Hard Eight (Sydney)
Hard Eight (Sydney) (1996)

Before his commercial breakthrough with Boogie Nights (1997), writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson made this low-key drama. John (John C. Reilly), a half-bright loser stranded in Reno, is down to his last few bucks when Sydney (Phillip… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 5, 1999
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
83%
Flixster
User Score
83%



Critic Score: 83% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Kevin McManus
Washington Post

Anderson coaxes top-notch performances from the male leads and also from Gwyneth Paltrow.

Full review…
Mary Brennan
Film.com

It's hugely refreshing to watch a movie populated almost exclusively by character actors.

Josh Larsen
LarsenOnFilm

A clever, confident debut from Paul Thomas Anderson and a showcase role for character actor Philip Baker Hall.

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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle

Has ... meaning and truth, not to mention scarred humanity.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews

There's something almost hypnotic about the way Hard Eight develops -- even in its slowest, most tedious moments, it keeps our attention.

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Brett Ashley
Film4

A near-classic in a minor key, and a must-see for fans of later work.

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Stephen Holden
New York Times

It is really little more than a small resonant mood piece whose hard-bitten characters are difficult to like. But within its self-imposed limitations, it accomplishes most of what it sets out to do.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Movies like Hard Eight remind me of what original, compelling characters the movies can sometimes give us.

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...a low-key yet sporadically fascinating drama...

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More reviews for Hard Eight (Sydney)

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
A commanding performance by Philip Baker Hall is the highlight of P T Anderson's character and mood driven debut.
Anthony Lawrie
Hard Eight may be a little anticlimactic but the continuous mood and intensity really does make for a thrilling watch. Don't get me wrong, this isn't… More
Jim Hunter
A gambler takes a hapless fellow under his wing, but when he falls for the wrong woman, their lives could be threatened. Paul Thomas Anderson's feature… More
Lucas Martins
Shocking and entretaining, Hard Eight is a film with good acting and terrific screenplay.
Dan Schultz
A solid first feature from the praised P.T. Anderson concerning a mysterious figure named Sydney (Phillip Baker Hall) who shows compassion to two aimless young… More
Kase Vollebregt
Paul Thomas Anderson's debut film 'Hard Eight' is a twisty little film that continually satisfies the patient viewer. Anderson was able to flesh… More

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