“Disturbing And Freaky. . . Two Great Elements To A Great Movie.”
“Well Cut My D^C* Off”
“A Modern Take On 'Little Red Riding Hood'”
“This Movie Was Awesome!”
“Extremely Well Acted And Extremely Well Directed Twisted Tale!”
To watch Hard Candy is, at moments, to be very afraid, but the scariest thing about it is the fury of Page's talent.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
More sour than hard, this highfalutin exploitation flick starts with an unsavory premise that quickly becomes downright unpalatable.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
It's smart, funny, and surprisingly visually discreet. Some scenes may leave you doubled-up, but the overall effect is, as the saying goes, better than a kick in the balls.
Mark Kermode - Guardian [UK]
Hard Candy, a highly original psychological thriller/revenge fantasy, can be bitterly hard to take and uncomfortably intense, but it's well worth consuming.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
It's hard to find a warm spot in the heart for anyone here, or for those who created them.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
Hard Candy is the rare movie that may be worthiest for the arguments you'll have after it's over.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
[The film] contrives to wag its own finger at itself -- to have its bonbon and eat it too.
Rob Nelson - Village Voice
It's really a canny use of the medium to raise serious questions about point of view and empathy in the exploitation genre.
Jami Bernard - New York Daily News
... a revolting piece of work.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Hard Candy is the kind of movie that fairly demands coffee and discussion afterward.
Matt Weitz - Dallas Morning News
Hard Candy is tantalizing, brutal, fetishistic, gripping and exhausting, with plenty of moments for movie patrons to shout advice at the screen.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
Seen as a film, seen as acting and direction, seen as just exactly how it unfolds on the screen, Hard Candy is impressive and effective.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Only two males working in perfectly mediocre pulp harmony would dream up an avenging teen angel like this one.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Personally, I'd rather have this movie obliterated from my memory.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
... icky, incoherent thriller ...
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Hard Candy is a psychological thriller as chilling as a cold, serrated blade to the jugular.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Hard Candy is sweet poison indeed.
Tom Long - Detroit News
... a movie that will inspire discussions once it's over.
Randy Cordova - Arizona Republic
Hard Candy is supposed to be another cautionary tale about the dangerous risks of online chat-room dating, but ends up being just another psychological horror flick about pedophilia in which Little Red Riding Hood turns the tables on the wolf.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
A spectacular performance by teenage thesp Ellen Page elevates this disturbing slice of designer shocksploitation into a film that's impossible to dismiss on principle.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
What we have here is simply a spectacularly unpleasant horror show, or an attempt to out-outrage the trio of poison playwrights I've mentioned. And yet Nelson's imagination thunders away with such demon perversity that I eagerly await his next work.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
It's cinematic S&M, a bondage-control game masquerading as a thriller.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
It's well worth seeing, because it is well made -- apart from a few gaps in logic -- and well acted.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Hard Candy not only trips along a tightrope line between exploitation and art; in some ways, that line is its subject.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
There's a lot more going on here than just a revenge fantasy. These are two fascinating characters, and watching them thrust and parry proves to be as impossible to turn away from as observing a grotesque roadside accident.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
There is nothing sugar-coated about this taut, timely psycho-thriller.
Michael Rechtshaffen - Hollywood Reporter
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Maddeningly exploitative, the film takes a provocative subject -- pedophilia -- and wraps it in a sterile, vacuum-sealed package, devoid of meaning.
Kevin Crust - Los Angeles Times
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
One of the more original and grueling films to come out in years and I loved it...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Slick slime wrapped as a high-toned, girl-power shocker
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Wilson and Page are compelling and Slade demonstrates a slick stylistic flair, but the over over-the-top shock pandering renders the dark lesson convoluted and hard to swallow.
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
British director David Slade announces himself as a master of economy and discrimination by leaving the horror to the audience's imagination. This movie will make you squirm like you've never squirmed before.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Slade and his actors keep the tension high, and the questions don't come to mind until after the credits roll.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
... [I]t's Page who really carries the picture, delivering screenwriter Brian Nelson's clever dialogue so convincingly, we actually become scared for the child predator that she's tormenting.
Lucius Gore - ESplatter
a great suspence thriller in the likes of misery
Stefan Birgir Stefansson - sbs.is
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
It's the kind of indie film that makes its mark by a controversial theme, an infamous scene, and dines out on its film-festival buzz.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Thoroughly confounding the 'normal' relationship between abuser and victim, first-time director Slade presents a complex morality tale under the guise of an exploitation thriller.
Anton Bitel - Film4
The film's strength is in the way it continually sustains suspense, particularly in the use of sound effects. Very little is shown, but much is heard.
Jette Kernion - Cinematical
Unreels with smooth pace and unexpected grace notes, both visually and by its two leads.
Frank Lovece - Film Journal International
A psychological thriller in which the mouse hunts the cat.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
A cracking little thriller which makes you think even as it's keeping you on the edge of your seat. It's not always easy viewing, but Hard Candy is an intelligent, challenging film which deserves to be seen.
Caroline Westbrook - Empire Magazine
Strong one-on-one acting elevates this table-turning horror show.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
You can sense that it wants to be talked about more than it wants to actually say anything
Bill Chambers - Film Freak Central
Hard-hitting independent thriller about child molestation and vigilante justice.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
This swamp gets very murky indeed. Bring your moral compass.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
While I couldn't recommend Hard Candy [rated R] for its easy entertainment value, it is worth seeing for how a relative newcomer like David Slade handles a high tension two hander.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Packaged in an increasingly lurid, credibility-free storyline, delivered with unstinting insensitivity by a first-time director determined to show off his ad-man's box of visual tics.
Trevor Johnston - Time Out
Smart, challenging and timely look at the world of internet grooming.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
A film that will have you both squirming in your seat and teetering on the edge of it.
Stella Papamichael - BBC
[Hard Candy is] a stylishly directed thriller that's worth seeing for its intense performances, but there are too few surprises and the end result is disappointing.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Harrowing psychological drama that pushes every conceivable button while pushing viewers over the edge... Candy is nasty through and through, and it leaves an acidic aftertaste.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
She's a tease with a whiff of fascist certainty in her summary judgments. It might be interesting to read what some post-feminists make of such a sleek action character.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Brian Nelson's script is tight, but a more ambiguous, evenhanded finale might have been more thought-provoking.
Luke Y. Thompson - LYTRules.com
Those willing to subject themselves to it are in for [Ellen Page's] noteworthy performance and one of the most terrifying films to come down the pike in awhile.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Hard to swallow provocative but exploitative jailbait revenge fantasy flick.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
This is one particularly edgy and disturbing little film, and it will no doubt have people talking by the end of the year -- if not for its taboo subject matter, then for the brilliant performance by its Lolitaesque star, Ellen Page.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Ellen Page comes off as a pint-sized Cillian Murphy with the vocabulary of Veronica Mars pushed through a Canandian sieve.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
It takes creepy, spooky, and altogether ooky to a hideous new level.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
It's not the surprise that keeps us gripped; it's the deeply creepy writing and amazingly raw performances that do it.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
As an exercise in grueling psychological suspense, the movie is -- literally -- several 'cuts' above the rest.
- Film Threat
Hard Candy is both as ambiguous, and as obvious, a movie as you're likely to find in mainstream American cinema.
Steven Snyder - Zertinet Movies
The acting is also top-notch, as Patrick Wilson gives a desperate turn despite being tied up for much of the time, while Ellen Page steals the show with a grueling, star-making performance.
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
A bitter Candy.
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
A daring two-character drama that goes sour in its last half-hour ... In this Misery with a teen twist, Ellen Page delivers a mint performance far beyond her years.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
Amazingly uncomfortable and only occasionally implausible. It's guaranteed to spark a reaction and a conversation.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
...a twisted battle of the sexes, featuring both seriously insightful subject matter and enough vicious put-downs to make Peg and Al Bundy blush.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
If Slade's intent is so clever, then why is the film so stupid as to hamfist a two-hour anti-pedophilia PSA down the throats of an entire culture that, by and large, already agrees with the premise...?
Rubin Safaya - Cinemalogue.com
A calculated provocation with pretensions to public service value (think of the infamous 'molester' episode of 'Diff'rent Strokes').
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Hard Candy is not perfect, but it is a provocative piece of filmmaking with a dark and daring heart that makes it worth seeing.
Winda Benedetti - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
It's Page's turn as the psychopathically righteous Hayley that grabs your full attention.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Instead of telling a story, Hard Candy cooks up one grueling ordeal after another.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
At the very first, Hard Candy plays hardball. It's hard to watch, hard to listen to, hard to think about. And then it falls apart.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Hard Candy is an exploitation film, with very little happening but a guy getting tortured for about 75 minutes of screen time.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
... while the film's blunter, more thrillerish and sadistic second half is less unnerving than its bloodless first, it still works as a smarter than usual cat-and-mouse death match.
M.E. Russell - Oregonian
Though it is skillfully made and well-acted, it's also exploitative and nauseating.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
You might feel like squirming, but you will not want to look away.
Paul Doro - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The acting is incredible.
Peter Debruge - Miami Herald
... a film that gives you something to think about, raising questions that linger long after the theater lights have brightened.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
The aptly named Hard Candy is a challenging, flawed but strangely engrossing film.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The questions posed by Hard Candy may not be as profound as the filmmakers believe, but they are enough to keep us thinking for the length of a movie that deftly uses exploitation to explore exploitation.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
... no matter who does what to whom, what you're looking at is My Torture Session with Andrew, in one way or another.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
... once seen, Hard Candy doesn't easily give up its grip.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Two parts sheer brilliance, one part contrived mess.
David Cornelius - eFilmCritic.com
It's just cheap exploitation, teasing around a serious issue and then, disappointingly, running from it.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
I screamed. I squirmed. As a 2 person film, a stunning debut by director David Slade. Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson are sensational.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Page brings a shocking intensity to this role that makes her one of the few actors out there who could get into a staredown with Pacino or DeNiro and live to tell about it.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
A harrowing drama that keeps kicking up the intensity another notch until it kicks it two notches too many, Hard Candy is involving because you truly can't guess how it will end.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Page never shies away from the implication that Hayley might be deeply disturbed by her own set of demons.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Curiously sticky with the residue of lurid exploitation.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Candy sets up the tense situation, builds it up patiently, masterfully, then has no idea where to go with it. At least Page's career has an obvious direction -- up.
Tim Appelo - Seattle Weekly
Because of its tricky subject matter and a pair of stellar performances, it's tempting to give "Hard Candy" more credit than it's entitled to.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
There's really only one compelling reason to see this film and that is the extraordinary performance by young Ellen Page, a breakout if ever there was one.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
enough clever dialogue and strong acting performances to satisfy
John A. Nesbit - Old School Reviews
The movie often talks circles around itself, trying to layer in subtext to cover for a slasher movie final act, but it was still enough to have me squirming in my seat.
Dan Fienberg - Zap2it.com
As frightening and unsettling as any gore-drenched horror movie of the last year.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
That all its castration talk is prolonged to willfully torturous lengths could be forgiven were the film much more inspired in its interplay.
Brent Simon - FilmStew.com
It really takes us on this ride.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Characters like these two can still grab us by the throat and refuse to let us go.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium