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Harsh Times [Blu-ray]

3.7 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the creator of TRAINING DAY comes HARSH TIMES, a gritty look at friendship, loyalty and ambition set on the extremely rough streets of south central Los Angeles. Jim Davis (Christian Bale) is an ex-Army Ranger recently discharged from the military, yet still haunted by nightmares of his former occupation. While seeking a position with the LAPD that will allow him to marry his Mexican girlfriend and bring her to the United States, Jim kills time chilling with his best friend, Mike (Freddy Rodriguez). Mike is feeling the heat from his longtime girlfriend, Sylvia (Eva Longoria): either get a job or get out. But the love of a beautiful woman can't compare to the bonds of friendship, and Jim and Mike are soon cruising the streets of South Central, slipping back into a deceitful life of drugs, violence and petty crime, just like when they were kids.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Christian Bale, Eva Longoria, Freddy Rodríguez, Chaka Forman, Tammy Trull
  • Directors: David Ayer
  • Writers: David Ayer
  • Producers: Christian Bale, David Ayer, Andrea Sperling, David Gorton, Jesse Felsot
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041SI7AM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,326 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Harsh Times [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Jim is the type of guy that anyone may know. He served his time as a soldier and now it's his dream to become a cop in Los Angeles. The problem is not only does he spend most days drinking, smoking pot, and looking for ways to either get laid or kick the snot out of someone, but his time as a soldier gets to him more than he lets on. He has nightmares every night and usually wakes up screaming, has cold chills, and is just one step away from the brink of insanity. His best friend, Mike, just wants to get a job so he can make his wife happy, but his drinking problem gets him into more trouble than it should. Jim and Mike hang out all the time, so when one gets in trouble the other one has his back. While Mike has his wife, Sylvia, Jim has a girlfriend, Marta, back in Mexico who he hopes to get across the border once he gets that dream job. So when Jim gets a call from Homeland Security and Mike has an interview go really well at one of the best businesses in town, they think their lives are beginning to look up. But what'll happen when Jim finally gets pushed too far? Who will he take it out on and how many people will be caught in the crossfire?

This movie kind of plays out like some of my favorite songs. Things start off slow, but are slowly building towards a big finale. Once things start rolling, it's inevitable to try and resist the mayhem that's sure to ensue. That's a perfect way to describe Harsh Times. The film is generally about a subject I usually have no interest in, but the characters involved, the way events unfold, and the way Christian Bale portrays Jim Luther Davis kept me watching.
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3 Comments 27 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
If you don't think this movie is any good, I would hate to know the movies you would like. This is the most underrated movie I've seen in a while. Christian Bale has become one of my favorite actors. I love him in absolutely everything I see him in. And this movie is no different. He seems to embody his characters in such an intense way, it can be scary, and he doesn't disappoint here. For being an Englishman, he does American better than most American actors. I thought the script was well written, and the supporting actors did a good job. That Desperate Housewives chick didn't even get on my nerves.
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Format: DVD
Jim is a veteran from Afghanistan, whose application to the LAPD is turned down. Mike, his friend, is also searching for a job, but choosing instead to party it up with Jim. But the attrocities Jim saw (and committed) in the war begin to wear on him, encouraging the violent side that lay dormant until then, and he slowly drags Mike down with him, spiraling to a breakdown that could shatter their friendship...if they survive it.

I wasn't sure what to expect from "Harsh Times." I've become quite a fan of Christian Bale lately; and I loved Freddy Rodriguez in "Planet Terror," and thought he would be a great dramatic actor (little did I know, he has a lot of experience in the field; my bad homey, as Mike would say). But I wasn't sure about the concept, if it could hold my attention the entire two hours of the film.

Well, it did, largely thanks to two great performances from the leads. True, Bale doesn't flesh out this role as well as he has others, but he's still one of the best out there. Rodriguez matches him step-for-step, creating one of the best dramatic pairings I've seen in quite some time. Eva Longoria and Tammy Trull, as the love interests on the two men, shine in their brief--yet important--performances. J.K. Simmons offers some nice levity as a Homeland Security agent; it's one of the few light-hearted moments in the film, and even then there's something simmering underneath--when Simmons mutters to Bale "We're all a little wacko here," a momentary chill runs down your spine.

The script--by director David Ayer--is fairly good, especially in the film's second half; it's first half feels like Street Lingo 101, full of "dudes" and "homeys" and the like.
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Comment 7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As in real life, there is a fine line that separates the good guys (cops) from the bad guys (the crooks). Good guys are never just good guys in real life, or in a David Ayer script (TRAINING DAY). Sometimes they are conflicted and sometimes they're just plain old criminal punks. And sometimes they're walking on the edge of a criminally insane abyss. Ayer writes mostly crime drama with rogue cop elements and cop-gone-bad conflict. Ayer directs here for the first time. Christian Bale plays Jim, a whacked-out psychopathic ex-Ranger, recently discharged from Active Duty in The Middle East. Jim drags his best friend Mike, played by Freddy Rodriguez, thru the crime ridden streets of Hispanic East L.A. and down into the dark abyss of his personal psychosis. The two wander aimlessly thru their days drinking, smoking reefer, looking for trouble, and trying to sell a stolen gun. Mike is pretending to look for work, while Jim searches for a law enforcement job that will provide him with a license to kill. The L.A.P.D. doesn't want him, but Homeland Security does. But, something insane is about to spoil Jim's "dream job" ...

That something is Jim.

While the plot appears mundane, the inner life of these two men is anything but prosaic.

The script is an actor's dream. It is a showcase character piece for the fine acting talent of Christian Bale. He produced the film. In my opinion, this is his best performance. (I thought he was "F" ing Great in AMERICAN PSYCHO and THE MACHINIST, but he really excels in this performance. Not once did I think I was watching Christian Bale. Or Patrick Bateman.) Everytime he squints his eyes or turns his head in this film, you're bracing yourself for what might follow. A brilliant actor in an amazing role.
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2 Comments 5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Harsh Times [Blu-ray]
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