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Nearing Grace

Nearing Grace (2005)



Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 12

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


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 6

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



liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 16,090

My Rating

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


Drama, Comedy

Oct 23, 2007

Whitewater Films - Official Site External Icon

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October 12, 2006:
Critical Consensus: "Man of the Year" A Weak Candidate, But At Least It Was Screened For Critics
This week at the movies, we've got comedians in the White House ("Man of the Year,"...


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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (12) | DVD (1)

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.

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop 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 IconTop Critic

It feels like perhaps the screenplay was intensely personal and/or autobiographical, yet it's suspiciously lacking in any dramatic tension.

November 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

It's so exceptionally well done, so exceedingly well-cast that it makes one realize how few such films actually succeed at all.

October 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

A fine coming-of-age drama about a sexually eager young man who discovers that anything is possible with a friend who is loving and trustworthy after years of giving and forgiving.

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The story is small, but their performances give it depth and weight.

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's also refreshingly low-key and more intelligent than 90% of the movies aimed at the teen crowd. That by itself is a fine achievement.

October 13, 2006

[It] makes you feel like a heel for not liking it: Independently made and heartfelt, it also happens to have been shot in Portland. Nonetheless, the accumulation of cliches big and small manage to erase whatever goodwill its other features have engendered

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Oregonian

The tone is psychological realism, as opposed to, say, American Pie-style burlesque. But the main emphasis is on sex and drugs anyway. In any case, it's not very illuminating.

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Nearing Grace means to be a gritty look at what it was like to come of age in the late '70s, but its reality is hampered by the unreal pretentiousness of every word the characters utter.

October 12, 2006 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

The dialogue is full of fortune cookie aphorisms and stilted literary phrases that were never meant to be spoken aloud.

October 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Sucks to be Nearing Grace on the same week that Zerophilia also opens.

September 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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.
January 31, 2011

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.
April 6, 2010

Super Reviewer

One of the funniest British comedies I've ever seen
January 14, 2007
Tom Ericksen

Super Reviewer

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