thinkfilm | Release Date: August 11, 2006
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 243 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
193
Mixed:
27
Negative:
23
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10
TyPApr 26, 2009
In my top 5 movies of all time. Captures a lifestyle in an subtle, accurate, and painful piece of art.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
3
JeremyW.Oct 13, 2006
Did any of you high score mopes actually see this film? I like Ryan Gosling a lot, he is a great CANADIAN actor. This film was boring. I didn't experience any emotional highs or lows during this film. Movies these days are not doing much for me
1 of 1 users found this helpful
2
PaulS.Feb 19, 2007
Boring, slow, vapid movie with unsatisfying content. Glad Gosling can portray a psychologically and spiritually empty teacher but who cares.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
8
jzmeMar 18, 2012
One of my favorite movies! It is fresh, non-cliche, indie and touching at the same time. Ryan Gosling's performance is phenomenal, I'd say the best among all his other movies. I like how innocent and genuine Epps' performance was as well.One of my favorite movies! It is fresh, non-cliche, indie and touching at the same time. Ryan Gosling's performance is phenomenal, I'd say the best among all his other movies. I like how innocent and genuine Epps' performance was as well. Breath-taking! Characters are beautifully portrayed. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
3
[Anonymous]Feb 9, 2008
It's an OKAY movie. But it is by no means an exceptional, or even impressive movie. Americans are too race-obsessed. The leader of the free world is at heart a bigoted, racist, sexist, classist society and nation. And that's why It's an OKAY movie. But it is by no means an exceptional, or even impressive movie. Americans are too race-obsessed. The leader of the free world is at heart a bigoted, racist, sexist, classist society and nation. And that's why this movie received such accolade and high ratings. Because Americans think it is "deep". Actually, it's just the shallowness of their egalitarianism that makes any mediocre movie about equality, freedom or, especially, race somehow worthy of note. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
1
JackCOct 18, 2006
Noting that a movie "feels real" has nothing to do with anything. If I want "real" I'll read a newspaper. This film is yet another illustration of how low our cultural commentators have sunk in applying any kind of critical faculty to Noting that a movie "feels real" has nothing to do with anything. If I want "real" I'll read a newspaper. This film is yet another illustration of how low our cultural commentators have sunk in applying any kind of critical faculty to so-called art. This has been over-praised beyond belief, as it's really an After School Special that's "dark" instead of "light." The filmmaking? Egregious. Easily digestible "lessons" that falsely inspire are not my idea of good movie making. And "Half Nelson" is so cod "edgy" that it makes "Crash" look like "Taxi Doctor." Awful. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
3
MaseOct 25, 2006
Every once in awhile a movie comes along with near unanimous praise that emo is pure junk. Indie junk is what Half Nelson is. Bordering on torture, everything done here has been done before and far better. Gosling does nothing here to Every once in awhile a movie comes along with near unanimous praise that emo is pure junk. Indie junk is what Half Nelson is. Bordering on torture, everything done here has been done before and far better. Gosling does nothing here to warrant the praise he is receiving. This is perhaps the most boring, overrated movie of the year. "Sherryberry" was similar content and far superior. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
5
SteveB.Sep 21, 2006
Once again, a "great performance" does not make a great movie. Also once again, like a lot of other current "edgy" movies, the film just starts at a point and ends at another point, with no particular plot, resolution, or conclusion.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
3
FrancisM.Sep 3, 2006
All of the critics who gave this a high rating must have been given drugs before they watched it.The main character is an unsympathetic self-centered drug addict. The movie moves at a snails pace with zero character development and long All of the critics who gave this a high rating must have been given drugs before they watched it.The main character is an unsympathetic self-centered drug addict. The movie moves at a snails pace with zero character development and long stretches where pretty much nothing happens.The acting is uninspired. Long baleful looks and vacant stares with little meaningful dialogue is not great interpetation of anything- it just means you have done too many drugs and your brain is fried.If the movies aim is to make doing drugs into some kind of meaningful social statement it fails miserably. It has however a powerful anti-drug message. Do drugs and you will become a boring monosyllabic idiot incapable of leading any kind of normal life. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
3
LanceD.Mar 31, 2007
