Balibo (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Balibo (2009)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Balibo Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In the aftermath of the shooting of five Australian journalists in East Timor, a curious sixth named Roger East (Anthony LaPaglia) is convinced by charismatic acquaintance Jose Romas-Horta, a man who would prove to have a bright and influential future, to investigate the incident. Balibo is a political thriller and true-crime story based on 1975's Balibo Five executions and an ensuing 30-year cover-up. ~ Jonathan Frey, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Footprint Films - Official Site


Anthony LaPaglia
as Roger East
Oscar Isaac
as José Ramos-Horta
Damon Gameau
as Greg Shackleton
Gyton Grantley
as Gary Cunningham
Mark Leonard Winter
as Tony Stewart
Nathan Phillips
as Malcolm Rennie

News & Interviews for Balibo

Critic Reviews for Balibo

All Critics (12)

BALIBO is a gritty political thriller, based on a hardly spoken international incident which held strong repercussions in Australia, and is sure to hit a raw nerve upon its release.

Full Review… | August 3, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

...intriguing but problematic melodrama

Full Review… | June 11, 2010

This is as good as cinema gets - the story may be devastating but as a cinematic accomplishment, Balibo is something to be celebrated.

Full Review… | March 25, 2010
Cinema Autopsy

Despite Balibo's structural instability, Connolly still manages to find plenty of poignancy and to gather an emotional head of steam

Full Review… | March 20, 2010
Eye for Film

Robert Connolly has made a brave and deeply disturbing film.

Full Review… | August 19, 2009
The Australian

Balibo is a strong film, and Connolly's best to date. Despite the plaudits of many of my fellow critics, it's not a perfect film...but it's a bloody good one.

Full Review… | August 14, 2009
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Audience Reviews for Balibo

This truly riveting and important political thriller exposes without any concessions a horrendous episode in History that has been kept in silence for a long time, and it is always fluid in the way it shows us what happened to Roger East in parallel with the tragic fate of the Balibo Five.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


I'd no idea what the movie is about before watching it except that it's based on real events. And based was it!! Clarifying so at the very outset when it instead chooses to mention "This is a true story." wouldn't have helped much though. While taking inspirations from real events, the movie gets incredibly, & more importantly, unnecessarily melodramatic. It seems as if reality takes a back stage for a scripted drama, thereby rendering the main story far less interesting. I reckon that fictionalization is essential at times, but here it's overdone. Better than general Lifetime Movie, but not good enough. Of course, it's not a TV movie, but that shouldn't quite matter. While not good enough, it's tolerable enough. My experience might have been different had I not known that it's based on real events (ignorance may have adjusted my expectations), but then if it wasn't based on real events, I doubt I'd have gone for it. All talks. Give it a go or let it go. Whatever.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


It is very hard to criticize a movie with such a sensitive subject but I am here to give an honest opinion about movie quality not a statement for a political satisfaction of the governments. Three quarters of the movie are so slow that few people left the cinema, and the director was hoping that with the last quarter can have an impact on the audience to forget the first three boring parts and at the end receives a positive mark? but he couldn?t do that! The total experience was a lack of aesthetically recognizable value of any kind. As a history lesson this film has some value, as an art work, I?ll rather forget it!

Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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