User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9

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  1. Jan 3, 2012
    With no hip hop soundtrack or flashy editing, Ballast is one of the truest portraits of family dynamics and seemingly real characters (which is hard to find in hollywood's portrayal of black people) This film is completely absorbing and natural and never falls into independent filmmaking stereotypes neither (sure, it's quiet but it is for a reason rather than using silence as a cover up for a lack of ideals) Also the cinematography is amazing, no shaky "indie" camera work. It proves that just because a film has no budget it does not have to look like it. Collapse
  2. May 31, 2011
    Director Lance Hammer tells a quiet and personal story, with amazing performances by non-actors. Director of photography, Lol Crawley, beautifully moves the story along with an even more personal handheld camera, documenting the empty Mississippi delta. Ballast is a tragically unheard of film which will always remain a gem to those who have viewed it.

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Jeremy C. Fox
    What they produced is something that is true not just to this place or to these people's lives, or to the lives of poor people or black people, but to the experience of being human.
  2. Working with non-pro actors, Hammer pulls authentic performances from the trio that are at times almost too painful to witness.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    A rock-ribbed sense of committed, personal cinema and a core belief in people being able to pull themselves out of misery supports Ballast, an extraordinary debut by editor-writer-director Lance Hammer.