Balthazar (re-release) Image
Metascore
100

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

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  • Summary: Robert Bresson's 1966 film focuses on the story of the donkey Balthazar and the people around him.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. If in Bresson's films nothing ever seems out of place or superfluous it's because he strove to find the essential truth of the image. Not an image or sound is wasted -- or offered up in self-glorification -- and from such seeming simplicity there arises a world of feeling.
  2. 100
    Perhaps the greatest and most revolutionary of Bresson's films, Balthazar is a difficult but transcendently rewarding experience, never to be missed.
  3. 100
    To cut to the chase, Robert Bresson's heart-breaking and magnificent Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) -- the story of a donkey's life and death in rural France -- is the supreme masterpiece by one of the greatest of 20th-century filmmakers.
  4. The final scene of Balthazar's demise is one of cinema's most moving and haunting moments.
  5. 1966 French masterpiece -- the finest, most deeply personal work of a filmmaker who has been compared, justifiably, to both Dostoyevsky and Bach.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    To see Au Hasard Balthazar is to understand the limits of religious literalism in movies -- the limits, even, of movies themselves. Bresson pares everything away until all that's left are the things we do and the hole left by the things we could have done but didn't.
  7. 100
    Bresson suggests that we are all Balthazars. Despite our dreams, hopes and best plans, the world will eventually do with us whatever it does.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22
  1. IraM
    Feb 12, 2007
    10
    I just purchased this movie. I have seen it twice now. Religous allegory and painful realism in one movie. Not quite as surreal as Bunuel or I just purchased this movie. I have seen it twice now. Religous allegory and painful realism in one movie. Not quite as surreal as Bunuel or Fellini, more subtle. What stikes me as strange are the events that never take place on screen. On the first viewing, I thought that maybe I wasn't paying attention close enough. I guess that is a part of the mystery, though. I loved the party scene with the fireworks. This is a subtle, sad masterpiece. Expand
  2. Sep 30, 2010
    10
    A film that a sum of people would be turned off by, Balthazar touches the heart instantly after the 3 minute mark as it tells a tale about theA film that a sum of people would be turned off by, Balthazar touches the heart instantly after the 3 minute mark as it tells a tale about the life of a donkey suffering a powerful experience you don't want to miss. Collapse
  3. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    There is no hope in this movie, the only thing Bresson offered to us is the truth of life by providing the devastating reality in the mostThere is no hope in this movie, the only thing Bresson offered to us is the truth of life by providing the devastating reality in the most honest way. There was not a single existence of any form of "babblings" in this film but only the "picture" to express one significant message of how uncontrollable life could possibly be--in the end nothing can stop that process and -the world will treat us whatever it treats, undeniably. It's a revolutionary film that is highly capable of allowing the viewers to experience another whole different aspect or sense of "life" that they might never experience before. The Finest French Phenomenon Film. Expand
  4. May 4, 2013
    5
    It has some compelling scenes. It also has some pretty sloppy film-making; though on the flip-side, it's enjoyable to watch what can beIt has some compelling scenes. It also has some pretty sloppy film-making; though on the flip-side, it's enjoyable to watch what can be accomplished on a low budget. I'm not sure I'm convinced that reflections on the pain that life can serve are more valuable than celebrations of the joy that can be found. It's interesting, but to my mind, not great. Expand
  5. Dec 2, 2014
    5
    I read the critics reviews and couldn't wait to see this film. I cannot believe that I was watching the same film that had been so loved byI read the critics reviews and couldn't wait to see this film. I cannot believe that I was watching the same film that had been so loved by all the critics.... 100/100??

    This is a drab and rather boring film, the acting is poor throughout, the story-line is broken and disjointed and I really found it difficult to persevere to the end of this film without falling asleep. I can only imagine that the critics are rating this movie based upon the genre as an art-house movie, art but with few other redeeming qualities. There are some decent elements to this, but I really struggle to give it better than an average rating.
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  6. JohnQ.
    Mar 23, 2004
    2
    Why would you want to feel the agony of existence?
  7. Oct 3, 2011
    0
    Simply disliked it, however, everyone say itervs just awesome, My wife and I don't think so, I felt asleep, however, I must say that theSimply disliked it, however, everyone say itervs just awesome, My wife and I don't think so, I felt asleep, however, I must say that the acting and the effects are... good... I think so... or maybe bad. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews