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In the movies, autism is often shown as a fairly harmless disorder that comes with a side order of special abilities. Not in this Australian drama: severely autistic Charlie can be fun to be around on his good days, but his horrifying bad ones bring his family close to breaking point. Both his mother and his teenage brother Thomas are left struggling, although in Thomas' case at least there is Jackie, the one girl at school who doesn't treat him as an outsider. The Black Balloon can be a tough watch at times, but it also finds moments of hope without getting sappy.
Tom Hanks won his second Oscar for this performance as a kind-hearted man-child who lives an amazingly eventful life in post-war America.
11–16 years 136 mins
Gilbert looks after his mother and younger brother, with his job under threat, in this touching drama of young responsibility.
11+ years 118 mins
Charlie Babbitt gets more than he bargained for when he kidnaps his autistic brother for his inheritance in an entertaining, touching drama.
14+ years 127 mins
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