'Hesher' Critic Reviews

79%
MovieWeb:   2 reviews
54%
Rotten Tomatoes:   69 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    42
    Hesher, whose arrival on screen is almost always heralded by a demonic speed-metal riff, is a delinquent sociopath with a heart of gold. That's the false, rather cloying concept behind this smug indie dud...
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Stephen Holden New York Times (Top Critic)
    30
    Not even Mr. Gordon-Levitt's unremittingly savage performance can begin to salvage such hokum.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Scott Bowles USA Today (Top Critic)
    38
    It's unflinching stuff, and might have worked if there were a reason for any of it. Levitt, Portman and Wilson work hard to infuse the film with some likeability.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael O'Sullivan Washington Post (Top Critic)
    75
    Bad role models sometimes make the most interesting movie characters.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    63
    [Gordon-Levitt gives] a fearsome and giddily unhinged performance in a movie that isn't entirely sure what to do with it.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Mark Holcomb Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Hesher finds uncommon sympathy for people at loose ends, and although Hesher himself is sentimentalized and backhandedly inspiring, he never softens into an actual role model.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    20
    At a future date, when some grad student writes a thesis on 'Wild Men of the Subconscious in Popular Culture,' there will certainly be a special place for 'Hesher.' Just as long as it stays there and is never in front of my eyes again.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    Rather than a character rooted in some sort of reality -- social, satirical, psychological, take your pick -- Hesher is an abstract notion animated by false energy.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Kathleen Murphy MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    60
    Impressive influences all, but Susser's first film feels like an original -- imperfect but often fresh and true, and a worthy showcase for a star on the rise.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Richard Brody New Yorker (Top Critic)
    The movie's piling on of miseries blurs the boundaries of goopy sincerity and cynical marketing; the calculated dose of daring melts into hearts-and-flowers sentiment.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    63
    "Hesher" assembles a group of characters who aren't sure why they're in the same movie together.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Andrea Gronvall Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    Writer-director Spencer Susser and cowriter David Michod generate fresh hells at a surreally rapid clip but cop out with an incongruously sentimental ending.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    50
    Hesher has its genuinely affecting scenes, but too much of the time it feels false and shallow.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt is riveting as the title character, an ambiguous, intriguing mentor/menace.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    67
    Happily, Hesher never lays things out too clearly. Just as you never know where he came from, it's hard to grasp where he's going, or even what he's doing in the moment. But you know he fits somewhere. And that's satisfaction enough.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    70
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    25
    Only the great Piper Laurie delivers dollar value. Otherwise, Hesher is to movies what graffiti is to a rotting fence.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Todd McCarthy Variety (Top Critic)
    The problem with the script by Susser and David Michod, working from a story by Brian Charles Frank, is that Hesher's uncouth behavior is so aggressively pushed to single-minded, crudely exploitative effect.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    88
    Unlike many films that hope to be called black comedy, it does not skimp on either the black or the comedy.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • John DeFore Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    Moviegoers will have to admit the movie is true to itself.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Jake Coyle Associated Press (Top Critic)
    Warts and all, "Hesher" is still a good shot in the arm.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Travers Rolling Stone (Top Critic)
    75
    As played by the spectacular Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hesher is the id run rampant. Even when the script edges him into Hallmark sentiment, you can't take your eyes off him.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Robert Abele Los Angeles Times (Top Critic)
    60
    Susser, who wrote the film with David Michod, has a kinetic filmmaking style and an impish, crash-and-burn sense of humor that keeps sentiment at bay long enough to let us appreciate the loose, uncomplicated performances...
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Jules Brenner Cinema Signals
    70
    Fortunately, there's enough humor in all this to counteract the exploitation of weird logic and audacious coincidence.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Shawn Levy Oregonian
    50
    Susser cowrote the script, which relies on moments of profanity and impulsive violence to elicit terse little laughs and a melodramatic backstory to signal emotional resonance.
    Full Review » 3 years ago