The Harder They Come - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Harder They Come Reviews

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Top Critic
Jay Cocks
TIME Magazine
October 2, 2015
The Harder They Come is always exuberant, and sometimes strong, as casually surprising and effortlessly sinister as the blade sliding out of a gravity knife.
Top Critic
Don Druker
Chicago Reader
October 2, 2015
With this 1972 cult hit, Jamaican filmmaker Perry Henzell produced a proud, forthright indictment of national and personal corruption.
David Parkinson
Radio Times
October 2, 2015
Whatever the film's shortcomings, though, the music is superb.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

Film4
October 2, 2015
Rough 'n' ready but also rather wonderful.

TV Guide's Movie Guide
September 30, 2015
A gritty, realistic view of urban Jamaica that reveals the squalor of shantytowns tourists never see.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Mark Le Fanu
The Spectator
September 30, 2015
A film so assured and professional that it makes one suspect the presence of a thriving industry that has for years gone unacknowledged in Europe.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
August 26, 2015
Predated Bob Marley's success by a year.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Stephen Garrett
Time Out
June 5, 2012
Atrocious acting, amateurish camerawork and a hackneyed story line all make for one painful slog.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
June 5, 2012
The definitive postcolonial cult-movie musical.
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
April 7, 2010
Perry Henzell's 1972 rugged reggae crime story--loosely based on a '40s-era Jamaican folk hero/criminal--plays like a musically-inspired docudrama of the raw social reality of the impoverished island nation in the '70s.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Rob Nelson
City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
August 20, 2009
Packed with indelible images and potent subtexts (and great songs), this isn't just another bridge between Godard and MTV.
Top Critic
Variety Staff
Variety
May 27, 2009
Perry Henzell emerges a director with a solid visual flair who can mix action and inchoate rage sans excess to give the film a taut pacing and use the local color and a basically predictable tale with a few new twists.
Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly
July 11, 2007
OK story, fabulous music by Jimmy Cliff
| Original Score: 4/5

Empire Magazine
May 2, 2007
A Jamaican classic with an awesome OST.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Tony Rayns
Time Out
February 9, 2006
The action is as gutsy as the well-integrated score, which makes the movie's Hollywood-style gloss a little anomalous, but the basic humour and toughness emerge unscathed.
Top Critic
A.H. Weiler
New York Times
May 9, 2005
Jimmy Cliff, a noted exponent of the native rocklike Reggae music, is natural and energetic in his movie debut as the ill-starred singer-gunman.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 23, 2004
The characters aren't consistent, and Cliff eventually becomes so unbelievable that we just stop caring. The movie's ending is an exercise in plot; its beginning and its music deserve better than that.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies
October 12, 2003
Entertaining if not incredibly professional.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
March 10, 2003
The movie's critiques of the music industry, the ganja trade, and organized religion still ring true.
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk
February 27, 2001
a hard-hitting social drama with revolutionary political overtones, but it is immensely enjoyable and, at times, light-hearted
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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