
Newsday
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As gripping as Hard Candy is, one can't quite shake away the feeling that we're the ones being exploited by its mordant blend of kinky revenge fantasy and push-me-pull-you moral vision.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 14, 2006
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
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Hard Candy takes itself way too seriously. It's a genre movie that serves empty calories weighted with self-importance.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2/4

April 14, 2006
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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What we have here is simply a spectacularly unpleasant horror show, or an attempt to out-outrage the trio of poison playwrights I've mentioned. And yet Nelson's imagination thunders away with such demon perversity that I eagerly await his next work.

| Original Score: 3/4

April 14, 2006
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
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It's really a canny use of the medium to raise serious questions about point of view and empathy in the exploitation genre.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

April 14, 2006
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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Riveting.

April 14, 2006
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
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Maddeningly exploitative, the film takes a provocative subject -- pedophilia -- and wraps it in a sterile, vacuum-sealed package, devoid of meaning.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

April 13, 2006
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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More sour than hard, this highfalutin exploitation flick starts with an unsavory premise that quickly becomes downright unpalatable.

| Original Score: 2/5

April 13, 2006
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
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Hayley and Jeff come across in almost equally repellent measure, their behaviors driven less by organic impulses than by their need to satisfy the script's elaborate series of reversals and counter-reversals.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

April 13, 2006
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
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As Hard Candy moves further and further away from its opening scenes' gripping ambiguity, the frightening conviction Page brings to her role becomes the only thing keeping the film from lurching into sleazy, pulpy camp.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C+

April 13, 2006
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
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There is nothing sugar-coated about this taut, timely psycho-thriller.

April 12, 2006
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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To watch Hard Candy is, at moments, to be very afraid, but the scariest thing about it is the fury of Page's talent.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

April 12, 2006
Rob Nelson
Village Voice
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[The film] contrives to wag its own finger at itself -- to have its bonbon and eat it too.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

April 11, 2006
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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There's a lot more going on here than just a revenge fantasy. 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.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 11, 2006
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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A spectacular performance by teenage thesp Ellen Page elevates this disturbing slice of designer shocksploitation into a film that's impossible to dismiss on principle.

Full Review Source: Variety

April 2, 2005
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