Garden State (2004)



Critic Consensus: Delivering a quirky spin on familiar twentysomething tropes -- with a cannily-placed soundtrack -- Garden State has enough charm to mark a winning debut for first-time director Zach Braff.

Movie Info

Andrew Largeman shuffled through life in a lithium-induced coma until his mother's death inspired a vacation from the pills to see what might happen. A moderately successful TV actor living in Los Angeles, "Large" hasn't been home to the "Garden State" in nine years. But even with 3,000 miles between them, he's been unable to escape his domineering father Gideon and the silencing effect he's had on his son from afar. Stunned to find himself in his hometown after such a long absence, Large finds … More

Rating: R (for language, drug use and a scene of sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Directed By: , , , , , ,
Written By: Zach Braff
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 28, 2004
Box Office: $26.7M
Fox Searchlight - Official Site


as Andrew `Large' Large...

as Dr. Gideon Largeman

as Dr. Cohen

as Diego

as Olivia

as Aunt Syliva Largeman

as Mrs. Lubin

as Titembay

as Karl Benson

as Handi-World Cashier

as Restaurant Manager

as Young Hollywood Guy

as Obnoxious Girl

as Gleason Party Drunk

as Neurology Receptioni...

as Teen in Hallway

as Man Having Sex

as Peeping Tom
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Garden State

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Critic Reviews for Garden State

All Critics (187) | Top Critics (40)

Feels too piecemeal and ultimately inconsequential to grab the public where it counts.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

This is a movie where 'sensitivity' and 'sincerity' are signposted by songs by Paul Simon and Nick Drake, which I guess says it all.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Although flawed, Garden State is a good-natured film whose very likeability leaves you willing to overlook its shortcomings.

Full Review… | November 7, 2011

Smart drama for mature older teens and up.

Full Review… | December 24, 2010
Common Sense Media

It's no longer a generational alarm clock, but for those who've seen loved ones stumble through complacent fogs of Paxil, Zoloft and the like, "Garden State" still warns that "stability" doesn't mean a numbness to anything not emotionally even-keeled.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010

There is not a shot in this movie that doesn't shine...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Garden State

Touching and charming, Garden States features great performances (especially from Natalie Portman) and an interesting premise. It also contains some memorable scenes that are expertly crafted and at times smartly hilarious.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


A small-time actor (Zach Braff), doped up on heroic doses of antidepressants, returns home to New Jersey for his mother's funeral and finds love with a quirky lady (Natalie Portman) while working through his family issues. The first half hour is an excellent, deadpan comedy of alienation that feels like a 21st century riff on THE GRADUATE; momentum slowly fades away as the script yields originality to the conventions of the romantic comedy genre.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

The directorial debut of sitcom actor Zach Braff, many were impressed and surprised by the serious depth and eccentric writing in the script. Also starring in the titular role of Andrew Largeman, Braff is mirroring his own life story and the reaches of his own depression at the time he wrote the script. Now an indie darling and cult classic, the film certainly resonates because of its following of a family's turmoil, but more importantly the role of the deadened senses of the young, and how a person in a quagmire really needs to grab at life for the good. The film centers on child actor turned waiter Andrew, who comes back to his home state of New Jersey for the funeral of his father. He runs into his friends from high school, meets a doctor's receptionist who is a pathological liar and a loveable girl next door, and tries to understand the procession of his life without mood altering drugs or the guilt over his mother's injury. Most of the film is about a love story between down and out Andrew and epileptic Sam, who is making her way through life while keeping her disability a secret and trying to connect to someone besides her loving and yet embarrassing mother. Full of really great and odd performances, it contains many great actors who usually take on smaller and yet substantial roles such as Peter Sarsgaard as a grave digging kleptomaniac, Ian Holm as Andrew's psychiatrist father, who had put his son into a lithium infused haze, and strangely enough a cameo from rapper Method Man as a bellhop. Sincerely, Braff has created a very youth centered and dramatized film, including a Grammy winning soundtrack put together by Braff himself, and an ending that is understandably clichéd and yet satisfying.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Garden State Quotes

– Submitted by Justin C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Justin C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by MarieBella C (3 years ago)
– Submitted by MarieBella C (3 years ago)

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