Roger Ebert at his website:
In a way rarely seen, “Putty Hill” says all that can be said about a few days in the lives of its characters without seeming to say very much at all. It looks closely, burrows deep, considers the way in which lives have become pointless and death therefore less meaningful. It uses fairly radical filmmaking techniques to penetrate this truth, and employs them so casually that they seem quite natural.
Matthew Porterfield's film, which takes place in a poor, wooded suburb of Baltimore, involves the death by overdose of a young man named Cory. We never meet him, although we see his portrait at a memorial service. The portrait tells us nothing: He projects no personality for the camera. His family and friends gather for his funeral, and we meet them in unstructured moments that tell us much about them but little about Cory.
The sad truth is, nobody knew Cory that well.
More here. [Thanks to Akbi Khan.]