Ian’s review published on Letterboxd:
”Never ignore a man's courtesy.”
It’s solid enough as a feature debut from Paul Thomas Anderson, but I think what really makes this worth a watch is watching Philip Baker Hall just absolutely make rounds around everyone here. I mean that’s saying something with everyone around him being equally solid, but watching Hall work so much brilliance in the simplest ways it makes the entire film worth it. I also love the casino/gambling scene so even though the film does bring in some moments of that, I wish that was more the focus. On top of weaker writing and script I can only find myself attached to so much here. Besides that, I think you can easily notice the skill PTA shows much better later in his filmography here, but Hard Eight is a fine enough debut that showcases a very solid turn from Baker Hall.