What to know

critics consensus

Despite a dedicated performance by Christian Bale, Harsh Times suffers from a heavy-handed and overly bleak plot. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

Harsh Times Photos

Movie Info

Jim (Christian Bale) is a Gulf War veteran and he believes it is his sworn duty to protect Americans by policing the streets of Los Angeles. His dreams are shattered when he is rejected by the Los Angeles Police Department leaving him and his Mexican paramour in the lurch. Jim is soon offered a position in the Department of Homeland Security leading him to recruit his unemployed best friend Mike (Freddy Rodriquez) to carve a path of devastation across the city.

Cast & Crew

Freddy Rodriquez
Mike Alonzo
Michael Monks
Agent Hollenbeck
J.K. Simmons
Agent Richards
Christian Bale
Executive Producer
Graeme Revell
Original Music
Steve Mason
Cinematographer
Devorah Herbert
Production Design
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for Harsh Times

Critic Reviews for Harsh Times

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (51)

  • It's an amazing performance, one of the best of the year, with Bale truly making you believe in this over-the-top character.

    March 24, 2007
  • Harsh Times wins in the end by keeping its fingers wrapped tightly around its viewers' throats.

    November 25, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    November 15, 2006
  • On the one hand, this grinding interpersonal week-in-the-life thriller is an energetic kick in the face, a no-holds-barred pulp fiction reveling in personal demons, muddy self destruction and the kinetic vitriol of doing things not remotely good for you.

    November 13, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    November 13, 2006
  • Quote not available.

    November 11, 2006 | Rating: D | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Harsh Times

  • Feb 06, 2012
    Boring character driven film
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2011
    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 K Super Reviewer
  • Sep 18, 2011
    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 B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2011
    I know when I think gangster thug, I think Christian Bale or at least I do now, because "American Accent #42" is great. I don't know if there's that many variations of an american accent, but if there are, then Christian Bale knows them. He's so british, he's almost cockney and he couldn't be bothered to play french, at the very least. Man, what is this world coming to where great talents are abandoning their own heritage? These really are harsh times or the next generation of classic rock, where the most british of brits would come out and sing like they just pulled up in a pickup truck with a keg of moonshine whiskey in the back. Well, after hearing this film's soundtrack, it's safe to assume that no matter how much I prey to the almighty Axl Rose, the response is always going to be "Oh-woah-woah, sweet child o' mine, the future looks bleak for quality music." Of course, that's just a problem with humanity, not necessarily a problem with this film, which actually suffers from some faulty editing, slowness, drop-offs in engagement, some overdrawn points, improvable dialogue and a cop-out ending. Of course, what might be the film's biggest problem is that pretty much nothing happens for so much of it. There's plenty of problems surrounding our leads, but there's so little of it that's conveyed sharply enough, that there's hardly any smooth sense of conflict. However, it makes up for that lack of compellingness by bringing on a whole heap of it in the final act and although said final act closes abruptly, it still really hits home. Still, before that, the whole weight of this film lays on the shoulders of the performances, which are charismatic and keep the film rather entertaining. There is plenty of charming banter between characters and the performers' charisma and chemistry make it enjoyable to watch, even though these sequences are rather expendable. Still, when the performers get into the dramatic aspects, they carry the compellingness home and they stand as a strong presence, especially Bale, who is absolutely electric in this film. If you see this film for nothing else, then see it for Bale's incredible performance, because with excellent emotional work, many smoothly played-upon layers and a powerful presence, he really dives into the role and conveys the struggles and pains of his character so sharply that after a while, he completely transforms into the Jim Davis character. In the end, "Harsh Times" falls short on consistently keeping up a compelling atmosphere, but thanks to a strong, charismatic cast - headed by an exhilarating performance by Christian Bale - and an emotionally riveting final act, it ultimately stands as an entertaining character study worth watching.
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

Harsh Times Quotes

Movie & TV guides