The Hard Word


The Hard Word (2003)


Critic Consensus: This caper flick lacks the originality necessary to elevate it above other films of its genre.


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Movie Info

Three brothers who would argue that crime does pay have a hard time getting their fair share of the proceeds in this witty action thriller from Australia. Dale Twentyman (Guy Pearce) and his brothers, Mal (Damien Richardson) and Shane (Joel Edgerton), are serving time together in prison for robbery. Dale is the brains and the cool head of the group, Mal is the eager-to-please nice guy, and Shane is something of a loose cannon. Dale and his siblings are eager to get out of jail, and their lawyer, Frank Malone (Robert Taylor), has pulled a deal that could pare some time off their sentences, though the arrangement is strictly off the books. Mick Kelly (Vince Colosimo) and Jack O'Riordan (Paul Sonkkila) are a pair of crooked police detectives who have arranged with Malone to give the Twentyman brothers day passes from jail in order to pull bank robberies, with the siblings' share held in escrow until they're released. Dale thinks something a bit off in this operation, and his suspicions are confirmed when Malone tells the brothers after they're granted their early release that they won't get their money until they pull one last job -- an ambitious robbery at a Melbourne race track on the day of the nation's biggest horse race. Dale is convinced he smells a rat -- especially since he has good reason to suspect that Malone is having an affair with his wife, Carol (Rachel Griffiths). The Hard Word marked the directorial debut for writer/director Scott Roberts.

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Guy Pearce
as Dale Twentyman
Rachel Griffiths
as Carol Twentyman
Joel Edgerton
as Shane Twentyman
Damien Richardson
as Mal Twentyman
Paul Sonkkila
as O'Riordan
Peter Regan
as Governor
Jason Gilchrist
as Weightlifter
Jasper Bagg
as Prisoner in Visiting Room
Niniane Le Page
as Prisoner's Wife
Frank Kennedy
as Sick Prisoner
Tony Jones
as Newsreader
Mischelle Radford
as Waitress No. 2
Kerry Cole
as Norbert
Leanne McCulloch
as Massage Woman
Nash Edgerton
as Bank Guard
Aris Gounaris
as Hotel Security Guard
James Shaw
as Hotel Security Guard
James Charters
as Hotel Security Guard
Gary Rens
as Security Guard
Wasim Saba
as Security Guard
Phil Pollard
as Security Guard
Tahu Marumaru
as Security Guard
Marc Calderazzo
as Prison Guard
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Critic Reviews for The Hard Word

All Critics (82) | Top Critics (28)

It is at most a middling effort.

Jul 31, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

The movie-jaded will dismiss The Hard Word as just another slick heist flick with a band of burglar buddies. Too bad for their cynical souls. They'll be missing a grand (theft) time.

Jul 31, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Roberts stuffs the film with clever twists that keep us one step behind the plot, which is where you want to be in a heist picture.

Jul 25, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Just when you think you've got it all figured out, there's another disorienting jolt.

Jul 17, 2003 | Rating: B | Full Review…

A Tarantino-esque mishmash of tough crime cliches spit out in Aussie accents.

Jul 8, 2003 | Rating: C-
Detroit News
Top Critic

It's fun as far as it goes, but that isn't very far.

Jul 3, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hard Word

poor heist film with silly plotting. pearce is good in the lead but the whole plan and characters are very one dimensional

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer

I can't really think of anything good to say about this flick other then the description sounded interesting & that's the only reason I picked it up at the local library.That & I didn't have to pay for it

Brody Manson
Brody Manson

Super Reviewer


Watch this if ur into Snatch and Lock Stock style movies - this Aussie version is a great movie along those lines - and worth watching - If your aussie you'll get the jokes no problem.

Khris N
Khris N

Super Reviewer

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