Harsh Times (2006)



Critic Consensus: Despite a dedicated performance by Christian Bale, Harsh Times suffers from a heavy-handed and overly bleak plot.

Movie Info

An unstable Gulf War veteran with a savior complex receives a shocking wake-up call upon returning stateside and accepting a position with the Department of Homeland Security in the directorial debut of Training Day screenwriter David Ayer. Jim (Christian Bale) is a Gulf War veteran who believes his sworn duty to protect his fellow Americans extends to the streets of Los Angeles, and he longs to fulfill his destiny by joining the LAPD. Rejected by the force and left to ponder his future with his … More

Rating: R (for strong violence, language and drug use)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: David Ayer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 13, 2007
Box Office: $3.3M


as Jim Luther Davis

as Mike Alonzo

as Darrel

as Toussant

as Agent Richards

as Agent Hollenbeck

as Ranchero

as Polygraph Expert

as Korean Clerk

as Liquor Store Custome...

as Guy At Party

as Lil' Chucky

as Little Old Man

as Fujimoto

as Big Shadow

as Little Old Man

as Fujimoto

as Lina
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Harsh Times

All Critics (105) | Top Critics (36)

Harsh Times is an hour-by-hour diary of two crazy, unreliable, irresponsible dudes trying to find a way to fit into the same society they hate, facing one hurdle after another until they appear to butcher half of Los Angeles.

Full Review… | November 15, 2006
New York Observer
Top Critic

Jim is such a psycho and Mike is such a patsy, we don't care about these guys. We've seen dozens of more interesting head cases in dozens of smarter films.

Full Review… | November 13, 2006
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

A crazy little film, modest in its scope but grand in its ambition. It paints it's story in loud primary colors, with intense pressure cooker characterizations.

Full Review… | May 5, 2008

HARSH TIMES is a portrait of a male-dominated world and inChristian Bale's fierce performance, Ayer has found the perfect actor. It's just unfortunate that the screenplay feels like a left-over from an era that has passed.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
Murphy's Movie Reviews

just like its protagonist, Harsh Times is fatally flawed, but in a manner that still remains compelling to watch.

Full Review… | July 9, 2007
Eye for Film

A movie that seems gritty and pointless for its first third, begins to grow in meaning as the pointlessness snowballs into absurdity and then tragedy.

Full Review… | March 27, 2007

Audience Reviews for Harsh Times

three stars

MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

I was excited to watch Harsh Times cause 1) They had Christian Bale 2) Gritty crime drama Wow.. this movie was crap. The plot was one of the most dull plots to have ever existed; it starts to take off literally in the last 30 minutes. Poorly directed, edited, and shot. The screenplay had no content whatsoever. Christian Bale pulls off a very committed performance but literally everything else fails.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer


This film just didn't capture me, but it might be a hit for you, a out of control ex gulf war veteran returns home to find a job in law enforcement and he just can't control his anger. only worth 2 1/2 stars from me.

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Harsh Times Quotes

– Submitted by Boris T (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Robert B (3 years ago)

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