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The Black Balloon (2008)

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Elissa Down

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About the Movie

When Thomas and his family move to a new home and he starts a new school, all he wants is to fit in. But that proves difficult with his autistic brother Charlie interfering - especially when new neighborhood girl Jackie catches both brothers' eyes this heartwarming comedy-drama.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 41
  • Fresh: 36
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 7.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: The blooming puppy love between Thomas and Jackie lends The Black Balloon a welcome strain of tenderness. Mr. Wakefield and Ms. Ward project the innocence of shy, sensitive young people for whom a tentative shared kiss is a very big deal. – Stephen Holden, New York Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Toni Collette gives it the old Little Miss Sunshine try in The Black Balloon as an edge-of-kooky, very pregnant mama presiding over a chaotic household. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, Dec 29, 2008

Fresh: This unblinking family drama packs a visceral punch. Thomas' journey toward acceptance is blessedly free of noble lessons and filled with real people. – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: This auspicious Oz import is a sign of bright, young filmmaking in Australia. – Scott Foundas, Village Voice, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Beautiful. Brilliant. Perfect.

I laughed. I cried. I danced. I held my breath.
This film is brilliant and beautiful. I rented it and now I have to buy it because I know that I'll want to watch it over and over again. It had substance and relevancy and the directing is phenomenal. The cast was perfect. From the chemistry to the way the story is told, everything is so well done and wonderful to watch. Everything was perfect. I'm a huge film-goer and The Black Balloon just made it to the top section of a very long list. Rent it or buy it, Just WATCH it. You'll be glad that you did.


It's that type of show that as soon as you start you can't leave it. It's a wonderful and funny show!

can't we do better...

The first half of the movie just seemed to be one vignette after another of how the older brother is ashamed of his sibling with a disability. Yes the people I work with and love may do all of these things and more, but the way it was depicted didn't ring true, felt superficial, and made my heart sad. I didn't feel like I was watching characters with a rich full personhood, but rather a bunch of superficial traits conveyed through a laundry list of "strange things people not like us" do. I had to stop half way through.

It was nice to see the mom signing which she was talking and how she interacted at bath time. Those two things seemed more 'real', but still a bit hollow .

The Black Balloon (2008)
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2008

Customer Ratings