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Based on 12 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 0 )
  • 75
    Walter Addiego San Francisco Chronicle

    It's compassionate but unblinking. show more

  • 70
    The Hollywood Reporter

    Much has been made of supermodel Gemma Ward's doll-like features, but there's nothing plastic about her debut performance in the charming Australian indie The Black Balloon. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Luke Ford's performance as Charlie is a convincing tour de force. You may recall him as Brendan Fraser's heroic son in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor." Rhys Wakefield, in his first feature role, is a good casting decision, suggesting inner turmoil without overacting. show more

  • 75
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    At its sharpest Elissa Down's feature directorial debut is guided by intense, rough-edged emotional swings that feel authentically alive, even when the script settles for tidiness. show more

  • 75
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    Doesn't sugarcoat the difficulties faced by this family, but this small gem has a very satisfying ending. show more

  • 78
    Kimberley Jones Austin Chronicle

    Funny and fierce and deeply moving. show more

  • 67
    Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly

    Toni Collette gives it the old "Little Miss Sunshine" try in The Black Balloon as an edge-of-kooky, very pregnant mama presiding over a chaotic household. show more

  • 80
    Los Angeles Times

    For the most part, this unblinking family drama packs a visceral punch. Thomas' journey toward acceptance is blessedly free of noble lessons and filled with real people. show more

  • 70
    Village Voice

    Within its resolutely mainstream parameters, The Black Balloon courses with a firsthand feel for languorous Aussie summers, the shifting scales of love and hate in sibling relationships, and the earned wit that helps families cope with difficult situations. show more

  • 70
    Stephen Holden The New York Times

    Ms. Collette’s Maggie is the film's prime mover. This wonderful Australian actress, who hasn't a shred of vanity, virtually disappears into the complicated characters she plays, and Maggie is one of the strongest. show more

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