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Heartless Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    Best appreciated for its sustained creepy vibe and sporadically arresting images, Heartless moves from one outré moment to another, from one self-conscious allusion to the next ("Donnie Darko" and "Taxi Driver"). It doesn't go anywhere special or much of anywhere, though it goes there in appreciably icky style.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Gary Goldstein

    This compelling psychological horror-thriller contains a tremendous amount of heart. That would be largely thanks to a moving and deeply sensitive lead performance by Jim Sturgess

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Variety Joe Leydon

    There's more mood than matter here, but suspenseful atmospherics effectively distract from minor plot holes.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Village Voice Nick Pinkerton

    With erratic success, Heartless tries a number of different veins-urban fairy tale with "There was no magic, it was you all along" twist, supernatural family drama-but it's on firmest footing as a macabre comedy.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Clark Collis

    Unpredictability isn't this horror film's strength, but it's stylishly crafted and excellently acted, and it boasts an abundance of heart in every sense of the word.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Bizarre fantasy mixes graphic horror and romantic longing.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this bizarre British horror/fantasy from cult director Philip Ridley is filled with violent, terrifying images -- including plenty of blood and gore and people burning to death. The story is a classic deal-with-the-devil tale in which the hero pays an awful price to get what he wants -- but it also has elements of a sweet romance, and the main character learns to come to terms with the birthmark that has tormented him since childhood ... though not before he's done some pretty terrible things. Language is very strong, including near-constant use of "f--k," and there are some sexual situations, but no graphic nudity is shown.

  • Families can talk about the film's violence. What affect did it have on you? Was it scary? Thrilling? Disturbing? What were the most powerful images?
  • Could Jamie have learned to live with his birthmark, or did he need this harsh lesson about body image?
  • Who do you think this movie is intended to appeal to? Does it succeed?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Jamie, who has spent his life hiding away due to his large birthmark, eventually conquers his fear -- leaning that beauty is only skin deep and that people can love him despite his appearance. But he goes to drastic means to learn this lesson and makes several seriously problematic choices in the process. Still, you could argue that Jamie's tale is a cautionary one and that viewers can learn from his mistakes.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Jamie takes the wrong path, including murder, to reach the conclusion that his unusual appearance doesn't really matter to people that love him. By the time he truly realizes that, he's already "made a deal with the devil," and it's too late for him.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Gangs prowl the London streets; they use Molotov cocktails to start fires, and characters are burned (one character magically tears off his blackened skin to reveal new skin underneath). One murder victim's chest is sliced open with a knife, and his heart is removed. Viewers also see guns, terrifying monsters with razor-sharp teeth, and severed heads that come to life. Characters fight, and there's lots of blood.

  • sex false4

    Sex: The hero and his girlfriend have sex in bed (no graphic nudity). The hero brings home a male hustler, and there's some sexual innuendo. The hustler strips naked and is covered with plastic wrap, but again, no graphic nudity is shown.

  • language false5

    Language: Characters use "f--k" and "f--king" every chance they get (which is very often!). Other words include "hell" and "bitch."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters go out for cocktails on more than one occasion. The hero has a difficult time drinking hard liquor.