Putty Hill (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Putty Hill (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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 mobility around them, but united in pursuit of a shared dream. Exquisitely shot and employing surprising documentary techniques, PUTTY HILL is one of the most exciting American indie films in years. -- (C) Cinema Guild

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Critic Reviews for Putty Hill

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (11)

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…

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

August 8, 2011 | Full Review…

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 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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 | Rating: 3/4

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

April 15, 2011 | Rating: 4/4

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

April 7, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Odd mix of faux-documentary and mumblecore looks at how the death of a local teenager affects and entire town. Odd mix of faux-documentary and mumblecore looks at how the death of a local teenager affects and entire town.Its strange mix of styles is more off-putting than involving. The mumblecore masquerading as documentary feels forced rather than fluid.

Matthew Lucas
Matthew Lucas

Super Reviewer

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