I struggled to finish this movie. It felt like it was a 3 hour epic. Gosling is terrific, but the movie just drags. There was about 45 minutes of a movie here. Go figure, a typical liberal crackhead ripping our administration in a time of I struggled to finish this movie. It felt like it was a 3 hour epic. Gosling is terrific, but the movie just drags. There was about 45 minutes of a movie here. Go figure, a typical liberal crackhead ripping our administration in a time of war. That is the primary reason Hollyweird critics raved about this should have been made for TV movie. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful
10
KeithK.Oct 20, 2007
Excellent. Guess the naysayers needed a few car chases or something to explode. Turns the teacher pic on its ear with intelligence and subtlety. They key to the film is the relationship between Gosling and Epps. Gosling continues to Excellent. Guess the naysayers needed a few car chases or something to explode. Turns the teacher pic on its ear with intelligence and subtlety. They key to the film is the relationship between Gosling and Epps. Gosling continues to establish himself as an heir to Brando, De Niro, Pacio, and Penn. A near perfect film whose regulation will only grow with time. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ChrissySOct 19, 2006
Sooooo good.. when a movie still has me engaged hours after it has ended, you know it's a real winner!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RGDec 30, 2006
Yes it sounds like a cliche when a white teacher is teaching in an urban middle school but this movie is anything but. every scene strikes a careful balance of poignance and unpredictability. the movie captures the subtle acts that play out Yes it sounds like a cliche when a white teacher is teaching in an urban middle school but this movie is anything but. every scene strikes a careful balance of poignance and unpredictability. the movie captures the subtle acts that play out between a very unlikely friendship that forms from being frustrated with just about everything. gosling shows again he is one of the best actors right now, check the Believer and the very underated Stay. Epps is a revelation as a new actress, where she plays the thirteen yr old student being sucked in by the drug life and Mackie is perfectly casted as the neighbourhood provider. the material is handled perfectly by bodn and fleck as they dance between the frustration with politics and the notion of one man making a difference. the movie does not assign good or bad to the characters and lets the audience flow in the frailties and strengths of one. a top contender for movie of the year, dont miss it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
SamB.Aug 29, 2006
This film was incredible. Anyone who says there is no resolution is a fool who is incapable of identifying subtlety. I wouldn't dare ruin the ending for those who haven't seen it. The score is haunting and adds a whole other level This film was incredible. Anyone who says there is no resolution is a fool who is incapable of identifying subtlety. I wouldn't dare ruin the ending for those who haven't seen it. The score is haunting and adds a whole other level to the beauty of the film. And the ....... from the New York Post who said it had tons of filler doesn't understand that those things were all working towards the way the resolution works out. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
MichaelMSep 10, 2006
Outstanding example of American indie filmmaking. This film explores and embraces both the strengths and flaws of humanity. All the performances were a revelation.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
GeorgeD.Sep 18, 2006
Gosling is dead-on. This is the most fuly realized performance of the last 5 years (at least). Hate to use a reviewers cliche, but Epps is luminous. There's not a false step in the whole movie. Can't wait to see what Fleck and Gosling is dead-on. This is the most fuly realized performance of the last 5 years (at least). Hate to use a reviewers cliche, but Epps is luminous. There's not a false step in the whole movie. Can't wait to see what Fleck and Boden do next. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BronwenM.Sep 21, 2006
Amazing!!! This movie has inspired me. Ryan gosling is king!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
FredoI.Mar 12, 2007
Compared to the recent rest of films, this is leaps and bounds beyond in quality of writing, acting, and directing.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
DavidT.Apr 4, 2007
Great Acting...Great Soundtrack!!! I would question the purity of the character development throughout the progression of this film leaving very little to be resolved when all is said and done! I was there would have been more of a Great Acting...Great Soundtrack!!! I would question the purity of the character development throughout the progression of this film leaving very little to be resolved when all is said and done! I was there would have been more of a conclusion when the movie ended but sometimes films are better that way...left open for interpretation! There are some "VERY" gripping moments in this film...largely set up by the wonderful soundtrack! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
ThomasH.Jan 7, 2008
Beautifully put together. Loved Ryan Gosling's character.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
johnwSep 11, 2006
[***SPOILERS***] The shocker is not the crackhead teacher. Why has nobody mentioned the blatant suggestions of pedophilia?
