Hard Candy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hard Candy Reviews

Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 15, 2011
Personally, I'd rather have this movie obliterated from my memory.
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
June 24, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 28, 2006
It's well worth seeing, because it is well made -- apart from a few gaps in logic -- and well acted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 28, 2006
... a film that gives you something to think about, raising questions that linger long after the theater lights have brightened.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
April 28, 2006
Hard Candy is an exploitation film, with very little happening but a guy getting tortured for about 75 minutes of screen time.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 28, 2006
... icky, incoherent thriller ...
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 28, 2006
It's cinematic S&M, a bondage-control game masquerading as a thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Miami Herald
April 28, 2006
The acting is incredible.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
April 28, 2006
... a revolting piece of work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 28, 2006
Hard Candy not only trips along a tightrope line between exploitation and art; in some ways, that line is its subject.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
April 28, 2006
Hard Candy is sweet poison indeed.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
April 28, 2006
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
April 28, 2006
Instead of telling a story, Hard Candy cooks up one grueling ordeal after another.
| Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
April 28, 2006
Hard Candy is tantalizing, brutal, fetishistic, gripping and exhausting, with plenty of moments for movie patrons to shout advice at the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 28, 2006
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 | Original Score: D+
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 28, 2006
Hard Candy is the rare movie that may be worthiest for the arguments you'll have after it's over.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
April 28, 2006
... a movie that will inspire discussions once it's over.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 28, 2006
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
April 27, 2006
It's hard to find a warm spot in the heart for anyone here, or for those who created them.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 27, 2006
Hard Candy is a psychological thriller as chilling as a cold, serrated blade to the jugular.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Matt Weitz
Dallas Morning News
April 27, 2006
Hard Candy is the kind of movie that fairly demands coffee and discussion afterward.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 27, 2006
Only two males working in perfectly mediocre pulp harmony would dream up an avenging teen angel like this one.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
April 19, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 17, 2006
It really takes us on this ride.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 14, 2006
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
April 14, 2006
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
April 14, 2006
Hard Candy takes itself way too seriously. It's a genre movie that serves empty calories weighted with self-importance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 14, 2006
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
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
April 14, 2006
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 14, 2006
Riveting.
Top Critic
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
April 13, 2006
Maddeningly exploitative, the film takes a provocative subject -- pedophilia -- and wraps it in a sterile, vacuum-sealed package, devoid of meaning.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
April 13, 2006
More sour than hard, this highfalutin exploitation flick starts with an unsavory premise that quickly becomes downright unpalatable.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
April 13, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
April 13, 2006
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 | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
April 12, 2006
There is nothing sugar-coated about this taut, timely psycho-thriller.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
April 12, 2006
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 | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Rob Nelson
Village Voice
April 11, 2006
[The film] contrives to wag its own finger at itself -- to have its bonbon and eat it too.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 11, 2006
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
April 2, 2005
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.