The Ballad of Jack and Rose

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. Has density enough for several films. What's missing is spontaneity, and variety. And, throughout most of the narrative, velocity.
  2. Shaky story and predictable developments make this an off-key ballad.
  3. 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.
  4. 50
    Day-Lewis is as rooted as an oak in his character and milieu, yet easefully disengaged from the film's pensive histrionics.
  5. 50
    By the time it reaches its fiery finale, the film feels less mythic than self-consciously portentous.
  6. An engaging battle between terrific acting and a flawed script.
  7. 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."
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. A self-conscious attempt at the brass ring.
  11. 50
    Often seems less like a fully realized film than an illustrated story, its paragraphs reduced to neatly contrived set pieces.
  12. 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.
  13. "Velocity" told multiple stories, each lasting half an hour, but "Ballad" wears out one tale before its end.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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 »