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Based on 24 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • 75
    Walter Addiego San Francisco Chronicle

    Truly a winter's tale. show more

  • 80
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    This ostensibly simple film evokes whole lives in 96 minutes, and does so with sparse dialogue. show more

  • 75
    Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer

    What this unclassifiable story may lack in decibels, it has in emotional depth. At once a mystery, a family drama, a snapshot of children at risk, Ballast is an unusually perceptive character study more eloquent in action than in dialogue. show more

  • 90
    Kirk Honeycutt The Hollywood Reporter

    Working with non-pro actors, Hammer pulls authentic performances from the trio that are at times almost too painful to witness. show more

  • 100
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Ballast inexorably grows and deepens and gathers power and absorbs us. I always say I hardly ever cry at sad films, but I sometimes do, just a little, at films about good people. show more

  • 100
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    Ballast strikes me as one of the few American pictures of 2008 to say what it wants to say, visually and narratively, about a specific situation and part of the country, in a way that transcends regional specifics. show more

  • 100
    Wesley Morris Boston Globe

    This is the most significant feature about poor black life since Charles Burnett's 1977 "Killer of Sheep." show more

  • 88
    Chris Kaltenbach Baltimore Sun

    It's a frustrating film in that its characters resolutely defy convention, and its story offers no epiphany, no one moment when everything becomes clear. show more

  • 75
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    Hammer, whose blunt name belies the movie's many subtle touches, has his own distinct style. He also has an enormous trust in the audience to sort out this wounded family's miseries without the assistance of narration or even a musical score. show more

  • 75

    The result is an exhilarating narrative. show more

  • December 28, 2008 Dmawi1
    Report This User

    This is a beautiul moving film. It is nice to see a film with African American characters who though troubled are not to be pitied nor are they stereotypical caricatures. The acting is real and the setting is wonderfully filmed.

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