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
CailinD.Sep 15, 2006
Stunning, simple movie. Ryan Gosling gives a brilliant performance.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MichelleC.Sep 16, 2006
Ryan Gosling is Amazing!! His delivery is so good you need to remind yourself that he isn't really a crack-head teacher. The rest of the movie is cast equally well and the script is practically flawless. Only thing I would have changed Ryan Gosling is Amazing!! His delivery is so good you need to remind yourself that he isn't really a crack-head teacher. The rest of the movie is cast equally well and the script is practically flawless. Only thing I would have changed is the handheld camera work which was a little too rough. A film not to be missed. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
AdamM.Sep 27, 2006
I had heard only wonderful things, only to be let down. The acting was wonderful as was the directing, but the story lacked those moments that separate good films from a great ones.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
JayW.Sep 6, 2006
Nicely done take on important Black cultural issues, wrecked by the filmmaker's preoccupation with the angst of a spoiled, self-centered crackhead (and that's the teacher), supposedly so good at what he does that he doesn't Nicely done take on important Black cultural issues, wrecked by the filmmaker's preoccupation with the angst of a spoiled, self-centered crackhead (and that's the teacher), supposedly so good at what he does that he doesn't need no stinkin' lesson plans, and whose class preparation time is taken up bar-hopping, buying dope and using dope. As far as the real problems of educating the urban poor, well, who's got time for reality? (If you liked the pretentious "Crash" you'll love this one.) Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JosephR.Sep 8, 2006
Human. Ryan Gosling is fantastic and transcends a character with as many dimensions as I've seen this year. Great score. Emotions were ripped from me and I really liked it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohnESep 8, 2006
Finally something interesting out there to go see. Very well acted by Ryan Gosling!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
CarolineP.Mar 10, 2007
Spectacular performances from Gosling and Epps - hard to watch, but well worth it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ConanP.Mar 2, 2007
This movie is so significant to our time, and reflects the cultural difference we all suffer.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BlakeJ.Mar 26, 2007
The most original and well acted movie to come out of 2006. Ryan Gosling's performance is so incredibly realistic it would have been a sin not to nominate him for the Oscar. The Academy failed to see Mr. Gosling's talent, but I did not.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
DianeD.Mar 4, 2007
Teacher is a semi-functioning crack addict. Student is a drug runner. Clearly, that's the basis for their bond. Our only clue that teacher may ever redeem himself is that he shaves off his beard in the end. Student says, "You missed a Teacher is a semi-functioning crack addict. Student is a drug runner. Clearly, that's the basis for their bond. Our only clue that teacher may ever redeem himself is that he shaves off his beard in the end. Student says, "You missed a spot." The whole movie missed a spot. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
ChadS.Mar 5, 2007
"Half Nelson" pisses all over the film tradition in which a white teacher saves black people from themselves in the inner-city. Like "Something New", this is something new, something truly iconoclastic. As Mr. Dunne(Ryan Gosling) teaches his "Half Nelson" pisses all over the film tradition in which a white teacher saves black people from themselves in the inner-city. Like "Something New", this is something new, something truly iconoclastic. As Mr. Dunne(Ryan Gosling) teaches his students about dialectics, so do the filmmakers for its viewers. Late in the film, this lesson becomes very pronounced in the editing; the concept of dialectics becomes a part of the film's language. But "Half-Nelson" isn't a success because its makers probably majored in English("Half-Nelson['s]" theme is not dissimilar to Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"). This wonderful film has a heart in the best sense; it's humane. "Half-Nelson" is a correction to how the American cinema has often portrayed race; the revelation of this film is that white people need black people, too. There's no caste system in "Half Nelson". Try watching a film like "Dangerous Minds" now. Michelle Pfeiffer is too perfect; there's an unattended condescencion that creeps into her good intentions. The scene in which Dan goes to confront Frank is amazing. It's a scene we're so familiar with, but in the hands of filmmakers who know what dialectics is; everything old is new again. "Half Nelson" is one heady film, a triumph. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MarkM.Mar 9, 2007
If you need a movie that is easy to watch, with one-dimensional characters and a saccharine sweet ending that's visible from the parking lot, then this is not your film. However, if you like movies to be staggeringly realistic then see If you need a movie that is easy to watch, with one-dimensional characters and a saccharine sweet ending that's visible from the parking lot, then this is not your film. However, if you like movies to be staggeringly realistic then see it. Half Nelson proves that occasionally there is a reason to go to the theatre, and generally, it's for a film that cost less than a million-dollars to make. What Gosling, Epps, and Mackie do here is amazing. It is more like watching a documentary then a fictional story. Why does the teacher have to redeem himself? Too many movies end by trying to make the viewer feel better, well life doesn Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
SelinaBSep 15, 2007
Such a rich and complex film (unlike so many Hollywood offerings). The beauty of this film comes as much from it's clever script (and what is left unsaid), as the ability of the two leads to carry it. Wonderful acting. Wonderful movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JuanV.Jan 5, 2008
Very good movie which is out of every-time-seen same stories and demagogy.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
DougT.Jan 5, 2009
Sorry I can't even watch this film. It looks great - the writing seems superb - however, the shaky camera is making me sick. I could not get more than 15 minutes into the film.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
DZNov 1, 2006
Thankfully we have The NY Post who continues to present its stature at the grade six level. If superficial comments, and obvious observations that allude no insight into the actual depth of a movie, are labeled as good film criticism, then Thankfully we have The NY Post who continues to present its stature at the grade six level. If superficial comments, and obvious observations that allude no insight into the actual depth of a movie, are labeled as good film criticism, then categorizing various best sellers as literature would be acceptable. What the NY Post did not inform its readers of is that the supposed fillers provided us with symbolism. What is symbolism? Sixth grade students would modestly define symbolism as reading between the lines. In factuality those fillers provide us with the exact thought of what is the issue between education. Why is is that students are in school and they cannot define opposition (opposing forces)? A lack of education. Ironically, New York, is a state where various high intellectual newspublications such as the Times, and New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, and let us not mention the NY Post are published. With such informative and eudcation journals and prints as the three mentioned, why is it that our children do not focus on civics, history, and social scienes? Why is it that our children are sitting at lunch, hungry, while discussing issues of which girl is more attractive, of which teacher is married, and of which outfit is more extravagant? Why is it that the film particularly focuses on African-Americans lack of education and a substantial amount of these, at a young age as provided, are out on the streets, late at night, selling narcotics? Why is it that three years prior the American government, during Hurricane Katrina stated that ridding of the lower-ninth-ward (an area in New Orleans that houses the poorest of African-Americans) is a benefit towards the state government? Is it in fact that these sociological issues are being presented to us? Utilizing the logic of the Post, these issues presented to us are fillers. These topics mentioned are only one-tenth of what themes, and issues the movie tackles. Ryan Gosling among the elite of acting in contemporary North America (His talent equivalent to that of Edward Norton) provokes pure realism in his performance. A subtle yet astonishing performance of high calibre. Perhaps the Academy will skip, or forget to send out a nomination, yet this is amongst the finest performances of this year, on par with Joseph Gordon Levitt in Brick. Wonderful to see that a performer of young age utilizes his talent, and illuminates the pages into extraordinary images of this plain Social Studies teacher. His addiction is nothing but a mere metaphor for melancholy and boredom of the human soul; this alludes to his relationship with the young African American girl, where they embark on no imaginative missions, no rescues, no cliched tales; just life. A very depressing, yet equally subtle film on one of the millions of things a human must work on: one piece of themselves. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
SafooraSOct 2, 2006
Could have been a great movie if the class lectures had more depth. The shaky camera made it difficult to watch for me so I couldn't look at the screen when there was a lot of movement but the best thing about the movie anyway was the Could have been a great movie if the class lectures had more depth. The shaky camera made it difficult to watch for me so I couldn't look at the screen when there was a lot of movement but the best thing about the movie anyway was the fantastic range of emotional expressions on Gosling's face. I can't think of many young actors today whose close ups would stand up to this kind of intensity. Superb acting by Gosling. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MisaelS.Oct 5, 2006
The best American film of the year thus far. Yes, it's better than United 93 and Little Miss Sunshine.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BryanW.Aug 14, 2006
The best film at Sundance 2006. Amazing performances. Amazing filmmaking. Background provided by Broken Social Scene. Can't recommend this highly enough.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
M.J.Aug 19, 2006
a fine piece of realism that stays light years away from absolute declarations on what's: good, bad, definitive, etc.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JonAug 26, 2006
some of us have been there and this film feels real.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JamieBarkerSep 15, 2006
A perfect film- graceful in spite of itself- Half Nelson lacks nothing in its true-to-life portrayal of a young teacher in Brooklyn. Everything, including a moving soundtrack featuring Broken Social Scenes, moves flawlessly.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JonL.Sep 23, 2006
Very satisfying. Subtle in a good way, deep, multi-leveled, with great performances. Deeply touching. Well worth seeing (which is unfortunately rare these days). Kudos to the filmmakers!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
FP.Sep 7, 2006
Good film - realistic rendering of yearning, suffering and learning.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ElissaG.Jan 23, 2007
Ryan Gosling rocks, totally inspiring and touching, an inspirational film with none of that "A Walk to Remember" gush.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
