Ballast - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ballast Reviews

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June 7, 2008
It's really just Indie Filmmaking 101; the hand-held shaky-cam work and jump-cutting go all the way back to Breathless (1959), if not a million other films.
October 25, 2008
Rating high in the unvarnished truth department, "Ballast" does not bring enough entertainment to the table to merit the price of admission. A commendable exercise in plainness does not constitute a reason to see this film.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
October 8, 2008
It's an impressive directorial debut that will leave viewers speechless at the end--not necessarily in a good sense.
March 19, 2008
Lance Hammer's Ballast suggests and suffers from the influence of the Dardenne brothers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 1, 2008
Ballast (another Frozen River, wallowing in the miseries of the underclass) is designed to provoke bourgeois moviegoers' pity.
November 7, 2008
Ballast lacks ballast. Much praised by aficionados of minimalist indie cinema -- hey, who needs a plot when you've got mood? -- it's a wearying slog through anomie in a Mississippi Delta township.
Full Review | Original Score: C
August 22, 2017
Its sense of space and time contains not only sadness and boredom, but something more curious, the resilience of newly born hope, like a slender green spike emerging out of the soil.
June 14, 2016
Ballast, if anything, is spellbound by location, and we all know what a spell will do.
March 20, 2011
This airy, quiet meditation on the struggle of three people to transcend abject poverty and unexpected loss will likely play as too dialled-down for many tastes, but persevering with it will reveal a rare, peculiar mystical quality...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
March 17, 2011
This is a director who understands that a whisper can be as powerful as a shout, and in its own quiet way, Ballast is a stunning achievement.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
May 12, 2011
With debut director Lance Hammer admirably holding on to his core values in a way that directors too easy to deliver a crowd-pleaser do not, this is a fine, low-budget independent film...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
October 30, 2008
I always say I hardly ever cry at sad films, but I sometimes do, just a little, at films about good people.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 6, 2008
Ballast is an impressive first feature.
October 31, 2008
Ballast strikes me as one of the few American pictures of 2008 to say what it wants to say, visually and narratively, about a specific situation and part of the country, in a way that transcends regional specifics.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
November 21, 2008
This ostensibly simple film evokes whole lives in 96 minutes, and does so with sparse dialogue.
August 15, 2011
Worth seeing as an example of the lengths to which a filmmaker will go to establish his career - but don't ever mistake it for sociology.
November 1, 2008
The Mississippi Delta was the birth place of the blues, and Ballast gives the region a comparable visual expression for both frustration and the resolve to survive.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
October 18, 2008
Ballast reminds us that you can find poetry in the unlikeliest and the saddest of places.
October 18, 2008
Both the script and the performances keep audiences at a distance; Hammer deliberately avoids scenes or moments that would make sympathy or identification easy.
October 18, 2008
An impressive and courageous filmmaking debut that screams Sundance for all the right reasons.
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