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THE HARD WORD

After their release from prison, three brothers are persuaded by their slimy lawyer—who may be having an affair with the wife of one of the brothers--to particiapte in a high-risk heist.

CAST: Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths, Robert Taylor, Joel Edgerton, Damien Richardson, Rhondda Findleton, Kate Atkinson, Vince Colosimo, Paul Sonkkila, Jim Gyngell, Dorian Nkono

DIRECTOR: Scott Roberts

"The action-comedy heist film ‘The Hard Word’ is amusingly gamy, an anecdotal crime film that's an antidote to the pile of overly slick robbery pictures of the past few years… it enjoys the asset of a grimy, slightly mildewy atmosphere — a believably dank ripeness reminiscent of the British crime films of the 1960's. It also offers a few tart rip-off scenes and a performance of back-alley bravura by Guy Pearce in the lead…the picture has a spiky, efficient hilarity, and the director uses his actors well." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"Playing a hardened convict, Pearce has taken on the dour, snaky air of a man programmed to strike first and ask questions later. His survivalist smolder is never less than intense, though he has brought it to the wrong movie. ‘The Hard Word’ is an Australian crime caper that's one part ‘Sexy Beast,’ one part ‘The Full Monty,’ and three parts very flat soda…an ungainly and repetitive contraption." --Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"Written and directed with cheeky energy by Scott Roberts, ‘The Hard Word’ moves along at a breezy clip for the first two-thirds…But then it takes a clumsy turn into comic-book violence a la ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,’ devolving into a blood-spattered game of payback that becomes too silly for words, hard or soft." --Jan Stuart, Newsday

"‘The Hard Word’ should banish any doubt that Guy Pearce is one of the most gifted actors around…As Dale, the eldest in a trio of brothers doing time for armed robbery, Pearce (‘L.A. Confidential,’ ‘Memento’) is the very picture of hard-core criminality, covered in prison tattoos and sporting grubby hair and facial stubble. But he tempers his wild-eyed, word-spitting menace with a natural gravitas that lends him an air of intelligence to go with his street smarts. A raft of impressive performances--and a dose of lunatic unpredictability--float this verbose debut from writer-director Scott Roberts, whose script is strewn with Aussie colloquialisms that will likely be impenetrable to many U.S. filmgoers." --Megan Lehmann, The New York Post

"In writer-director Scott Roberts' dog of a ‘Reservoir Dogs’ knockoff, Pearce is a blizzard of tough-guy clichés…The big set piece is a robbery that goes seriously wrong at a Melbourne race track, spilling blood and brain matter in all directions. The gore is intended as Tarantino-style black comedy, but instead, it's just weirdly grotesque." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"Except for a bit of flab in the last quarter, the story, written by first-time director Scott Roberts, moves swiftly along, alternately amusing and unnerving us. Most surprising of all, we are made to root for the crazily appealing Twentymans…If you’re looking for a tense, terrific time—and not something of socially redeeming value—you’ll find it in ‘The Hard Word.’" --Guy Flatley, Moviecrazed

"Intriguing prison comedy-drama has a great time depicting prison life in the first half, but drowns in predictability once the heist theatrics get going. Pearce makes a thoroughly watchable scuzzball." --Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

"The film would work better if its story unfolded more swiftly and if its twists were more unexpected. The acting is solid, though--Guy Pearce and Rachel Griffiths lead the cast--and you'll learn a new factoid or two. Did you know butchers Down Under have an argot so esoteric you need subtitles to translate it? Neither did I. I'm sure the tidbit will come in handy if I ever need to haggle over the price of an Australian sausage." --David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor