Hardcore (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hardcore (1979)




Critic Consensus: Director Paul Schrader's preoccupations with alienation and faith are given a compelling avatar in George C. Scott's superb performance, although some audiences may find Hardcore too soft to live up to its provocative promise.

Movie Info

Set in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this film stars George C. Scott as Jake Van Dorn, a Calvinist minister whose daughter Kristen vanishes while on a church-sponsored field trip to California. After hiring a private investigator, Van Dorn discovers his daughter has become a porn actress.

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George C. Scott
as Jake VanDorn
Peter Boyle
as Andy Mast
Dick Sargent
as Wes DeJong
Larry Block
as Detective Burrows
Ilah Davis
as Kristen Van Dorn
Paul Marin
as Joe Van Dorn
Will Walker
as Jism Jim
Hal Williams
as Big Dick Blaque
Roy London
as Jim Rucker
Tracey Walter
as Male Teller
Bobby Kosser
as Film Director
Stephen P. Dunn
as Cameraman
Larry Black
as Detective Burrows
Jean Allison
as Mrs. Steensma
Reb Brown
as Manager
James Helder
as John Van Dorn
John Otte
as Grandfather Van Dorn
Judith Ransdell
as Ramada's Secretary
Linda Morell
as 'Les Girls' Woman
Michael Hatch
as Nephew #1
Antonio Méndez Esparza
as Teenage Mexican
Linda Cremeans
as Stewardess
Stewart Steinberg
as Man in Seersucker Suit
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Critic Reviews for Hardcore

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (2)

Hardcore, flawed and uneven, contains moments of pure revelation.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

The Motion Picture Industry has exploited women for so many years, in so many ways, that it is hard to think that they can ever top themselves. Well, they have finally reached the bottom of their sewers. It's a movie called Hardcore.

April 27, 2020 | Full Review…

...a compelling and often shocking drama that also succeeds as a time capsule of a very specific time and place.

March 29, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The movie is nothing but a word game designed to impress a public interested in depraved and industrialized sex. [Full Review in Spanish]

August 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Despite its subject, the movie is beyond austerity -- it's inert.

July 19, 2019 | Full Review…

Although flawed by a trope-filled ending, "Hardcore" is a fascinating social drama that makes scathing commentary about capitalism and America's puritanical pretenses.

June 15, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hardcore


I felt that a lot of it was Paul Schrader rehashing 'Taxi Driver', only with a more stable protagonist. That shouldn't suggest that its bad, as I think it convincingly captures a fathers decent into moral despair and violent aggression over his daughter's disappearance. The great performances of George C. Scott and Peter Boyle are another nice touch.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

A good thriller, very dramatic and cool, it really feels like the end of the 70s.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

To put it one way: It's Alice in Wonderland if Alice dove head first in the rabbit hole. Then say she gets rather involved as wonderland build to a frothy boil only for the eggs of the salad sandwich to taste kind of upsetting. There's really few things wrong with this film, everything including Jack Nitzsche's score, the production design, the acting, on and on, it really outstanding. Of course the time this film was made (1979) is outstanding also, but it's all part of the flair.

Patrick Dolan
Patrick Dolan

Super Reviewer

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