80

Los Angeles Times

For the most part, this unblinking family drama packs a visceral punch. Thomas' journey toward acceptance is blessedly free of noble lessons and filled with real people.
Full Review
78

Austin Chronicle

By Kimberley Jones
Funny and fierce and deeply moving.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Walter Addiego
It's compassionate but unblinking.
Full Review
75

New York Post

By Lou Lumenick
Doesn't sugarcoat the difficulties faced by this family, but this small gem has a very satisfying ending.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Luke Ford's performance as Charlie is a convincing tour de force. You may recall him as Brendan Fraser's heroic son in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor." Rhys Wakefield, in his first feature role, is a good casting decision, suggesting inner turmoil without overacting.
Full Review
75

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Phillips
At its sharpest Elissa Down's feature directorial debut is guided by intense, rough-edged emotional swings that feel authentically alive, even when the script settles for tidiness.
Full Review
70

Village Voice

Within its resolutely mainstream parameters, The Black Balloon courses with a firsthand feel for languorous Aussie summers, the shifting scales of love and hate in sibling relationships, and the earned wit that helps families cope with difficult situations.
Full Review
70

The New York Times

By Stephen Holden
Ms. Collette’s Maggie is the film's prime mover. This wonderful Australian actress, who hasn't a shred of vanity, virtually disappears into the complicated characters she plays, and Maggie is one of the strongest.
Full Review
70

The Hollywood Reporter

Much has been made of supermodel Gemma Ward's doll-like features, but there's nothing plastic about her debut performance in the charming Australian indie The Black Balloon.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
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.
Full Review
68 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.