Big stars, big flops: Colin Farrell disappoints in the sub-Tarantino hit-man movie In Bruges.
Big stars, big flops: Colin Farrell disappoints in the sub-Tarantino hit-man movie In Bruges.
Two hours of this?: Jack Black chews up scenery, and then some, in Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind.
Two hours of this?: Jack Black chews up scenery, and then some, in Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind.

Ballast is a movie marked by the most unusual mix of inspirations: Charles Burnett's impressionistic renderings of black American life, the Dardenne brothers' neo-realist city symphonies, and Mexican director Carlos Reygadas' ecstatic widescreen exploration of rural vistas. But Hammer has digested those influences and formed from them a wholly original meditation on lost souls trying to gain a foothold in a bleak, treacherous landscape. It is, I think, the single most impressive film to première at Sundance since Half Nelson in 2006, and the high-water mark by which all others in and out of this year's competition should be judged.

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