Not a film for everyone. If you are squeamish about children being placed in danger then do not see this film.
The A.V. Club
The Heart Is Deceitful has a daring that's hard to dismiss, even when it only amounts to Argento shamelessly getting off on human rot.
TV Guide Magazine
Given Argento's willingness to attempt the controversial book at all, she pulls a surprising number of punches. What at first appears to go too far in reality doesn't go far enough: Argento doesn't even broach the subject of child prostitution.
Asia Argento is not what I would call a good actress, but she's a prime specimen of train-wreck sexuality: a debauched Eurotrash starlet who oozes punk cred more than she does talent. It's not too hard to see why she wanted to write, direct, and star in The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.
Though it's decidedly for perverse palates, some kind of cult audience seems assured for this one-note onslaught, which exercises a bizarre fascination despite its excesses.
Whatever her limitations, Argento the actor makes certain that Argento the director doesn't lack for "action"--and that the audience doesn't lack for pain.
The New Yorker
The whole enterprise heaves and strains with a sadistic overkill that even Dario might find too rich.
A degraded and degrading film, of interest only because it's symptomatic of so much that's wrong with the drearily repetitive tabloid mentality that has infected not just the news media, but the whole culture industry.
The Hollywood Reporter
Inspirationally impaired and dramatically retarded.
The New York Times
Viewer discretion is advised, if only because it's well-nigh unwatchable.