In the midst of all the meaningful Sundance films, sometimes you just want to watch a guy with a tattoo of a stick figure blowing its head off, making rude jokes about raping grannies. There is nothing life changing about Hesher, it’s pretty basic in a lot of ways and the plot is somewhat predictable, but it’s a really fun ride filled with extremely colorful characters.

The Players:

It’s definitely a departure from a number of actors’ typical roles. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a bad-ass who aggressively confronts or attacks anyone around him, while Rainn Wilson plays it completely straight. He breaks out of his norm and plays a mourning father and has no comedic moments whatsoever.

Just to break it down…

The Good:

  • Great Acting: The kid in this movie is absolutely amazing. No doubt about it, he had a big part in front of him with lots of highs and lows and he dealt with it like a pro. Levitt was as always intriguing and fun to watch. There were some moments where he looked more like a character of himself, but that has more to do with the one problem I’ll talk about below. Wilson was completely believable and heart-wrenching, and Portman was her usual sweet self. There was a part of me that wanted to see her do a bit more because she’s so good at handling crazy characters, but she did a good job at not over-doing the role and lending her support.
  • Fun Script: Although the plot is a bit foreseeable, it’s filled with a lot of great dialogue and even more great one liners. It’s a ridiculous premise and because of the tone and the way it’s dealt with, you go with it and find yourself laughing at some of the most idiotic, yet wonderful jokes you’ll ever hear.

The Bad:

  • Some Lost Moments in Music/Post Production: Aside from some editing errors and the fastest washing machine in the world, there were a few problems with the film’s post production. There were a few moments where it was unclear if you should be laughing or not. Some of these moments were great and others were a little awkward and it was mainly because of the music. It went with the brighter spots in the film but didn’t hit the emotional ones quite right. If this movie gets bought they will definitely need to go back in and add a little more to the score and not just songs. When Levitt appears, his character it thwarted by bad music, and it makes us not believe him from the start.


Before the beginning of Hesher, the director Spencer Susser walked out and announced that the film was finished less than 48 hours earlier and that he was rather nervous about it. If this film is purchased (and it by every means should be) it could use a bit more post-production time, a new score, and possibly some sound design. That being said, it’s a fun film and definitely deserves to be spruced up and released in theaters nationwide.

Rating: 7.5/10