Hard Eight
Hard Eight (1996)

In this film, luckless destitute gambler John meets suave and seemingly kind-hearted Sydney, a successful professional gambler. Sydney offers to teach John all his gaming secrets, and the lessons begin back in Reno. Unfortunately, while… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: January 20, 1996
DVD Release Date: October 5, 1999
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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.

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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle

Noirish thrillers live or die by their plot twists and dialogue... Unfortunately, the script by first-time filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson fails on both counts.

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Josh Larsen

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.

Mary Brennan

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

Brett Ashley

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.

James Berardinelli

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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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

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

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More reviews for Hard Eight

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.
Lucas Martins
Shocking and entretaining, Hard Eight is a film with good acting and terrific screenplay.
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
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
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
Lewis C.
"Bottom line, Sydney. No matter how hard you try...you're not his father." I consider myself to be a die-hard Paul Thomas Anderson fan. I love… More

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