Bubble (2006)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: This rigorously stripped down, seemingly mundane little film still manages to be engrossing and creepy.


Movie Info

Steven Soderbergh followed up his slick, star-studded sequel, Ocean's Twelve, with Bubble, a small-town drama about workers in a doll factory, played by a cast of unknowns. Martha (Debbie Doebereiner) seems to have acclimated herself to a very simple life. She works at the factory, where she eats lunch with a younger co-worker, Kyle (Dustin Ashley), and goes home to take care of her elderly father. Her routine is disrupted when an attractive young woman, Rose (Misty Wilkins), is hired at the … More

Rating: R (for some language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Coleman Hough
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 31, 2006
Box Office: $70.7k
Runtime:
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site

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Cast


as Martha's Dad

as Kyle's Mother

as Detective Don

as Pawn Shop Owner

as Factory Supervisor

as Officer Williams

as Officer Davis

as Officer Williams

as Officer Smeeks

as Hairdresser

as Nail Shop Owner

as Martha's Neice

as Waitress

as Officer Anderson

as Officer Morris
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Bubble

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (38)

Bubble is best considered as a failed-but-occasionally-nifty experiment.

Full Review… | November 27, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

The local atmosphere, filmed on the Ohio-West Virginia border, is rigorously authentic and so is the cast, none of whose members have acted before.

Full Review… | October 14, 2006
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

I was blown away.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There's an honesty in what Soderbergh's camera has captured that, while not real in the strictest sense of the term, is nevertheless true-to-life.

Full Review… | February 16, 2006
ReelViews
Top Critic

It's not really interesting enough to warrant a regular run. But it's worth a one-shot 73-minute outing on the program of your local festival.

Full Review… | February 10, 2006
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

These conversations are about as deadly dull as any dialogue I've ever heard even in the earliest talkies.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
New York Observer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bubble

½

Coming off the heels of Ocean's Twelve, Steven Soderbergh opted for something different with this little indie gem.

This movie did something rather unprecedented by being released in theaters and on demand the same day, and then straight to DVD just a few days later. Why? I dunno. It's kinda cool though. That's not the only unconventional aspect of this production though.

This is the story of three employees at a doll factory in a small midwestern town. They live simple lives, barely scrape by, and slowly find themselves shaken out of their comfortable world when their routines change just a bit, especially in the case of one of them.

That's pretty much it, really. There's not much of a plot, and where there is, doesn't really come about until about 60 minutes into this 73 minute picture. There's no script, with the dialogue being improvised based off of an outline, and the actors are all local non professionals who use their own houses (clothes (I'm guessing), and kids. Soderbergh also acts as his own DP and editor, using various synonyms, although this isn't anything new for him.

The film is all about a sense of realism and authenticity, but I think it might get a little too real times. It's not a documentary, but it really feels that way, though somewhat stylized just a bit.

This is a quiet, almost eerie look into the ordinary and mundane lives of average citizens, and...it's pretty good. Yeah, it is rather slow and uneventful, but this is basically what it would be like if reality TV were, you know, real.

I liked this movie, but I think I respect it more. Despite not much going on, it is kinda unnerving. The end is a little bit rushed, but it does get somewhat fixed thanks to a deleted scene. Overall though, I applaud the performers for being so trusting, and I likewise give many props to Soderbergh for the nuanced way he paints these people. I say people instead of characters because it really feels like the most realistic thing I've ever seen.

This is definitely some very indie and artsy stuff, so if you're not into that side of Soderbergh's work, then skip it. If you dig this side of him, or it just sounds intriguing in general, then yeah, give it a look.

cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

"Another Steven Soderbergh Experience"

Bubble is a film that won't be appreciated by your friends. You know, the people who watch two types of movies; either stupid comedies with Will Farrell or Adam Sandler or dumb action movies like The Fast and the Furious. Bubble is one of Steven Soderbergh's experiments and a fascinating one at that. When Soderbergh does a movie like this; it brings to mind only one other filmmaker. That would be Gus Van Sant. They both can successfully take random people who aren't actors and throw them into a movie, eliminate all the gimmicks of standard filmmaking, and make a movie that is extremely real. Bubble is like Van Sant's Paranoid Park. Both if which are amazing.

Bubble is set in a shitty Ohio town; just slightly worse then the one I have to look at every day. The movie centers around three characters who work at a doll factory. When the new girl, Rose goes out on a date with an fellow employee, she leaves another worker, Martha, to babysit her daughter. The date goes good and she is dropped off at home, where her ex barges in saying she stole from him. From there it is a small time crime mystery that is about more then just a murder. The story is excellently told with little excitement, just like it would be in real life.

It's a simple movie with a delicate touch. The actors are real people using real dialogue, and less acting and more just going about their day. The only music in the movie is during little scenes where we watch a character do something, and the music is as simple as some chords played on an acoustic guitar. The film is also extremely short at 73 minutes, which plays right into the style and simpleness of the film itself.

You have to really like experimental, art films to like this one. It surely isn't for everyone, but if you are a fan of Soderbergh and experimental films in general, you can't go wrong here. It's a truly excellent little movie that proves that Soderbergh is more than an average director(although he already proved that many times over), and that he is an artist and visionary. Movies like Bubble explain why Soderbergh is one of my favorite directors around at the moment.

blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Where "Full Frontal" (also written by Coleman Hough) was Steven Soderbergh's ode to Polish meta-narrative and "Ocean's Twelve" was his valentine to Jean-Luc Godard, "Bubble" is Soderbergh's neorealism tribute. Employing non-actors (whom are all extremely potent) and filming in a real, decaying Ohio town (a doll factory is at the center) Soderbergh proves how deadly the banal black holes of middle American can be in the 21st century. Watching as these people are ripped from their lives by impulsive crime (there is more going on here than just the murder for attentive viewers) is oddly harrowing. Steven Soderbergh has proved that he can deliver slick Hollywood entertainment like "Ocean's Eleven" and "Erin Brockovich" but it's the fact that he is able to pull off films like "Bubble" that prove he is a true filmmaker and artist. This is yet another truly unique Steven Soderbergh experience.

stevenecarrier
Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

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