6 Balloons

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6 Balloons
6 Balloons poster.jpg
Official poster
Directed byMarja-Lewis Ryan
Produced by
Written byMarja-Lewis Ryan
Music byHeather McIntosh
CinematographyPolly Morgan
Edited byBrian Scofield
  • Campfire
  • Free Association
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • March 12, 2018 (2018-03-12) (SXSW)
  • April 6, 2018 (2018-04-06) (United States)
Running time
74 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States

6 Balloons is a 2018 American drama film written and directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan and starring Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco, Charlotte Carel, Madeline Carel, Dawan Owens, Jen Tullock, Maya Erskine, Tim Matheson and Jane Kaczmarek.

The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 12, 2018. It was released on April 6, 2018, by Netflix.


Katie (Abbi Jacobson) is preparing a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend Jack (Dawan Owens). While setting the celebration up, she exhibits Type-A quirks and consistently attempts to keep things on schedule. As her mother Gayle (Jane Kaczmarek) and her friends continue to set-up, Katie goes to pick up the cake and stops to pick up her brother Seth (Dave Franco) and his young daughter Ella along the way. After observing his unopened mail, Katie suspects that Seth has relapsed in his heroin addiction.

Katie drives around town trying to find a detox center after Seth's previous one denies his insurance. Soon after sending Seth to a downtown detox center in a taxi and returning to the party with Ella, Katie receives a call that Seth is unable to be admitted. Katie finds Seth in a sickly state and continues to search for a center throughout the Los Angeles area, missing Jack's arrival to the surprise party. Seth pleads with Katie to buy heroin for him for pain relief. In a homeless area, Katie finds heroin for Seth, which is packaged in six balloons. Katie returns to the car and Seth asks her to go back and buy a needle from a man living under a tarp. Katie says no. So he begs her to go to a pharmacy.

At the drug store, the pharmacist realizes that Seth is a heroin user and gives Katie the key to the bathroom where she changes Ella, asking Seth not to use very much before Seth shoots up. Seth becomes revitalized and the three depart. Before leaving Seth hands Katie the key to the bathroom and laughs about her having to bring it back to the now closed Pharmacy. After Katie gets into an argument with the pharmacist and throws the bathroom key at the pharmacy door setting off the alarm, she runs back to the vehicle and before leaving the pharmacy backs into a light pole. While returning to the party, Katie jokes with Seth and they retrieve the cake. Seth promises that his latest injection is his final use of heroin.

Back at the party, Katie's parents and Jack realize Seth is under the influence given his giddy behavior. They confront Katie over the night's events and she assumes guilt. Seth leaves Ella in the back yard while he leaves to use, leaving Ella to look for him. After family confronts Katie about Seth using, she finds Seth, who is injecting again in her car, and tells him that she will no longer take care of him, insisting that the only way for him to kick his addiction is for himself to check-in to rehabilitation without her help.

Katie, no longer burdened, steps out of the car into a night sky filled with fireworks.



In October 2016, Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco, Tim Matheson, and Jane Kaczmarek joined the cast of the film, while Marja-Lewis Ryan will direct the film from the screenplay she wrote.[2] Samantha Housman, Ross Dinerstein, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan will produce the film under their Campfire and Free Association banners respectively.[3]


Principal photography began in October 2016.[4]


The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 12, 2018.[5] It was released on April 6, 2018.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 86% based on 28 reviews, and an average rating of 6.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Delicately sketched but thematically rich, 6 Balloons rises on Abbi Jacobson's gripping performance -- and marks writer-director Marja-Lewis Ryan as a talent to watch."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]


  1. ^ "6 Balloons". SXSW Schedule. South by Southwest. Archived from the original on February 1, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Coit, Casey (October 11, 2016). "Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco and Jane Kaczmarek to Star in Netflix Heroin Drama '6 Balloons'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  3. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 11, 2016). "Netflix Sets 'Broad City's Abbi Jacobson & Dave Franco For Heroin Drama '6 Balloons'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  4. ^ Jenna (October 12, 2016). "6 Balloons Movie Filming Locations". On Set Hollywood. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  5. ^ Galuppo, Mia (January 31, 2018). "SXSW: Emily Blunt's 'A Quiet Place' to Open Fest". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  6. ^ "6 Balloons". Netflix. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  7. ^ "6 Balloons (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "6 Balloons Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 9, 2018.

External links[edit]