Ballast - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ballast Reviews

November 18, 2011
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
March 16, 2011
Although the film never fulfils the promise of its elliptical, mysterious opening - the drama occasionally lacks momentum as it proceeds towards some sort of resolution - there's no denying its intelligence, compassion and assurance.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 21, 2008
Debut writer/director Lance Hammer has rendered [Ballast] with something that can only be called radiant austerity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 21, 2008
This ostensibly simple film evokes whole lives in 96 minutes, and does so with sparse dialogue.
November 21, 2008
This is a cinematic tone poem, where the dominant mood is a Faulknerian mix of sorrow and endurance...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 14, 2008
What this unclassifiable story may lack in decibels, it has in emotional depth.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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
November 7, 2008
This austere, rigorous film has a sense of place, a feeling for reality so compelling it makes us feel like we're living it, not just watching on a screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
November 6, 2008
Ballast is an impressive first feature.
October 31, 2008
The movie is a beacon of independent filmmaking, not simply because Hammer opted more or less to self-distribute it, but because it's evident that we're a million miles away from Hollywood.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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
October 30, 2008
Lance Hammer shot this debut feature in natural light, using nonprofessional actors, and with its jump cuts, music-free soundtrack, and plaintive Mississippi Delta landscapes it seems as raw as the characters' emotions.
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
October 18, 2008
An impressive and courageous filmmaking debut that screams Sundance for all the right reasons.
October 18, 2008
Hammer, whose blunt name belies the movie's many subtle touches, has his own distinct style. He also has an enormous trust in the audience to sort out this wounded family's miseries without the assistance of narration or even a musical score.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 17, 2008
Ballast is truly a winter's tale, set in a bleak and rainy corner of the Mississippi Delta and recounting the story of three African Americans teetering on the edge in just about every way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 2, 2008
There's a terrific short film buried in Ballast.
Read More | Original Score: B-
October 1, 2008
As the movie comes into focus, you feel the lives of the characters echoing backward through time.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
October 1, 2008
Ballast is a serious achievement and a welcome sign of a newly invigorated American independent cinema.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
October 1, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 22, 2008
An extraordinary debut.