Hard Candy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hard Candy Reviews

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½ January 14, 2016
I would really rather not talk about this movie! It's just shit!
December 14, 2015
Gripping, disturbing, intriguing, written and acted in a perfect way... "Hard Candy" is a great thriller film.
December 14, 2015
Hard Candy is like biting into a lollipop with a razor blade. The story is a cat and mouse power struggle of a teenage girl meeting with a thirty year old photographer after meeting on an online chatroom. Psychologically thrilling, bravely written, and a nuanced subtle sense of dread throughout makes arguably Ellen Page's pre-Juno breakout film.
November 10, 2015
Disturgin and incredibly well acted by the (at the time) upcoming stars , Page and Wilson.
½ November 1, 2015
I'm 110% disgusted by this flick. You will not catch me watching another Ellen Page movie after this, and I will /never/ see anything directed by David Slade ever again. I practically vomited midway through the climax of the movie.
October 24, 2015
One of the most disturbing Movies i've ever seen, but oddly well acted and high quality. It's a very dark and nail biting film, but a very entertaining flick none the less.
½ October 9, 2015
My rating is a 3.5 only because this is not a movie for everyone. Ellen Page was magnificent and Patrick Wilson very good,too. The film is rather sadistic, but considering who the victim is, many would enjoy that he's now experiencing what his own victims felt, and at the hands of a girl the age of most of his victims, well, some might say that he deserved everything he got. But if you do unto others what they have, aren't you putting yourself on their level? And won't you get just as inured to violence as they are?
½ October 3, 2015
It's very well acted and most dialogues are really good. If I just rated movies for being good, this one would be a four, maybe four and a half. But since I also rate a movie based on how much it pleased me, and I didn't really like the fact that it basically only took place inside a house, I'll give it a 3.5
September 12, 2015
While the storyline is controversial and intriguing and the actors' performances are very convincing, the movie just falls flat in so many ways.
September 1, 2015
Nowhere near as memorable or disturbing as promised.
½ August 29, 2015
You gotta be kitten me
½ August 26, 2015
Gritty and powerful, Ellen Page's young Hayley will both break your heart and fundamentally shake you. The direction and cinematography certainly succeed in eliciting suspense, but it's the writing which will stick with you. Unforgettable and empowering, Hard Candy will make sure you never look at little girls the same way - and in the case of some people, that's clearly a good thing.
½ August 4, 2015
Absolutely ridiculous. The girl, who is only 14 mind you, has vast knowledge of medical fields and is *spoilers* able to castrate a man alone. She is so unrealistic for somebody her age, and in the end I felt worse for the pedophile. NOT recommended !
½ July 25, 2015
Well acted. Disturbing. entretaining
½ July 24, 2015
What a movie! If characters from "Mysterious Skin" were to act out "Funny Games" you would have "Hard Candy, a gripping thriller that doesn't care if it strikes a little controversy.
July 23, 2015
Hard Candy had lots of potential but the execution is a massive disappointment. The brief opening scene was unfortunately the highlight of the film, igniting a wide grin across my face. But that grin quickly faded until I was begging the film to wrap up. The first thing I noticed was the camerawork. It's a mild complaint given the remaining flaws but the cinematography felt far too cramped. It gave no sense of location or space, and the editing made the initial conversations between Page and Wilson feel awkward and disjointed. I have few gripes about the stylistic look of the film although one particular fast-paced sequence feels very poorly done, bursting from out of nowhere and offering more intangible camerawork. The biggest problem with Hard Candy is the script which has various flaws within itself. Similar to the camera, the movie is constantly in your face. There is absolutely no subtlety in its storytelling, forcing it to sound preachy and unintelligent. Every detail is made to seem so obvious and every line is written in such a way that the most simple themes are practically shouted at the audience. At first I thought Ellen Page was just giving a very bad performance but now I realize that the script is (mostly) to blame. She still did a fairly mediocre job in my opinion, often over-acting and bringing out the film's unrealistic nature even further. But Page's character is the worst part about the film by far. The filmmaking issue that Hard Candy suffers from is that we don't care about the characters. At first Page's character Hayley seems like a good protagonist - a shy, innocent girl who may be smarter than she looks. And when combined with Wilson's antagonist, Jeff - a pedophilic creep who might not be in complete control - we have the potential for a good, thrilling story. Unfortunately Hayley becomes a two-dimensional psychopath with hardly any backstory or motivation to her actions. Her dialogue is condescending and quite annoying. I feel like Brian Nelson, the screenwriter, was trying so hard for Hayley to seem cool and hardcore that he forgot the audience needs to connect to her emotionally. Combine her completely insane actions, unrealistic dialogue and complete lack of character development and you get a hero we can't root for. On the other hand, Jeff is actually given two scenes in which he discusses his past, one of the scenes being a sort of relief from Hayley's monotone personality. He's a questionable villain with a backstory, a motivation and multiple demeanors. He feels real! I found myself caring about him, not Hayley. That is...until he proved to be nearly as stupid. His actions later on in the film made my attention drop even more. So to put things simply: we don't know who to root for because both characters are unlikeable and fail to create an emotional connection. The film felt like a bad play half the time, with dialogue and scenes going nowhere, repeating the same thing over and over. Finally, the film promotes itself as a thriller. Unfortunately there might be only two minor thrills throughout its excruciating duration. The problem in this particular area goes back to Page's character. As I mentioned, she has no character development. She never learns anything, she never changes. In addition, she is practically in control of every situation in the movie - the reason it's not exciting. There's nothing on the line, nothing to hold our attention and seemingly no threat to her character. The film could have easily been creative with the premise but it goes nowhere. The only redeemable factor in this movie is Patrick Wilson's performance which was actually pretty impressive. He brought a good variety of emotions and delivered many scenes/monologues with great control of his character. Too bad the rest of the movie was awful.
July 17, 2015
Never saw a movie with Ellen Page interpreting a villain/psycho. She was really good. But in the end of the movie I was left with the doubt if Jeff was really a pedofile... There was never a concrete proof of Hayley's accusations.
July 15, 2015
The story may lack of credibility, but it's undeniable the fascination that it creates thanks to the breakthrough performance of Ellen Page.
July 8, 2015
Thrilling and captivating yet completely sick at the same time.

