Harsh Times (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

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 impoverished Mexican paramour -- whom he had intended on bringing to the city after joining the police -- the dejected and unemployed veteran is offered a second shot at helping his country when he is subsequently approached by the Department of Homeland Security. As Jim and his unemployed best friend, Mike (Freddy Rodriguez), carve a swath of chaos through the streets of Los Angeles, the weight of their American dream soon comes crashing down in a devastating blow that threatens to dash their high hopes for a bright future.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


Christian Bale
as Jim Luther Davis
Freddy Rodriguez
as Mike Alonzo
Chaka Forman
as Toussant
J.K. Simmons
as Agent Richards
Michael Monks
as Agent Hollenbeck
Paul Renteria
as Ranchero
Barry Colvert
as Polygraph Expert
Robert Dahey
as Korean Clerk
Nicole Barreras
as Liquor Store Custome...
Alex Gomar
as Guy At Party
Abel Soto
as Lil' Chucky
Armando Cantina
as Little Old Man
Kenny Choi
as Fujimoto
Robert Larabee
as Big Shadow
Armando Sanchez
as Little Old Man
Kenneth Choi
as Fujimoto
as Lina
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Harsh Times

Critic Reviews for Harsh Times

All Critics (107) | 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

Polygraph Expert: Jim, knock it off. Son, I've been doing polygraph examinations since you were swimming in your daddy's balls, so I know all the tricks.
– Submitted by Boris T (3 years ago)
Jim Davis: Damn, those are bad ass kicks, dawg. You're lucky you got little bitch feet, or I'd be stompin' around in those mother-f****ers
– Submitted by Robert B (4 years ago)

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