TylerP.Jan 6, 2007
I thought this was a pretty moving film. I loved the entire feel of the movie and its lack of urgency. If you want an open and shut plot with gripping suspense throughout the duration of the film, this one isn't for you. It's I thought this was a pretty moving film. I loved the entire feel of the movie and its lack of urgency. If you want an open and shut plot with gripping suspense throughout the duration of the film, this one isn't for you. It's definitely a love/hate flick and I really enjoyed it but it certainly won't appeal to everyone or even most people. Too many indie movies try to go "outside the box" just for the sake of going against the grain or defying Hollywood. Half-Nelson retains a unique identity without feeling forced or fake. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AllistairP.Feb 13, 2007
Like many others have said, this movie isn't daring and this movie isn't cliche. It's one of the few films I've seen where the medium of film is for once truly justified; Something I hardly think about when watching a Like many others have said, this movie isn't daring and this movie isn't cliche. It's one of the few films I've seen where the medium of film is for once truly justified; Something I hardly think about when watching a movie. I can see this story on paper and go "eh", but on film it captures all these subtle naunces and magical moments that reminds you of why film is so great on such a base level. It's incredible because it seems all this movie wants to be is mediocre but it's too smart to play so dumb. In my top 5 of '06 and I'm sure it'll be in everyone else's too if they see the damn thing. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
RyanM.Feb 20, 2007
There is no story here and no plot development. Very disappointing, considering all the reviews I've read. Gosling and Epps are flawless, and save this movie from being a complete waste.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
DanielJ.Mar 10, 2007
It's a low-key independent film, muted and restrained in its emotionas. It's also empty. I got excited about seeing it because the word of mouth was pretty hot, all about how Gosling is going to be an actor in the vein of Johny It's a low-key independent film, muted and restrained in its emotionas. It's also empty. I got excited about seeing it because the word of mouth was pretty hot, all about how Gosling is going to be an actor in the vein of Johny Depp, a pretty boy who does it for the art. But it's closer to Brad Pitt, who choses movies with self-depreciating scenes of him getting his ass kicked, just becaues he thinks he looks cool getting his ass kicked. Half Nelson is just as much a vanity project for Gosling as the films that the big stars like Tom Cruise handpick for themselves when they decide to be a Samurai or a Special agent. They're painting a picture over tiem of their own persona from a pallette of exagerated fantasies. Half Nelson is the same thing, only on a small scale, using junkie chic. Every choice, from Gosling's calculator watch, to his shirts, to the ironic and conspicuous use of tighty-whitey underwear, is designed to add hipster aestheitc to a movie that is nothing but hipster aesthetic. What is consistent about the movie is that the character is full of it. He has the kind of hint of ideals that the word "psuedo" was invented for. The moments in the movie that ring true are when he's getting high and tells someone "the kids keep me grounded." As intended, it rings so false, like he's said it countless times for calculated effect. I don't know if the film makers set out to make a vapid movie about a vapid person Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JulieS.Mar 17, 2007
Haunting. Very close to perfect casting and acting.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
D.L.B.Mar 29, 2007
Great performance by Gosling. Would have liked just a little more redemption.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BobP.Mar 7, 2007
Half Nelson is an amazing movie full of heartbreak and a few amusing moments. Ryan Gosling plays his most interesting role yet and proves to be the actor to watch. Shareeka Epps is intriguing! Half Nelson gets two thumbs up from me!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
GinaB.Aug 12, 2007
Ugh. Thank God (!) there are some people here who feel how I do. I thought I was crazy, my friend who gave it to me was on the verge of an orgasm talking about how great it is. Ah! I just finished watching it and I have this awful, anxious, Ugh. Thank God (!) there are some people here who feel how I do. I thought I was crazy, my friend who gave it to me was on the verge of an orgasm talking about how great it is. Ah! I just finished watching it and I have this awful, anxious, empty feeling and I even fast-forwarded through the last 45 minutes of the movie. It is empty and bad and slightly more than an hour (with the fast-forwarding) of my life I would like back. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
AlexF.Aug 18, 2007
Much about nothing. "History" lessons - just a revisionist perversion, without any connection to the cracpot-hero. No action, slow, boring, not believable.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AlanF.Sep 12, 2007
I watched Fracture the night before with gosling playing a yuppie lawyer from the south. Then I was amazed to see him give such amazing performance in Half Nelson. One of the best performances by a young actor in years.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
BettyF.Oct 13, 2006
Stunning performance by the two main characters, Oscar nod to Shareeka Epps, powerful story of the strength and power of a friendship with all it's ups and downs.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
idigressOct 18, 2006
Superbly acted by the lead characters.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
EvanAug 25, 2006
Great perfomances, but there was no resolution.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
