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Harsh Times (2005)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  10 November 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 52,198 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 218 user | 119 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

A tough-minded drama about two friends in South Central Los Angeles and the violence that comes between them.



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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Agent Richards
Agent Hollenbeck


Jim Davis is an ex-Army Ranger who finds himself slipping back into his old life of petty crime after a job offer from the LAPD evaporates. His best friend is pressured by his girlfriend Sylvia to find a job, but Jim is more interested in hanging out and making cash from small heists, while trying to get a law enforcement job so he can marry his Mexican girlfriend. Written by batfreak79

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

10 November 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Teška vremena  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£281,609 (UK) (18 August 2006)


$3,335,839 (USA) (8 December 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The license plate 2GAT123, which appears in this film, has also featured in many other films, including Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), Traffic (2000), Pay It Forward (2000), Mulholland Drive (2001), Crazy/Beautiful (2001), L.A. Story (1991), Two and a Half Men (2003) and S.W.A.T. (2003) (which was also written by David Ayer). See more »


In the scene where Jim discovers he has been rejected by the LAPD and goes into a violent rage, there are several inconsistencies with the shots of the traffic behind his Ford. For example, one shot shows Jim marching up to the car on his right, a bus passes the left side of his car. The following shot shows the same bus behind his car. Another following shot then shows no traffic behind his car for at least 100 meters. See more »


Jim Davis: "Mr. Jim Davis, we regret to"... what? Man, how many... I had two beers, right?
Mike Alvarez: Yeah.
Jim Davis: I'm goin' fuckin' blind or something. Okay, this letter says, quoting, "... no longer eligible as a Police Officer candidate." What the fuck does that mean?
Mike Alvarez: Come on, dude. "No longer eligible", I mean, what does that sound like? They pulled the plug, dude.
Jim Davis: No, no. Wh-why? Oh, man, I bet you 'cause it's... I bet you it's 'cause I'm White.
Mike Alvarez: I bet it's 'cause you're a dick.
See more »


Features Life & Times (1998) See more »


Return of the Tres
Written by Ivan Scott Martin, Alex Martinez, and David Thomas
Performed by Delinquent Habits
Courtesy of Station 13/Windswept Holdings, LLC.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Unflinching film set in L.A. which informs and tests your ideas of the world we live in
27 August 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Christian Bale is an actor who is never orthodox. His string of films have in general been breaking moulds and testing his own ability, and more often than not you leave the cinema thinking that you had seen something special.

Having revived the Batman series and out-Lynched David Lynch in "The Machinist", he has now tackled the troubled life of a war veteran who is trying to find a job in order to be able to settle down so he can marry and bring over his wife from Mexico. Alongside him is his best friend who is also in the same situation of finding a job but this time in order to satisfy his frustrated working wife. As always nothing goes as easily to plan.

The two lead actors end up struggling through job rejections, life, gangs, drugs and drinks, and also the struggle to move on from their carefree lifestyle when they were young. Responsibility is a difficult option for the pair of them. The problem is exacerbated by Christian Bale's character's flashbacks and hauntings to the war, which add a frightening and unstable edge to his character.

The film overall takes us on an unpredictable journey following the two men questioning ourselves what we would do if we were in their shoes, and watching the pair of them acting and opting for what they do can be unsettling. Acting is great, direction is interesting and you will not be disappointed. If you like Crash, then in some ways this is in the same vein but not alike to the movie. I thoroughly was interested and enjoyed this movie, and if you want a thought-provoking film then this is definitely for you.

57 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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