The Harder They Come
The Harder They Come (1973)

Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff stars as Ivan Martin, an aspiring young singer who leaves his rural village for the capital city of Kingston, Jamaica hoping to make a name for himself. Robbed of his money and possessions his first day in town, he… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: January 14, 2002
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Critic Score: 82% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Stephen Garrett
Time Out

Atrocious acting, amateurish camerawork and a hackneyed story line all make for one painful slog.

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Cole Smithey

Perry Henzell's 1972 rugged reggae crime story--loosely based on a '40s-era Jamaican folk hero/criminal--plays like a musically-inspired docudrama of the raw social reality of the impoverished island nation in the '70s.

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Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies

Entertaining if not incredibly professional.

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Melissa Anderson
Village Voice

The definitive postcolonial cult-movie musical.

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Rob Nelson
City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Packed with indelible images and potent subtexts (and great songs), this isn't just another bridge between Godard and MTV.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

a hard-hitting social drama with revolutionary political overtones, but it is immensely enjoyable and, at times, light-hearted

Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Predated Bob Marley's success by a year.

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Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly

OK story, fabulous music by Jimmy Cliff

Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

The real reason to see The Harder They Come in the first place, even if the film is surprisingly good, is the music.

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More reviews for The Harder They Come

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Weber
This is probably the most well-known and important film to come from Jamaica. And, while it might not have been intentional, you could also lump this in as a… More
Cassandra Maples
Ivan is a country boy in Jamaica who comes to see his Grandmother and `make it big' by recording a record. However when he finds himself exploited by a… More
Graham Jones
A must see for anyone interested in Reggae music. A totally authentic look at Kingston in the early 1970's.
El Hombre Invisible
The film that introduced reggae to the U.S. in the early 70's. Soon after, Bob Marley entered the scene and the rest is history. Jimmy Cliff stars as Ivan,… More
Pierluigi Puccini
It makes up in talent what it lacks in budget. Amazing songs, feeling of sheer authenticity, social commentary and gripping guerrilla filmmaking
Mister Caple
Groundbreaking Jamaican classic film from the early 1970's that has become a cult classic in its own right and made Reggae icon Jimmy Cliff a international… More