MarcK.Sep 27, 2006
I'll give my props to Epps and Mackie for their performances, but certainly not for Gosling, who is inexplicably receiving raves. His role as the "white teacher in an urban setting" is ridiculously clichéd. I found the film to be I'll give my props to Epps and Mackie for their performances, but certainly not for Gosling, who is inexplicably receiving raves. His role as the "white teacher in an urban setting" is ridiculously clichéd. I found the film to be slow and uninteresting. It's one thing to see a below average film....but it's a huge disappointment when the below average film is one that is receiving a super-high MetaCritic rating. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
VickyKOct 17, 2007
By far Ryan's best movie yet. The acting and storyline was superb! Had a lot of suspense which really kept you intrigued! ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
TROct 27, 2007
If you're looking for deep acting styles and subject matter, than go for it. If you're looking for an inspiring movie, pass this crap by. I picked this up for my wife and I to enjoy what was blurbed to be a "heart warming" story of If you're looking for deep acting styles and subject matter, than go for it. If you're looking for an inspiring movie, pass this crap by. I picked this up for my wife and I to enjoy what was blurbed to be a "heart warming" story of triumph, and instead it was a crap and depressing story of drug use and sex, abuse and all other kinds of human trash that ended our night in the worst mood ever! Wish we turned the stupid movie off in the first 10 minutes, cause the damn mood never changed. I can't believe it got 2 thumbs up...this is the kind of crap that we need less of, cause it shows nothing positive...NOTHING! The damn movie ended with no resolution to the crap that this relentlessly evil teacher was doing. WASTE OF TIME. You want good...rent "Fracture" with this Gosling guy. He was great in that. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
JamesB.Feb 25, 2007
Hated it. Druggie movie about nothing. Saw it on DVD and walked out.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
AnnaMar 11, 2007
patient yet relentless. gosling's portrayal of a man torn between his ideals and existence was definately oscar-nomination wothy.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
ErinB.Mar 23, 2007
This movie is amazing...It is time for Hollywood to start portraying real life situations. Ryan Gosling's performance was unreal and major props to Shareeka Epps.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
RobApr 12, 2007
UNBELIEVABLE movie - better than I expected! There are some golden moments between Ryan Gosling and in my opinion, the real star, Shareeka Epps in this movie. Epps performance stood toe-to-toe with Gosling in my opinion.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
PiaV.May 22, 2007
Awesome movie. Wonderful acting by Gosling.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
MikeD.May 25, 2007
Can't believe anyone is raving about this dog. I suppose Mr. Gosling does a good job, but what about plot? Characters? Story line? Message? A point? Some compelling reason to keep watching this bore of a movie? I saw none of the above.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
BKMJan 27, 2012
Half Nelson may not be as edgy and complex as it sees itself, but it is still a tough little film about the opposing forces constantly at work within each of us and the struggles we face to change. It also benefits from a strong performanceHalf Nelson may not be as edgy and complex as it sees itself, but it is still a tough little film about the opposing forces constantly at work within each of us and the struggles we face to change. It also benefits from a strong performance by Ryan Gosling. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
eliteco3Feb 22, 2013
A fantastic movie that has the patience to let the characters develop from beginning to end. The start of the movie is Ryan Gosling. An Oscar should be store for him after this superb performance.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
AlexSAug 9, 2011
A superbly acted,character-driven film,it's incredibly unsentimental and always moving.Ryan Gosling is scarily good. Shareeka Epps' performance is surprisingly mature and compelling.Fully satisfying drama.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
j30Feb 13, 2012
A close to perfect film with a wonderful acting job from Ryan Gosling. He's turning into one of the great actors from this generation.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
TTW107Apr 8, 2012
Ryan Gosling manages to give us one of his best performances as the protagonist crackhead...yea, that must be hard to pull off. haha. There really isn't much story but in a sense that makes it all the more realistic to me. A lot of moviesRyan Gosling manages to give us one of his best performances as the protagonist crackhead...yea, that must be hard to pull off. haha. There really isn't much story but in a sense that makes it all the more realistic to me. A lot of movies exaggerate reality to make it more exciting which is certainly okay sometimes. The one critic that gave it a bad score on this site said that the classroom scenes are just filler. It's a movie about a basehead who has no friends and along the way becomes close with/looks out for one of his students. So the classroom scenes are filler huh? Well all he does is get high and teach so there's not really more of his life to be on film plus don't we need to see the way he interacts with his students to get to know more about his relationship with drey? Kyle Smith of the New York Post, I know being a critic is a hard job because it's just opinions but come on man, that is just ridiculous. Expand
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4
nascentJan 12, 2012
Another cliché-ridden generic drug-related high school movie. The only positive is Gosling's acting, if only the script was worthy of his casting....
