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Balseros Reviews

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Adam Nayman
eye WEEKLY

Unravels in too many different directions.

Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY | Original Score: 2.5/5

July 25, 2003
Bill Stamets
Chicago Reader
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Despite the heroic exertions of the rafters and filmmakers, this apolitical film is oddly lacking in drama.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 18, 2010
Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
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Old news for anyone who has seen even one or two documentaries on similar subject matter.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

October 2, 2003
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Hangs on to a sense of hope and promise, even in the face of disaster, that can only come from the people themselves.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 3/4

February 5, 2004
Eric D. Snider
EricDSnider.com

Here are a handful of fairly ordinary people who happen to be from a crippled island with a deteriorating economy, who earn our sympathy just by being themselves.

Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com | Original Score: B

May 18, 2004
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

Hats off to directors Carles Bosch and Josep M. Domench for creating this documentary about a complex and important subject.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice

July 25, 2003
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The documentary is remarkable in how it personalized this human tragedy.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B

December 25, 2003
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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Offers a fascinating perspective on the U.S. -- a paradise at once cold and abundant where, for all the emphasis on family values, the individual reigns supreme.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

July 22, 2003
John Anderson
Newsday
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Technically astounding, the emotional equivalent of a raft on high seas, Balseros ultimately feels perfectly true, precisely because it ended up the opposite of what it started out to be.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 4/4

July 24, 2003
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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A heart-rending account of people trying to dodge the hurdles that politics puts in front of them.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 4/4

March 19, 2004
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

The filmmakers truly understand the symbolic struggle of Cubans trying to escape their island home's political and economic suppression.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 4/4

July 23, 2003
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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Well-done documentary.

| Original Score: 3/4

November 9, 2003
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

Poignant, spirited, revealing.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: 3/4

October 23, 2003
Maria Garcia
Film Journal International

Wisely employing no narrative voice, Bosch and Domenech do a remarkable job of cinematic storytelling.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

July 19, 2003
Dave Kehr
New York Times
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A coherent and emotionally satisfying tale.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

July 24, 2003
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Once viewers get to know the balseros as individuals, rather than by a label thrust upon them by desperate circumstances, it's interesting to see how close to -- or far from -- their dreams the American experience takes them.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 4/5

July 25, 2003
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
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While uneven, occasionally confusing and rough-edged, the documentary achieves a rare depth and intimacy in its portrait of dreams fulfilled and shattered.

July 31, 2003
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Despite its unique Cuban elements, Balseros gets much of its power from the way it turns out to be a classic story of immigrants coming to a golden land and finding the streets paved with baser materials.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

October 2, 2003
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Illustrates the pain and anguish of the 1994 Cuban rafter exodus.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 31, 2003
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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An eloquent, nonjudgmental examination of the immigrant experience.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

February 5, 2004
Howard Feinstein
Variety
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September 9, 2009

AV Club
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July 24, 2003

Boston Phoenix
March 21, 2004

Time Out
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January 26, 2006
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