Balloon (2019)

Balloon (2019)

Balloon (2019)

Two families attempt to escape across the East German border during the Cold War in a hot air balloon in this German true story drama-thriller.

"The summer of 1979. Families Strelzyk and Wetzel want to escape Eastern Germany and delve into the freedom of the West. The two families have forged a daring plan: in a self-constructed hot air balloon, they want to fly across the border at night. When finally the weather conditions are ideal, they are ready to set off; however quite a few things go wrong and the balloon crashes just before it reaches the West German border. The Stasi find traces of the attempted escape and immediately begin an investigation, leaving the two families to build a new balloon under immense time pressure. As the Stasi close in with each passing day, a nerve-wracking race against time begins." (Zurich Film Festival)

2019Rating: M, Violence125 minsGermanyGerman and English with English subtitles
DramaThrillerTrue Story & BiographyHistoricalWorld Cinema

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Balloon (2019) / Reviews

Film Threat

Film Threat

Quite entertaining, anchored by solid performances, and a contagiously well-meaning spirit.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

There is nothing objectionable about (Balloon), but there's nothing particularly exciting about it, either.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Lacking the nail-biting suspense that the story would seem to call for, Balloon quickly deflates.

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Variety

Variety

While handsomely made, (Balloon) undersells the fascinating true story of two families escaping the GDR.

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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Herbig and his team prove to be especially adept at contriving situations where anything anyone does causes fear... leaving everyone, very much including the audience, existing on the knife's edge of unremitting tension.

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Boston Globe

Boston Globe

The fact that it's based on a true story... does not make up for the amassing of red herrings, close calls, and occasions for head-scratching.

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Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

The film is a solid political thriller, with good edge-of-the-seat tension if you don't mind everything slightly over-cooked.

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The Australian

The Australian

The film's main strength lies in its convincing depiction of what it was like to live under the restrictive totalitarian state that was East Germany.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

Herbig directs every scene with an overcranked mania, accompanied by a blaring Zimmer-esque score that thinks it's part of the buildup to a Navy Seals assault on an Indian Ocean pirate ship.

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