Ballast (2008)

In the cold, winter light of a rural Mississippi Delta township, a man's suicide radically transforms three character's lives and throws off-balance what has long been a static arrangement among them. Marlee is a single mother… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 1, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 10, 2009
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A searing debut by director Lance Hammer, this subtle and contemplative Mississippi set drama lingers long after its conclusion.

Geoff Andrew
Time Out

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.

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

This is a cinematic tone poem, where the dominant mood is a Faulknerian mix of sorrow and endurance...

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Nathan Kosub
Stop Smiling

Ballast, if anything, is spellbound by location, and we all know what a spell will do.

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Peter Howell
Toronto Star

Debut writer/director Lance Hammer has rendered [Ballast] with something that can only be called radiant austerity.

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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

What this unclassifiable story may lack in decibels, it has in emotional depth.

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

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.

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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

This ostensibly simple film evokes whole lives in 96 minutes, and does so with sparse dialogue.

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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

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.

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Brandon Judell

His brilliant "Ballast" was as much a hit in Seattle as it was at Sundance.

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More reviews for Ballast

Flixster Audience Score: 71% Flixster User Reviews
Bruce Bruce
This movie is from Kino International which carries the best in world cinema. Its also a winner of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. As with most Films from Kino… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]"Ballast" starts with John (Johnny McPhail) checking on his neighbor Lawrence(Michael J. Smith Sr.), concerned since he has not… More
Tim Sigur
I liked the film a lot, but felt that there was something missing. So many things happen in the first half of the film that it;s a little jarring. As you keep… More
John Ballantine
Very difficult film to find which is unfortunate. The relationships are real and moving. One can imagine so many families living on the edge of povery in this… More
William Dunmyer
[size=3]"Ballast," the stunning and beautifully titled debut film from writer/ director [b]Lance Hammer[/b], attracted a lot of attention at this… More
Lesley N
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… More