The Hard Word

Watch The Hard Word

"In a word, they're gone"
  • R
  • 2003
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 6.0  (3,867)
  • 51

In the 2002 film The Hard Word, Australia's most notorious bank robbers, the Twentyman brothers, are finally released from prison after serving three years for their last heist. But instead of going straight, they immediately plan their next job - a carefully coordinated robbery of a racing track's vault during a major horse race. However, when the job goes awry and innocent people get caught in the crossfire, tensions rise between the three brothers and their associates, leading to a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the police, rival criminals, and each other.

The leader of the pack, Dale (Guy Pearce), is the charming but unpredictable mastermind of the gang, with a penchant for violence and a love-hate relationship with his wife Carol (played by Rachel Griffiths). Dale's younger brothers, the bickering Shane (Joel Edgerton) and Mal (Damien Richardson), provide the muscle and the comic relief of the group, but their sibling rivalry and romantic entanglements threaten to unravel the heist from within. Meanwhile, a corrupt cop named Frank (Robert Taylor) and a loan shark called Chicka (Vince Colosimo) have their own agenda for the stolen loot, and will stop at nothing to get it.

Directed by Scott Roberts, The Hard Word is a gritty and stylish crime thriller that subverts many of the genre's tropes while staying true to its roots. The film is filled with dark humor, suspenseful action set pieces, and an impressive ensemble cast of Australian actors who deliver nuanced and memorable performances. Pearce, in particular, shines as the charismatic but unhinged Dale, who is both charismatic and terrifying in equal measure. His dynamic with Griffiths, who plays Carol with a mix of toughness and vulnerability, adds a layer of emotional complexity to the film that elevates it beyond a simple heist movie.

The supporting cast is also excellent, from Edgerton's scene-stealing turn as the hot-tempered Shane to Taylor's slimy portrayal of the corrupt cop. Richardson, Colosimo, and Rhondda Findleton, who plays the brothers' parole officer, all contribute to the film's vivid depiction of the criminal underworld and the various characters who inhabit it.

One of the film's most impressive elements is its use of location, which captures the seedy underbelly of Melbourne and its surrounding suburbs. From the run-down housing estates where the Twentyman brothers live to the sleek corporate offices where Frank plots his schemes, the film creates a vivid sense of place that feels both familiar and unsettling. The use of music, too, is inspired, with the soundtrack featuring a mix of classic rock and pop songs that add a layer of irony and nostalgia to the film's violent action sequences.

Despite its occasional lapses into cliché and some uneven pacing, The Hard Word is a highly entertaining and engaging film that will appeal to fans of crime thrillers and Australian cinema alike. Its themes of loyalty, betrayal, and redemption are timeless, and its depiction of the pressures and temptations faced by those caught up in a life of crime feels both authentic and compelling. By the film's bloody and cathartic conclusion, we are left with a sense of the cost of violence and the possibility of redemption in even the most unlikely of circumstances.

The Hard Word is a 2003 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0 and a MetaScore of 51.

The Hard Word
Where to Watch The Hard Word
The Hard Word is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Hard Word for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (3,867)
  • Metascore