Harsh Times Reviews

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Top Critic
November 15, 2006
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 13, 2006
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 11, 2006
November 10, 2006
Harsh Times is so into its own nihilism, it sometimes forgets the humanity beneath the hurt.
November 10, 2006
Endless scenes of the two guys riding along, venting and cursing and chugging beers play like acting-class exercises, badly written ones at that.
November 10, 2006
Ayer makes his directing debut with Harsh Times, which is so relentlessly grim that it occasionally goes over the top and invites derision.
November 10, 2006
For a neophyte director, Ayer displays a lot of style.
November 10, 2006
...As well-written and acted as Harsh Times may be, you will be relieved when the adrenaline returns to an acceptable level.
November 10, 2006
It's true that we don't need to like characters for a movie to work. We should, however, at least find them interesting.
November 10, 2006
The film builds to a melodramatic finale that would like to make you weep, but by then it has worn out your patience.
November 10, 2006
Ayer's writing is loaded with wit and malice.
November 10, 2006
Though Bale has the presence of a young De Niro, and the same volatile edge, he's being asked here to fill out a role that doesn't ring true on any level.
November 10, 2006
Ayer romanticizes a certain type of true-grit persona and relies on actors tough enough to pull it off.
November 10, 2006
The slang, the modes of dress, even the styles of fighting all have a high degree of specificity that lifts the movie above most urban crime dramas.
November 10, 2006
It's an ugly, brutal picture, and it's not about 'times' but rather timeless macho posturing run amok.
November 10, 2006
Harsh Times opens with a deadly nightmare and ends with a vast bloodbath - in between, things get a little gruesome.
November 10, 2006
...The movie consists of waiting for what you know is going to come. Waiting some more. And then waiting some more.
November 10, 2006
...For all its hyped-up acting moments, Harsh Times fails to get under our skin.
November 10, 2006
This is a powerful film that combines a number of 'what if' situations with some true tragic moments and even a number of oddly funny situations.
November 10, 2006
...If the movie is a comment on the dire straits of our returning soldiers, it's unconvincing.
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