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Hesher Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

Metal like a Christmas card. Read full review

4.0

Grae Drake Profile

Headbangs straight into your heart. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    45

    out of 100

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

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    Speaking of that middle-finger finale, there is one redeeming trait: At least it signals the end credits.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    As the checkout girl everyone's got a crush on, Natalie Portman makes a winsome return to her "Garden State" gawkiness.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    Too dark for a very broad audience, it will flummox some viewers drawn by its cast but will strike others with its more-than-prickly approach and standoffish humor.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Hesher reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Coming-of-age dramedy is too dark, edgy for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that HESHER is a very bleak, dark comedy/drama set in a grimy Southern California suburb, in some unspecified time near the present (there are no computers or cell phones on view). It deals with a grieving father and 13 year-old son after the death of the boy's mother. Into this family comes Hesher, a mysterious, long-haired metalhead with bad habits who eventually provides some perspective. The movie is filled with wall-to-wall foul language and graphic sexual innuendo (as well as some sexual images), and a somewhat negative attitude toward women. There is also some violence and general destruction, as well as cigarettes, beer-drinking, and pot-smoking. Nearly all of this occurs near or revolves around the 13 year-old. Parents should think twice before allowing any kids or teens to see this unsupervised.

  • Families can talk about Hesher's behavior. What might cause him to smoke, drink, destroy things, talk about sex, and do other iffy things? Does he have a good side? What kind of role model is he?
  • What are the consequences of having 13-year-old T.J. be exposed to Hesher and his actions? What kind of effect does it have on him? How does he deal with his troubles? How does he deal with the bully at school?
  • What are the movie's messages? Are they clear amid the characters' behavior?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Just about every character here indulges in unhealthy behavior, from doing drugs to stealing, lying, and destroying things. The outlook is mostly negative, though some of the characters appear to be trying, some of the time, to make things better.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Hesher is the center of attention in this piece, and he's practically a poster boy for negative behavior. He's destructive with no consequences; he uses and abuses drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol; and he has a negative attitude toward women. He nearly snaps out of it when he befriends the grandmother character, but that doesn't last long. The main character is actually the 13-year-old boy, T.J., but even he goes through a long bad phase while dealing with his mother's death.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Hesher likes to trash places, blow things up, and set things on fire. He threatens a 13 year-old boy with a pair of clippers. The same teen also deals with a vicious bully at school. There's some fighting, and one character hits another with a metal bar. Viewers see some blood (a bloody nose). Most of the violence occurs in the presence of the 13-year-old.

  • sex false4

    Sex: The movie is packed with sexual innuendo and graphic sex talk. There's also a quick glimpse of a porn movie on a TV set, as well as porn magazines. In one scene, a man and a woman have sex, but it's mostly off camera (viewers can only see them around a door frame).

  • language false5

    Language: Very strong, constant language includes many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "c--k," "c--t," "p---y," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "ass," "d--k," "tw-t," "hell," "nut," and images of a raised middle finger.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Hesher smokes cigarettes almost constantly. He also smokes pot, sniffs glue, and drinks beer to drunkenness. He shares some pot with Granny and teaches her how to use a bong. T.J.'s dad takes prescription pills for depression.

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