The Harder They Come
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Reggae star Jimmy Cliff is the principal reason that The Harder They Come was one of the first truly successful films to come out of Jamaica. Cliff plays Ivan, a young would-be singer who finds the going rough when he hits the big city of Kingston. Jailed for participating in a knife fight, Ivan is exploited by a dishonest record-company executive upon his release. Turning his back on the establishment, Ivan becomes involved in the marijuana trade. He keeps the police at arm's length by offering them a slice of the action, but ultimately finds himself in the middle of a bloody raid. Ivan… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Atrocious acting, amateurish camerawork and a hackneyed story line all make for one painful slog."
‑ Stephen Garrett, Time Out New York
"Packed with indelible images and potent subtexts (and great songs), this isn't just another bridge between Godard and MTV."
‑ Rob Nelson, City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
"a hard-hitting social drama with revolutionary political overtones, but it is immensely enjoyable and, at times, light-hearted"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"The definitive postcolonial cult-movie musical."
‑ Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
"OK story, fabulous music by Jimmy Cliff"
‑ Lori Hoffman, Atlantic City Weekly
"The real reason to see The Harder They Come in the first place, even if the film is surprisingly good, is the music."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"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."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Entertaining if not incredibly professional."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
More reviews for The Harder They Come on Rotten Tomatoes