Box art for Hesher


  • Rated R
  • HD and SD formats available


Loud music. Pornography. Lighting fires. These are a few of Hesher's favorite things. And they are what Hesher brings into the lives of TJ, and his father Paul when he takes up residence in the garage uninvited.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
3 out of 5

Coming-of-age dramedy is too dark, edgy for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that HESHER is a very bleak, dark comedy/drama set in a grimy Southern California suburb, in some unspecified time near the present (there are no computers or cell phones on view). It deals with a grieving father and 13 year-old son after the death of the boy's mother. Into this family comes Hesher, a mysterious, long-haired metalhead with bad habits who eventually provides some perspective. The movie is filled with wall-to-wall foul language and graphic sexual innuendo (as well as some sexual images), and a somewhat negative attitude toward women. There is also some violence and general destruction, as well as cigarettes, beer-drinking, and pot-smoking. Nearly all of this occurs near or revolves around the 13 year-old. Parents should think twice before allowing any kids or teens to see this unsupervised.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Hesher's behavior. What might cause him to smoke, drink, destroy things, talk about sex, and do other iffy things? Does he have a good side? What kind of role model is he?
  • What are the consequences of having 13-year-old T.J. be exposed to Hesher and his actions? What kind of effect does it have on him? How does he deal with his troubles? How does he deal with the bully at school?
  • What are the movie's messages? Are they clear amid the characters' behavior?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 6
    see all Hesher reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Gordon-Levitt's Hesher is raw destruction and aggro comedy punctuated with a blast of crunching metal.

- Amy Nicholson, Boxoffice Magazine, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fresh: exactly the kind of film I was hoping I'd see at Sundance

- Chris Bumbray, JoBlo's Movie Emporium, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fresh: It manages to succeed with a pastiche of great casting and an unapologetic slant towards being anti-touchy-feely. Until it needs to be.

- Erik Childress, Cinematical, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

"Hesher" is a flawed but moving, refreshingly unique story about grief, love, and loss. Three male characters representing different generations (one about 13 years old, the second about 25, and the third about 40) are each suffering a terrible loss and each handling it miserably. Their lives are in a shambles. On the rare occasion when they're able to get out of bed, they get enmeshed in fights, vandalism, car crashes, bonfires, and explosions everywhere they turn. And they are usually the cause of this violence. "Hesher" is one of the most kinetic films I've ever seen. These three troubled boys develop an uncommon bond and help each other heal, in their completely unique way. The final sequence, which sees the three of them pushing a coffin through the streets of their town, had me in tears. The lead character is the youngest one, played by Devin Brochu. The 25-year-old (whose name is Hesher) is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Rainn Wilson, in what I believe is his first non-comedic role, plays the bereft, profoundly depressed 40-year-old. A few female characters dot the landscape, again representing different generations. (The cross-generational aspect to "Hesher" was a real delight.) Natalie Portman plays a down-on-her-luck supermarket clerk, and Piper Laurie, most famous for her role as the demonic mother in "Carrie" (1976), is radiant as a generous, slightly senile grandmother. "Hesher" may have its flaws, but it also has a tremendous amount going for it. The fact that it has received overly harsh reviews and been completely ignored by audiences strikes me as one of the cinematic travesties of 2011. We seem to hate unique filmmaking in America. --unfinished--

- dunmyer, Wednesday, November 30, 2011

3 stars

It's refreshing to see something that doesn't try to do too much. The plain and simple approach is seldom seen or at least not seen done well. In this one, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as an "anarchist" that takes up residence in the garage of a father and son's home. They are having a difficult time dealing with the death of the wife and mother, and Hesher kind of shakes things up to keep the vitality in the household he wasn't even invited into. Hesher befriends the grandmother and even adds a bong to her medical marijuana which allows for some interesting subtext. So I'm gonna say if it happens to be on, check it out. Or if you like Natalie Portman who surprisingly plays a small role in such a random film, go the extra mile and rent it.

- yona71, Monday, May 21, 2012

3 stars

Metallica tracks!! so interesting, big advantage , but what genre would this going to be? is it a family movie, drama, violent, sentimental, uncomfortable comedy ??!! really don't know, but I kind of liked it

- Crashinkov, Saturday, December 17, 2011