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7
beingryanjudeSep 1, 2014
Some may call this Ryan Gosling's breakthrough performance--it's revolutionary and I agree undoubtedly. This sad but touching tale of friendship exceeds expectation.
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8
SpangleJun 18, 2016
A great indie character study, Half Nelson paints a heartbreaking picture of two people from different worlds that find themselves in tough times. Together, they rely on one another with mutual respect and compassion. Without one another, whoA great indie character study, Half Nelson paints a heartbreaking picture of two people from different worlds that find themselves in tough times. Together, they rely on one another with mutual respect and compassion. Without one another, who knows what would become of them. Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps turn in very good performances here in this really sad and moving film. Well-written and well-directed, Half Nelson does a great job creating multidimensional characters that help to bring their stories to life. With good pacing, it really keeps your attention as you watch these two fall down the rabbit hole into more and more trouble. Plus, I really like the ending. Will they change? Will they stay the same? It is up to you based on what you know of these characters and I enjoyed that ambiguity. Overall, Half Nelson is an engaging and realistic film of addiction in the inner city. Expand
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2
AladdinStardustMar 31, 2013
A bland soup of smug. As edgy as a satsuma and embarrassingly reverent. Half Nelson flogs a dead horse into a cliche paste. Ryan Gosling smoulders vacantly, as he is wont to do.
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8
ypomoniJul 5, 2013
Excellent acting all round. Two unlikely people come together: a teacher who can't find any meaning in his life and a young girl who has seen all the male figures in her life disappoint her. It's sounds far-fetched, but it's surprisinglyExcellent acting all round. Two unlikely people come together: a teacher who can't find any meaning in his life and a young girl who has seen all the male figures in her life disappoint her. It's sounds far-fetched, but it's surprisingly realistic. It's slow, but its worth seeing. Expand
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7
Meth-dudeJul 10, 2016
Ryan Gosling is a great actor and he proves it once again with Half Nelson. The acting was overall good. and the story was interesting.It was maybe a little bit too long for it's own good and it may be quite boring at times but, it's still aRyan Gosling is a great actor and he proves it once again with Half Nelson. The acting was overall good. and the story was interesting.It was maybe a little bit too long for it's own good and it may be quite boring at times but, it's still a good movie. Expand
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9
section20mi6Feb 14, 2018
The film itself consists of a very simple plot but it delivers the level of emotions that are so heart-wrenching for the audiences. While our two main characters try to connect with one another, existing barriers prevent them from reallyThe film itself consists of a very simple plot but it delivers the level of emotions that are so heart-wrenching for the audiences. While our two main characters try to connect with one another, existing barriers prevent them from really understand or shape each other's behavior until they realize that both of them should be there for each other rather than avoiding the fact that they need to act responsibly. Expand
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8
amheretojudgeJun 14, 2018
screeches onto one's heart through ethereal morale..

Half Nelson The premise is way too practical to breed the crisp out of the script and the makers being aware of it doesn't spend time on it and instead focuses on its meticulous yet bold
screeches onto one's heart through ethereal morale..

