Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
Watch On
  1. Miller's theme is innocence, the loss of it, and the reclamation of equanimity in the face of that loss, and the music she makes is haunting.
  2. Powered by an exceptional performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, this artfully disturbing film is a compelling, imaginative look at the potent emotional bond that forms not between romantic lovers but between fathers and daughters.
  3. 88
    A stinging elegy for lost American dreams.
  4. Daniel Day-Lewis may be one of our great actors, but he trips over a few Method-acting speed bumps in wife Rebecca Miller's third writer-director effort.
  5. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    Day-Lewis, who imbues Jack with a ravaged, Keith Richards charisma, is once again extraordinary.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    The film doesn't scale Shakespearean heights, but it does give its star a nicely gnarled ogre to play.
  7. 80
    A fascinating, highly literate film.
  8. Doesn't succeed in everything it sets out to do, which is a lot. But as a statement about the death rattle of 60s counterculture it's both thoughtful and affecting, and Daniel Day-Lewis is mesmerizing.
  9. Smart and engrossing, if too heavy on the symbolism at times.
  10. 75
    Camilla Belle is an impressive newcomer - this could be her breakthrough appearance.
  11. A difficult movie. Its obvious, heavy symbolism, glaring soundtrack and top-heavy themes threaten to make it implode, but it's saved by its performances.
  12. 75
    An absorbing experience.
  13. A gut-punch of a movie, a potent, mesmerizing drama.
  14. We leave this movie hoping to see Miller and Lewis together again soon.
  15. 70
    One of those passionately atmospheric movies, like Jane Campion's "The Piano," that sounds idiotic on paper, but whose ambiance, charged with eros, rage, regret and optimism, is strangely moving.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    63
    One of those novelistic independent films more concerned with atmosphere and character than the particularities of narrative, where contemplating the backstory is more satisfying than anything we see.
  17. Phenomenal acting, plus intelligent direction and themes, put The Ballad of Jack and Rose above other indie films about loss of innocence. At the same time, there is something garish about watching a father and daughter struggle with the snake of incest in their ill-advised Garden of Eden.
  18. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    63
    If one enjoyed manufacturing symbols as much as Miller, one might speculate that Rose is Rebecca Miller, aching to be her own artist, and Jack is Arthur.
  19. But the film disappoints, partly because it inspires such large expectations.
  20. Has density enough for several films. What's missing is spontaneity, and variety. And, throughout most of the narrative, velocity.
  21. Shaky story and predictable developments make this an off-key ballad.
  22. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    Well-wrought individual scenes and sharply focused acting provide Rebecca Miller's third feature with a measure of gravity, but too much abrupt, even melodramatic behavior and undigested psychological matter leave nagging dissatisfactions.
  23. 50
    Day-Lewis is as rooted as an oak in his character and milieu, yet easefully disengaged from the film's pensive histrionics.
  24. 50
    By the time it reaches its fiery finale, the film feels less mythic than self-consciously portentous.
  25. An engaging battle between terrific acting and a flawed script.
  26. 50
    I feel prodigious emotion underneath the pretty, preserved features of The Ballad of Jack and Rose, channeled into a vehicle that's a half-successful imitation of "You Can Count on Me" or "In the Bedroom."
  27. Strong performances and Miller's equivocal stance toward her characters save the movie from its symbolic overload and melodramatic crash course, but in the end there may be less here than meets the eye.
  28. 50
    If only Miller's writing had some human zest. Nearly everybody here is crunchy, salt-of-the-earth organic, and off in a dreamland.
  29. A self-conscious attempt at the brass ring.
  30. 50
    Often seems less like a fully realized film than an illustrated story, its paragraphs reduced to neatly contrived set pieces.
  31. 50
    Miller has crafted some intriguing, complex characters and stranded them in a muddled story that doesn't know quite what to do with them.
  32. "Velocity" told multiple stories, each lasting half an hour, but "Ballad" wears out one tale before its end.
  33. Reviewed by: Jeremy Mathews
    40
    Might not have been a bad film if its characters never said anything and some obnoxious visual metaphors were removed.
  34. Ms. Miller has attempted to elevate a small Oedipal story about two damaged souls into a grandiloquent epic, Shakespeare by way of Bob Dylan. She misses by a significantly wide mark, largely because she loves her monster too much and his victim too little.
  35. 30
    Some good Bob Dylan songs are called in to underline the big moments, but end up eclipsing them instead. There's more drama and insight in a snippet of "One More Cup Of Coffee" than the entirety of Jack & Rose.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Mar 31, 2013
    6
    The acting by über method actor Lewis and Belle is very believable, but the story of these somewhat hippy-like nature people was difficult toThe acting by über method actor Lewis and Belle is very believable, but the story of these somewhat hippy-like nature people was difficult to identify with for me personaly. This fact also made it feel longer than the 107 mins it lasts. It's a good movie for the right kind of people, but just not for me Full Review »
  2. AmurabiM.
    Aug 16, 2006
    6
    Charged of forced symbolism, the third feature of Rebecca Miller feels a little bit contradictorial. Yes, we have a Oedipal story (in this Charged of forced symbolism, the third feature of Rebecca Miller feels a little bit contradictorial. Yes, we have a Oedipal story (in this case, an Electra Complex) with a little twisted, provoking and dsiturbing touch. We have the idea of a metaphor of love between fathers and daughters and the reactions in front a change. But we have too, some kind of pretentiousness; a kind of artistic snobism and some indie cliches. Rebecca Miller have the sense to use some great actors (including Jena Malone, Jason Lee and Paul Dano) to make the story believable and real. The trouble comes with the sense of the script, thet looks a little bit self conscious of its pomp and arrogance. We enjoy the pace, yes, but we feel a little bit saturated of intelectualism as a trick to cover the flaws of the narrative. In a general sense, regular. Full Review »