Ballast - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ballast Reviews

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March 7, 2017
Blistering indie about a kid drawn in by a drug gang, his mother trying to juggle working and keeping her son from the drug culture, all within the quiet of rural Missouri bleakness.
A bit confusing at the start, and a missed opportunity to be elliptical in the end, it never lags, and it draws you in to the point you can't look away.
These pensive characters offer unspoken complexities, and a part of you knows this is thinly veiled reality. The organic nature of the narrative its almost stunning to observe.
Tho not as intensely volatile as Winter's Bone w Jennifer Lawrence - a MUST SEE - but with the same style and veracity. There is also a measure of New Jersey Drive gang mentality thrown in, and no one is safe.
A solid work from a first time director.

4 out of 5 coldly overcast souls
January 11, 2014
The prevalent theme is the feeling of sadness. But there are many other minute details of the hard and rough life, broken relations, gangs, drugs and violence. All the people in the films are totally non-professionals. There is no use of background music and no artificial lighting either. The deserted lackluster landscape and surroundings add to the feeling of sadness of the characters themselves. Above all it is also a profound character study.
August 4, 2013
Intricate, detailed and beautifully filmed. You are captivated by the images and dark colours from the opening scene leaving you to thirst for more. The depth of the characters and the performances from the cast pulls you right in. A near perfect drama.
½ April 24, 2013
i guess it might have been pretty good movie, but it somehow didnt touch me..
½ January 22, 2013
One of the best and most overlooked American indies of the last decade. It's penetratingly honest and real. Excellent movie here and one you'll love if you liked Frozen River or Beasts of the Southern Wild.
December 14, 2012
I finally got to see this small American independent and it was definitely worth the wait. Set in rural Mississippi, it depicts 3 desperate and broken people in very sad circumstances. Using essentially non actors this film emits a quiet honesty and a stark honesty. Slow paced and deliberate the film uses no music, instead relying relying on the characters to push the story forward. This film I think requires more than one viewing, so I should get onto that.
October 24, 2012
A cooling, meditative experience. Transcends from pulsing tension to a thawing spiritual awakening.
September 12, 2012
Unfortunately, this film's mix was too low to be heard at full volume on my laptop. Didn't help that the dialogue was mumbled. I'd love to have seen it properly, but I don't think it would be too gripping. I don't know - it just did't grab me that much. Perhaps I need to see it again one day. Apple needs to allow their Macbooks to reach higher volumes. No one who watched this on one would see it properly.
August 21, 2012
A "searing, subtle and contemplative debut"? Maybe, if you're a white critic plagued by some sense of suburban white guilt and too scared to say "It's boring, and the characters are annoying." Beautifully shot, though.
August 5, 2012
Miserable, depressing and slow. Dont watch if your looking for action.
½ June 22, 2012
Heartbreaking and realistic. Watching this, it's hard to believe that we all live in the same country. That people like this live out their lives underneath the very same nation we are a part of. Anyway, this film is so understated and so well-done and so disturbing and surprising, it's a shame if you don't see it. So go see it.
June 12, 2012
If you're a fan of David Gordon Green or the Dardenne brothers, you should see this right now. Amazing cinematography.
November 11, 2011
Much more effective when it's working through silence than through dialogue, mainly because the nonprofessional actors aren't equipped to handle it.
½ November 8, 2011
I'm not sure if I've ever seen a film as raw as "Ballast". The image, the story, the performances', all vivid and true to reality. "Ballast" has a fuse a mile long, leading to a puff of smoke, instead of a blast of TNT. It's such a drastic change from what I'm use to seeing in cinema that I have to appreciate it (as well as enjoy it), despite it running slow at times. It's only an hour and a half long, but when you're dealing with reality-based characters in a reality-based environment you're bound to become bored like the characters every once and a while. With that being said I must go back and emphasize... the uniqueness of "Ballast" is worth the watch. You're going to be hit in the face by a soft squishy little hand of normalcy and minimalism, but it's worth experiencing... and admiring.
½ October 19, 2011
i guess it might have been pretty good movie, but it somehow didnt touch me..
Super Reviewer
½ July 17, 2011
One of those no-soundtrack, no-action, mumbling dialog dramas, this time about a penniless single mother - reclusive brother in law- errant son triangle. It did nothing for me.
July 1, 2011
Hauntingly realistic (without going too far down the violent and gritty route in the process) and moving drama which is beautifully shot. It stops short of brilliance only due to the slightly over subdued and ambiguous third act and the mumbling dialogue (I had to download subs for the damn thing).
½ May 8, 2011
Couldn't see what others are saying about this movie. The opening scenes are so slow and boring I lost interest within 5 mins. Kept going for 15 mins and then just gave up. Yawn!
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