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Movie Info & Cast


In summer 1979, after two years of preparations and planning, the Strezlzyk and Wetzel families want to escape from the GDR in a self-built hot-air balloon. The Strelzyk family goes first, but has to make an emergency landing before they get to cross the border. The damaged balloon gets carried away by the wind. While the family can make if back home safely, both, the Strelzyks as well as the Wetzels know it won't be long before the Stasi are onto them. Feverishly, they start building a new, more stable balloon to undertake another attempt to escape.


  • Friedrich Mücke
  • Karoline Schuch
  • David Kross
  • Alicia von Rittberg
  • Thomas Kretschmann
  • Jonas Holdenrieder
  • Tilman Döbler
  • Christian Näthe
  • Till Patz
  • Ben Teichmann

Did You Know?


  • This film depicts the construction and launching of two improvised hot-air balloons. There were actually three. The first was an utter failure, because they had utilized a cotton-based fabric that was porous and leaked air massively.
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Atom User Reviews

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Feb 20, 2020

Balloon simply doesn't feature the sort of cinematic thrills necessary to keep us fully invested in the travails of its central characters. It's not that the events are depicted in anything less than bombastic, hyperbolic fashion. It's more that the filmmaker lacks the directorial finesse to calibrate the suspense for maximum cinematic effect.

Metacritic review by Frank Scheck
Frank Scheck
The Hollywood Reporter
Feb 20, 2020

It feels like an attempt to transpose the mix of thrills and prestige of a film like “Argo” onto a different true story, a paint-by-numbers approach that’s far less compelling than drawing outside the lines would have been.

Metacritic review by Michael Nordine
Michael Nordine
Feb 20, 2020

The movie is a heart-on-the-sleeve, old-fashioned action-adventure thriller. This Balloon may not exactly soar, but it’ll give you a satisfyingly stirring ride.

Metacritic review by Alex Saveliev
Alex Saveliev
Film Threat