• R, 1 hr. 45 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Spencer Susser
    In Theaters:
    May 13, 2011 Limited
    On DVD:
    Sep 13, 2011
  • Newmarket Films


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Hesher Reviews

Tom Long
Detroit News
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Happily, Hesher never lays things out too clearly. Just as you never know where he came from, it's hard to grasp where he's going, or even what he's doing in the moment. But you know he fits somewhere. And that's satisfaction enough.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

May 13, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Gordon-Levitt is a sly and inventive actor, and it can be genuinely fun to watch him having so much fun. But this character wears out his welcome fast.

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

May 13, 2011
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Rather than a character rooted in some sort of reality -- social, satirical, psychological, take your pick -- Hesher is an abstract notion animated by false energy.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

May 13, 2011
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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Bad role models sometimes make the most interesting movie characters.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

May 13, 2011
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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Unlike many films that hope to be called black comedy, it does not skimp on either the black or the comedy.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 13, 2011
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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When the blessed credits finally roll, the first thing Susser shows us is Hesher's tattoo of a raised middle finger. Backatcha, dude.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 1/4

May 13, 2011
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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At a future date, when some grad student writes a thesis on 'Wild Men of the Subconscious in Popular Culture,' there will certainly be a special place for 'Hesher.' Just as long as it stays there and is never in front of my eyes again.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 1/5

May 13, 2011
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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"Hesher" is about as awful as independent films get, a mix of ugliness and unearned sentiment, with a flat story, repellent and pathetic characters and dialogue that consists of lots of stammering and cursing.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

May 12, 2011
Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
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Susser, who wrote the film with David Michod, has a kinetic filmmaking style and an impish, crash-and-burn sense of humor that keeps sentiment at bay long enough to let us appreciate the loose, uncomplicated performances...

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

May 12, 2011
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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As played by the spectacular Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hesher is the id run rampant. Even when the script edges him into Hallmark sentiment, you can't take your eyes off him.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3/4

May 12, 2011
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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A grim little drama that seems to exist in order to give the talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman a chance to look extra-scruffy.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

May 12, 2011
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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[Gordon-Levitt gives] a fearsome and giddily unhinged performance in a movie that isn't entirely sure what to do with it.

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

May 12, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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"Hesher" assembles a group of characters who aren't sure why they're in the same movie together.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 12, 2011
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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Not even Mr. Gordon-Levitt's unremittingly savage performance can begin to salvage such hokum.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 1.5/5

May 12, 2011
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
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What does he want? Where does he come from? Director Spencer Susser appears too intoxicated by the title character to risk peering beyond the enigmatic surface for fear of losing some of his mystery, as mystery is all Hesher has.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: D

May 12, 2011
Scott Bowles
USA Today
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It's unflinching stuff, and might have worked if there were a reason for any of it. Levitt, Portman and Wilson work hard to infuse the film with some likeability.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 1.5/4

May 12, 2011
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Hesher has its genuinely affecting scenes, but too much of the time it feels false and shallow.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2/4

May 12, 2011
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
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Writer-director Spencer Susser and cowriter David Michod generate fresh hells at a surreally rapid clip but cop out with an incongruously sentimental ending.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

May 12, 2011
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt is riveting as the title character, an ambiguous, intriguing mentor/menace.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

May 12, 2011
Bob Mondello
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Director Spencer Susser doesn't try to make Hesher anything other than a sociopath - a walking, profanity-spewing id - and to his credit, neither does Gordon-Levitt.

Full Review Source: NPR | Original Score: 8/10

May 12, 2011
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
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Impressive influences all, but Susser's first film feels like an original -- imperfect but often fresh and true, and a worthy showcase for a star on the rise.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 3/5

May 11, 2011
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Hesher, whose arrival on screen is almost always heralded by a demonic speed-metal riff, is a delinquent sociopath with a heart of gold. That's the false, rather cloying concept behind this smug indie dud...

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C

May 11, 2011
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
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Warts and all, "Hesher" is still a good shot in the arm.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

May 11, 2011
Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
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Hesher finds uncommon sympathy for people at loose ends, and although Hesher himself is sentimentalized and backhandedly inspiring, he never softens into an actual role model.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

May 11, 2011
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Only the great Piper Laurie delivers dollar value. Otherwise, Hesher is to movies what graffiti is to a rotting fence.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 1/4

May 11, 2011
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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Sundancey redemption-trajectory aside, the film is often unsentimentally tough and committed.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

May 10, 2011
Richard Brody
New Yorker
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The movie's piling on of miseries blurs the boundaries of goopy sincerity and cynical marketing; the calculated dose of daring melts into hearts-and-flowers sentiment.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

May 9, 2011
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
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Moviegoers will have to admit the movie is true to itself.

January 26, 2010
Todd McCarthy
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The problem with the script by Susser and David Michod, working from a story by Brian Charles Frank, is that Hesher's uncouth behavior is so aggressively pushed to single-minded, crudely exploitative effect.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 25, 2010
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