Half Nelson

The premise is way too practical to breed the crisp out of the script and the makers being aware of it doesn't spend time on it and instead focuses on its meticulous yet bold character's that helps flow the process smoothly without any friction. There is a nerving sensibility pulsating behind the screen throughout the course of the feature, which builds itself up to this hegemony of dramatic conflicts that starts begging the existence of the character's purpose which communicates and connects immensely with the viewers. It is short on technical aspects like sound department and editing, although is beautifully shot with amazing camera work. Ryan Fleck; the director, has done a tremendous work on executing the anticipated vision and creating a perfect arc for the protagonist that even though is predictable, is certifiably entertaining and electrifying. The performance objective is in safe hands of Ryan Gosling who pulls it off brilliantly as a questionable and not-at-all-lovable character that sweats and struggles, creating a much larger impact on the audience. Half Nelson screeches onto one's heart through ethereal morale by shifting the seats and depicting each individual's perspective that all culminates into one big hug for the viewers, actors, makers and society that connects it all.
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5
tylerkellrMar 29, 2018
Half Baked. Ryan Gosling is absolutely incredible in his role, as is the young lady who stars alongside him, but the story often feels very rote, and there's not much resolution to really satisfy the viewer.
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9
MelanieStaffordFeb 17, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Movie review: Half Nelson

Directed & written by Ryan Fleck and Anna Broden, Half Nelson is a 2006 drama set in Brooklyn NY. White teacher Dan Dunne (played by Ryan Gosling) develops a multi-faceted relationship with one of his black students Drey (played by Shareeka Epps). While teaching, Dan proposes a theme of opposite forces in a dual with each other throughout history. This duality and interactive dynamics is reflected in his relationship with Drey, a young black teenager developing her sense of self and connection to the world. As a progressive and nurturing teacher, Dan is one of her sources of influences. Dan also struggles with addictions, which encroaches more and more on his life as the film goes on. This leads to Dan and Drey’s worlds colliding in a powerful way that leaves them both rattled. Half Nelson should be watched by social work students for at least the five following reasons. Roles and Identity
Despite similarities, this movie is no where near the white hero teacher trope. Early in the film, teenager Drey finds her teacher smoking crack in the girls locker room. This leads to a scene where she is taking care of her white adult teacher. Her stoic expression & corn rolls depict strength, and his unboundaried and reckless drug use depicts the opposite. Intersectional Black feminism would be useful here in reflecting on the multi-directional nurturing role, while considering dimensions of power, age, ethnicity, class and role. Relationships to Drugs
The historical relationship between crack and Black neighbourhoods make for a potent source of insights with a white main character addicted to it. In keeping with the films theme of oppositional forces, Frank, a black neighbourhood acquaintance of Drey is a drug dealer. Each adult offers a complexity of care and support towards Drey; while having an unmanageable addiction, Dan offers knowledge and wisdom to Drey that lead to a scene where Drey tells Dan “You have so many books about black people. Can I borrow one?”. This speaks to realities of euro-centric education systems, where Afro-centric knowledges have to be sought out. Brilliant direction
From the opening scene, teacher Dan is portrayed as a boy sitting on the floor wearing tighty whities. A buzzing alarm rings, perhaps representing adult responsibilities, and Dan’s inability to assume some of them. This scene evokes knowledge about trauma informed practice, where sometimes avoidant, defiant & impulsive behaviours can give us clues as to the wounds experienced by an individual. Much of the film is depicted using hand held cinematography, giving the viewer a sense of immersion & sometimes nervousness, lived alongside the characters. Imagery is artfully used to expand our senses, which offers social working viewers vast & vivid emotional responses. Critical thought
In class, Dan’s history teaching is progressive and left leaning. He encourages critical thought, including a scene where he shows a video that talks about “the machine”, which represent various systems of interdependent oppression. This prompts a student to note “Aren’t you the machine? You’re white and a part of the school?” and Dan responds
“Why yes I am. Everything is opposing forces.” The historical themes seamlessly shared throughout the film link up to social workers responsibility towards social change. Interconnected oppressions
During an intoxicated night out, Dan rants about the state of the world and feeling inconsequential in it. The scene ends with him holding onto a stranger like a child holds onto his mom. In the most powerful scene, both main characters find each other at their lowest. Following a family diner, Dan is using in a hotel room with strangers, and in walks Drey selling drugs. The actors brilliantly evoke devastation & defeat without any words. References:

Patricof, J. Orlovsky, A. Howell, L. Boden, A. Korenberg, R. (Producers). Fleck, R. (Director). (2006). Half Nelson. [Motion picture]. United States: ThinkFilm
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