'Hesher' Critic Reviews

79%
MovieWeb:   2 reviews
54%
Rotten Tomatoes:   69 reviews
  • Brent Simon Shared Darkness
    50
    Powered by a character at once original and representational, Hesher courses with a unique verve missing in many independent productions, hovering somewhere between outright success and 'interesting failure.'
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Frank Swietek One Guy's Opinion
    50
    Since [Gordon-Levitt's] one of the most energetic and inventive young actors in the business, you can't take your eyes off him. Unfortunately, the quality of the material makes you wish you could.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Grae Drake Movies.com
    80
    Headbangs straight into your heart.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Dave White Movies.com
    50
    While it arrives decorated with cooler hair and a louder soundtrack, it still sticks to the "Unusual Outsider Teaches Middle-Class People What It Means to Really Live" template.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Andy Klein Brand X
    Gordon-Levitt ... gets to play the opposite of his usual put-upon nice-guy roles - and he runs with it, to the point of making Hesher downright scary a lot of the time. The rest of the cast keeps up with him, in their less flashy roles.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Tony Macklin tonymacklin.net
    60
    The strength of Hesher is its acting. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is back to drawing on his natural power as an actor. He's skilled at creating absorbing human trainwrecks.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Sarah Boslaugh Playback:stl
    40
    ... a promising concept gradually morphs into a predictable indie flick.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael Dunaway Paste Magazine
    85
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt must be especially glad for this film to see the light of day, because his performance is award-worthy, a complete inhabiting of as unique a personality as you'll encounter in film.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Williams St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    25
    When the blessed credits finally roll, the first thing Susser shows us is Hesher's tattoo of a raised middle finger. Backatcha, dude.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Corey Hall Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
    67
    ...darkly funny and refreshingly blunt, giving a big middle finger to conventionality, and offering a rebel yell that's hard to ignore.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Brian Tallerico HollywoodChicago.com
    20
    Like a knock-off of Chuck Palahniuk produced by people raised only on Sundance films, "Hesher" is a mess.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) St. Paul Pioneer Press
    88
    [Susser] keeps us on our toes, and even when his choices seem flashier than they need to be, there's a reason for them.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Stephen Whitty Newark Star-Ledger
    50
    Gordon-Levitt is a sly and inventive actor, and it can be genuinely fun to watch him having so much fun. But this character wears out his welcome fast.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Leonard Maltin Leonard Maltin's Picks
    56
    Some indie films seem to exist as exercises in strangeness, just to see how far they can go-and how long audiences will watch before screaming and running up the aisles. I stuck with Hesher till...
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Jeffrey M. Anderson Common Sense Media
    80
    Hesher himself [is] a mysterious, magnetic, repellent, and alluring figure... It's quite an astonishing performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Kelly Vance East Bay Express
    Director/co-scenarist Spencer Susser has a definite feel for Hesher and T.J.'s little corner of the world.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid
    88
    In his feature directorial debut, Spencer Susser establishes a deadpan, lost, grungy quality, the perfect place where a creature like Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) might have evolved.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Matt Pais RedEye
    63
    Hesher's such a mystery that he seems like a device (bong hits with Grandma, really?), and the same goes double for [Portman's character].
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michelle Orange Movieline
    60
    One by one the wheels start to come off, and before it's over you're working on your own metaphors for when the film fell apart instead of cleaving to those Susser is half-committing to the screen.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Chris Cabin Filmcritic.com
    60
    the film really picks up whenever Gordon-Levitt appears
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • David Noh Film Journal International
    Fit for the scrap heap which provides one of the heavy-handed visual motifs here.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Marjorie Baumgarten Austin Chronicle
    40
    Hesher is a muddle of inchoate feelings that never really grasps the cliches to which it raises its middle finger.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Bob Mondello NPR
    80
    Director Spencer Susser doesn't try to make Hesher anything other than a sociopath - a walking, profanity-spewing id - and to his credit, neither does Gordon-Levitt.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Tom Meek Boston Phoenix
    63
    The performances, especially by Wilson and Laurie as the grandmother, keep Susser's earnest effort afloat. Consider it a promise of things to come.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Nathan Rabin AV Club
    17
    What does he want? Where does he come from? Director Spencer Susser appears too intoxicated by the title character to risk peering beyond the enigmatic surface for fear of losing some of his mystery, as mystery is all Hesher has.
    Full Review » 3 years ago