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Putty Hill (2011)

tomatometer

91

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

53

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 432

My Rating

Movie Info

A beautifully realized portrait of a close-knit community on the outskirts of Baltimore, PUTTY HILL is the second feature from celebrated young filmmaker Matt Porterfield (HAMILTON). At a neighborhood karaoke bar, friends and family gather to remember a young man who passed away. Knowing little about his final days, they attempt to reconstruct his life. In the process, they offer a window onto their own lives, an evocative picture of working-class America, dislocated from the progress and

Unrated,

Drama

Matthew Porterfield, Jordan Mintzer

Nov 8, 2011

$48.6k

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Latest News on Putty Hill

February 17, 2011:
Critics Consensus: Unknown's Plot Twists Too Much
This week at the movies, we've got a mystery man (Unknown, starring Liam Neeson and January Jones),...

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (7) | DVD (2)

This curious blend of documentary and narrative, held together less by any plot device than by a rigorous aesthetic, proves all the more effective for being in service of casual naturalism.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Points must be awarded for nerve, but virtually every aspect of this misbegotten film misfires.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Porterfield's rejection of obvious irony makes this not only a warm film, but one which shows the real face of America's poor, young and disenfranchised.

June 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With "Putty Hill," Porterfield joins the company of American indie directors Ramin Bahrani and Kelly Reichardt, filmmakers often compelled to seek out everyday souls in their textured, oh-so quotidian environs.

April 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It looks closely, burrows deep, considers the way in which lives have become pointless and death therefore less meaningful.

April 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Putty Hill" transcends the usual docudrama hybrid to occupy a thrilling third place, dreamlike and scruffy, opaque and pellucid.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While this film could win some kind of award for getting the most out of a limited budget, the low budget of the film is a handicap that isn't fully overcome. It is an experimental film that works part of the time and fails part of the time.

February 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Porterfield's ingenious structural choices and the film's exemplary sense of place... [are] only enough to make the film tolerable.

January 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

We are given a realistic impression of America's disenfranchised young.

November 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

There are moments of lyrical beauty and Porterfield never patronises his subjects, but a sense of tranquilised resignation dominates.

July 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

American indie film has been lost in the murk of the mumblecore student scene recently but with Putty Hill, I felt a real thrill that something new is stirring.

June 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

The originality here lies in the fact that the unseen director, Matt Porterfield, armed with his camera, asks them about their feelings.

June 17, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Matt Porterfield's docu-realist indie drama is a tough, demanding watch - but also a rewarding one.

June 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Place: Baltimore. Style: mumblecore.

June 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

The fatal misstep, I think, is his decision to ask the characters questions from off camera, documentary style, so characters look directly into the camera to answer.

May 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

It's a film for patient moviegoers. But for those moviegoers, it stands to be a rewarding experience.

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune
Times-Picayune

A creative and risky blend of a character-driven drama and a documentary about some alienated working-class people in a slummy suburb of Baltimore.

February 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

unquestionably the best American film I've seen thus far this year

February 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for Putty Hill

"Putty Hill" is a low key and naturalistic movie that takes place after Cory has overdosed at the age of 24. As we find out through interviews conducted with various characters(by director Matthew Porterfield which are reminiscent of Peter Watkins' historicals), there is a lengthy history of violence and early deaths in this Baltimore neighborhood, not to mention prison sentences.(Even the play is violent in the early paint ball scene.) Violence is so commonplace that a group of high school girls are merely inconvenienced when they have to vacate a park after an armed robbery in the area. So, it is ironic that the one thing to bring everybody back together is a funeral, including Zoe(Zoe Vance) who is uneasy in her return from Delaware. And the final sequence serves to bring events full circle, just as the characters simply go round and round in their lives.
February 21, 2011
Harlequin68
Walter M.

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