Harsh Times 2005 ***


Writer/director David Ayer was a major force in the decommissioning of three-act stricture movies with more documentary realism, getting good results with Training Day and End of Watch, tough gritty looks at the lives of LA cops. His 2005 film Harsh Times is a loosely structured but still engrossing character study of Jim (Christian Bale), a low-life criminal who aspires to work in law enforcement but whose life is on the skids. His relationship with pal Mike (Freddy Rodriguez) is sorely tested, and his dreams of a new life in Mexico with Eva Longoria become more unlikely as Jim sinks deeper into petty crime. Ayers ‘ project feels personal, and is wrought with profane energy from the always excellent Bale.


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