The Black Balloon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Black Balloon Reviews

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Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International
December 8, 2008
Small Aussie family drama about a likeable teen's acceptance of his severely disturbed older brother is a sweet and sunny charmer that will be a tough sell at theatres but should find its way home to smaller screens.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 5, 2008
This small gem has a very satisfying ending.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
December 5, 2008
This unblinking family drama packs a visceral punch. Thomas' journey toward acceptance is blessedly free of noble lessons and filled with real people.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
December 5, 2008
The blooming puppy love between Thomas and Jackie lends The Black Balloon a welcome strain of tenderness. Mr. Wakefield and Ms. Ward project the innocence of shy, sensitive young people for whom a tentative shared kiss is a very big deal.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Nora Lee Mandel
Film-Forward.com
December 5, 2008
Director/writer draws on her personal experiences with frank honesty to lift this up from just another heartwarming movie about a family living with a special-needs teen.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Geoff Berkshire
Metromix.com
December 4, 2008
Feels stitched together from countless coming of age tales and dramas with mentally impaired characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
December 4, 2008
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.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
December 4, 2008
A touching Australian film about a young man's coming-of-age and the re-negotiation of his relationship with his older autistic brother.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 3, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
December 3, 2008
Elissa Down's semi-autobiographical film always manages to counter its indie clichés with a sober sense of the volatility that comes from living with an autistic individual.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Village Voice
December 3, 2008
This auspicious Oz import is a sign of bright, young filmmaking in Australia.
Prairie Miller
NewsBlaze
November 29, 2008
The Black Balloon is such a gracefully conceived film, yet crafted with a raw, unflinching honesty exploring the simultaneous sorrow and joy that can define severe family afflictions.
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve
November 20, 2008
Where Baz Luhrmann's 'Australia' is bloated, this Aussie pic is a look at a single family in a suburban Australia town, a group that are alternately heartwarming and frustrating.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Russell Edwards
Variety
October 18, 2008
Collette acts as an anchor for the ensemble, but the young leads credibly hold their own onscreen.
Frank Hatherley
Screen International
October 18, 2008
The youth-oriented movie introduces a glowing young Australian actress with true star potential -- the international model Gemma Ward.
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
August 17, 2008
Tackles a serious theme with energy and what sometimes feels like too much hilarity. But as the story deepens, it really gets hold of us.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Margaret Pomeranz
At the Movies (Australia)
March 19, 2008
It's a very auspicious debut for this young Australian filmmaker.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Megan Lehmann
Hollywood Reporter
March 6, 2008
Young love triumphs in a terrific Australian indie that deals with autism in an authentic, unsentimental way.
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
March 3, 2008
A deeply personal film for writer/director Elissa Down, The Black Balloon is a gentle yet unflinching look at a family strained by the pressures of caring for an autistic teenager.
Top Critic
Anna King
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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