Balseros Reviews

Top Critic
Bill Stamets
Chicago Reader
March 18, 2010
Despite the heroic exertions of the rafters and filmmakers, this apolitical film is oddly lacking in drama.
Top Critic
September 9, 2009
Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 19, 2004
A heart-rending account of people trying to dodge the hurdles that politics puts in front of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Jonathan Curiel
San Francisco Chronicle
March 5, 2004
A seven-year time lapse that's full of drama, poignancy and some heartbreaking moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 5, 2004
An eloquent, nonjudgmental examination of the immigrant experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
November 9, 2003
Well-done documentary.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 31, 2003
Illustrates the pain and anguish of the 1994 Cuban rafter exodus.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 2, 2003
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 | Original Score: 4/5
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Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
October 2, 2003
Old news for anyone who has seen even one or two documentaries on similar subject matter.
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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
July 31, 2003
While uneven, occasionally confusing and rough-edged, the documentary achieves a rare depth and intimacy in its portrait of dreams fulfilled and shattered.
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Dave Kehr
New York Times
July 24, 2003
A coherent and emotionally satisfying tale.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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John Anderson
Newsday
July 24, 2003
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 | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic

AV Club
July 24, 2003
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
July 22, 2003
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.