Nearing Grace Reviews

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Mike McGranaghan
Aisle Seat
November 10, 2007
It feels like perhaps the screenplay was intensely personal and/or autobiographical, yet it's suspiciously lacking in any dramatic tension.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Wade Major
Boxoffice Magazine
October 15, 2006
It's so exceptionally well done, so exceedingly well-cast that it makes one realize how few such films actually succeed at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
October 13, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide
October 13, 2006
The story is small, but their performances give it depth and weight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
October 13, 2006
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 | Original Score: 1.5/4
Pam Grady
Reel.com
October 13, 2006
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Marc Mohan
Oregonian
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
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 13, 2006
The story here is as dog-eared as an old beach book, and about as deep.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 13, 2006
The performances by Smith, Brewster and veteran David Morse, as a morbidly depressed widower, elevate Nearing Grace to something near grace.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News
October 13, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Luke Y. Thompson
Village Voice
October 13, 2006
...cinematic youth has rarely seemed so convincingly uncertain, and Brewster could definitely drive a young guy crazy.
Top Critic
Michael Ordoņa
Los Angeles Times
October 12, 2006
Smart, funny and, thanks in no small part to David Geddes' cinematography, it occasionally approaches the poetic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Laura Kern
New York Times
October 12, 2006
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.
| Original Score: 3/5
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
October 12, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
October 12, 2006
The dialogue is full of fortune cookie aphorisms and stilted literary phrases that were never meant to be spoken aloud.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 12, 2006
The characters are stereotypes, their situations are familiar and the outcome is predictable. But the whole thing is viewed from such a feel-good perspective that we're willing to overlook much of that.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
October 12, 2006
An unsympathetic lead, a story that's been told a million times (the Scarlett-Ashley/star-crossed lovers story), relationships that don't make sense and an unfamiliarity with basic physics.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
October 12, 2006
If we've seen it all before, Nearing Grace's mix of nostalgia and contempt for the follies of youth is a potent one.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 11, 2006
Some Kind of Wonderful? No, some kind of earnest, stranded adaptation of Nearing Grace, Scott Sommer's late-1970s coming-of-age novel.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine
September 22, 2006
Sucks to be Nearing Grace on the same week that Zerophilia also opens.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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