It's not normal for thirtysomething year old men to go chatting up girls who are half their age online, but it happens anyway. And when it does, no one expects the so-called weak little girl to fight back.

Normalcy certainly isn't the general theme this film is centered around. It's actually quite the opposite, giving the you the closer look you always wanted, posing the blatant question: what if it was the other way around? A very interesting concept that drew me in almost right away although the subject matter is very disturbing, considering the audience eventually finds out the horrible things Jeff did to numerous others just like Hayley herself. Shamelessly.

If you walked in knowing nothing about the plot itself, you'd probably expect the suave guy to violate his new young friend whom he met online in a chatroom and decided to conveniently hook up with. Something typical.

The tables turn within a blink of an eye, and before Jeff knows it, the roles are undeniably switched. It's absolutely twisted, yet the simple realization that Hayley is technically doing the right thing and serving Jeff his karma with the sharp blade of a knife complete with a sinister cat-and-mouse game is sickly satisfying.

Then again, is she really doing the right thing? Is it right to fight fire with fire?

In this case, my verdict is... of course. Sickos will be sickos, and quite frankly, there are too many of them in this world. Hayley is just doing us a solid by getting rid of a scumbag which happens to be wasting space and wreaking nothing but havoc here on Earth.

I give Hard Candy 4/5 stars, but only because it left me with a lot of questions. Like what exactly happened to Hayley after she walked away. What happened when Jeff was found hanging off his roof, noose tightly snug around his neck. Wonder what the cops would have made of the crime scene.
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