Merrick Morton
Owen Gleiberman
May 18, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Hesher

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
105 minutes
Wide Release Date
05/13/11
performer
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Devin Brochu
director
Spencer Susser
author
Spencer Susser
genre
Drama

We gave it a C

In Hesher, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the title burnout: a long- stringy-haired, heavily tattooed, mostly bare-chested pyromaniac stoner who becomes the protector of TJ (Devin Brochu), a kid reeling from the death of his mother in a car crash. Hesher, whose arrival on screen is almost always heralded by a demonic speed-metal riff, is a delinquent sociopath with a heart of gold. That’s the false, rather cloying concept behind this smug indie dud, and it’s made all the more irksome by Gordon-Levitt’s one-note show-offy, Keanu-from-hell performance. As the checkout girl everyone’s got a crush on, Natalie Portman makes a winsome return to her Garden State gawkiness. C

See all of this week’s reviews

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