Putty Hill
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
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… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"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."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"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."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"There are moments of lyrical beauty and Porterfield never patronises his subjects, but a sense of tranquilised resignation dominates."
‑ Tom Dawson, Total Film
"Matt Porterfield's docu-realist indie drama is a tough, demanding watch - but also a rewarding one."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Points must be awarded for nerve, but virtually every aspect of this misbegotten film misfires."
‑ Peter Brunette, Hollywood Reporter
"It looks closely, burrows deep, considers the way in which lives have become pointless and death therefore less meaningful."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Porterfield's ingenious structural choices and the film's exemplary sense of place... [are] only enough to make the film tolerable."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"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."
‑ Jason Solomons, Observer [UK]
"Place: Baltimore. Style: mumblecore."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
"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."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
""Putty Hill" transcends the usual docudrama hybrid to occupy a thrilling third place, dreamlike and scruffy, opaque and pellucid."
‑ Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times
"We are given a realistic impression of America's disenfranchised young."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The originality here lies in the fact that the unseen director, Matt Porterfield, armed with his camera, asks them about their feelings."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"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."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
More reviews for Putty Hill on Rotten Tomatoes

More Like This

Gummo (1997)
Chop Shop
Chop Shop (2008)
Take Out
Take Out (2004)