Nearing Grace (2005)

Nearing Grace



Critic Consensus: This coming-of-age story doesn't dig deep enough to offer anything fresh to the genre.

Movie Info

A teenage boy tries to hold his family together while the girl of his dreams drives him to distraction in this coming-of-age comedy drama. It's 1978, and Henry Nearing (Gregory Smith) and his family are in a state of flux. Henry's mother has died, and now his father, Shep (David Morse), is trying to find himself by quitting his job, buying a motorcycle, and growing out his hair. Henry's brother, Blair (David Moscow), is similarly trying to expand his boundaries by dating a free-spirited girl and … More

Rating: R (for drug use, language and sexual content)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jacob Aaron Estes
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 23, 2007
Whitewater Films - Official Site



as Henry Nearing

as Grace Chance

as Merna Ash

as Blair Nearing

as Shep Nearing

as Clement C. Haydes

as Lance

as Rose Nearing

as Studly Bartender

as Merna Ash
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Critic Reviews for Nearing Grace

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (12)

Moral dilemmas faced by immature teens is fine fare for young-adult fiction, but a movie that wants them to be taken as something bigger needs better management than Nearing Grace can provide.

Full Review… | October 13, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The story here is as dog-eared as an old beach book, and about as deep.

Full Review… | October 13, 2006
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

The performances by Smith, Brewster and veteran David Morse, as a morbidly depressed widower, elevate Nearing Grace to something near grace.

Full Review… | October 13, 2006
New York Daily News
Top Critic

...cinematic youth has rarely seemed so convincingly uncertain, and Brewster could definitely drive a young guy crazy.

Full Review… | October 13, 2006
Village Voice
Top Critic

Smart, funny and, thanks in no small part to David Geddes' cinematography, it occasionally approaches the poetic.

Full Review… | October 12, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Bursting with hormones, angst, humor and heartbreak, Rick Rosenthal's Nearing Grace, set during the late 1970's in suburban New Jersey, follows a teenager's efforts to survive both the recent loss of his mother and his senior year of high school.

October 12, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Nearing Grace


It's easy to call a film cliche, but if that film represents a vision that the filmmaker has always wanted to realize, it's not really fair to dismiss the movie just because someone else got there first. Family dramas often feel the most cliche, because we all live in them everyday. I don't deny that some parts of the film are predictable, but many more are strikingly original and honest - and those are the ones that you'll remember. All of the performances are quite excellent.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


A Some Kind of Wonderful-esque love triangle that doesn't quite resolve as cleanly as you'd expect. Gregory Smith was adorable in Harriet the Spy way back when, but now, he exhibits the puckish naturalism of a young Jean-Pierre Leaud, the smoldering looks of James McAvoy, and the dead-eyed complexity of a hit-not-miss Daniel Radcliffe. The movie is sexy, life-affirming, philosophical, wry - a little bit too ambitious for that matter - but nevertheless, a bittersweet bildungsroman.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

Very well done.

Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

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