Winter Solstice (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Winter Solstice (2005)



Critic Consensus: A deliberately paced, realistic portrait of a family's grief and healing.

Winter Solstice Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A family struggles to come to terms with changes after a death in the family in this independent drama. Jim Winters (Anthony LaPaglia) is a widower living in suburban New Jersey with his two teenage sons, Gabe (Aaron Stanford) and Pete (Mark Webber). Pete, the younger of the siblings, has a hearing problem that has made school difficult for him; consequently, he has lost interest in his education and spends most of his time goofing off. Gabe is smarter and more ambitious, and has a stable relationship with his girlfriend, Stacey (Michelle Monaghan), but is beginning to chafe at the limitations of small-town life. And five years after his wife's death, Jim still hasn't been able to pick up and start his life over again. When Gabe announces he's decided to move to Florida, it has differing effects on those around him -- Stacey, hurt and confused, begins to withdraw; Pete strikes up a friendship with one of his teachers (Ron Livingston); and Jim struggles to work up the nerve to talk to his new neighbor, Molly Ripkin (Allison Janney. Winter Solstice was the first feature film from writer and director Josh Sternfeld; it won enthusiastic notices following its screenings at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival.more
Rating: R (for language.)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Josh Sternfeld
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 13, 2005
Box Office: $0.2M
Paramount Classics - Official Site


Aaron Stanford
as Gabe Winters
Mark Webber
as Pete Winters
Anthony LaPaglia
as Jim Winters
Allison Janney
as Molly Ripkin
Ron Livingston
as Mr. Bricker
Rocco Rosanio
as Pete's Friend No. 1
Tim Dowlin
as Friend No. 2
Dana Segal
as Math Teacher
Thomas Sadoski
as Chris Bender
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Winter Solstice

Critic Reviews for Winter Solstice

All Critics (91) | Top Critics (34)

Ultimately undercut by its fictional elements and its flat characters.

Full Review… | May 13, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

This movie deserves to be seen -- and learned from. It captures the moments in which each of us stares out across an emptiness, searching for a connection that will keep us from falling.

Full Review… | May 6, 2005
Denver Post
Top Critic

It's the kind of narrow-gauged drama that either will drive you crazy or absorb you in its low-key rhythms. Mostly, I went along for the ride.

May 6, 2005
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

It has everything an indie film could desire -- except for a compelling plot or dramatic tension.

Full Review… | April 29, 2005
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Audiences may not get too excited about devastated people who conduct their social lives at the local Dairy Queen.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Film Journal International

Winter Solstice is an intense drama and all the action is internal. LaPaglia is such a fine actor and every nuance of his bottled up Jim comes through, as he struggles to not only be a good father, but to find a direction in his own life.

Full Review… | November 18, 2005
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Winter Solstice

Not very exciting, but a pretty accurate depiction of what a real persons life is like. And as such there was really no plot, or climax, or ending. Still somehow it wasn't boring, so they did something right.

Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer


Story about dealing with a loss in the family and the difficulties of parents understanding teens and vice versa. There is a certain slowness or lulling rhythm to the film

Red Lats

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]In "Winter Solstice", Jim Winters(Anthony LaPaglia) is a single father who owns his own landscaping business in a small town. His eldest son, Gabe(Aaron Stanford), works in a restaurant pretty much non-stop in an effort to save up as much money as he can before leaving for Tampa to work on a boat. In the process he would leave his loving girlfriend, Stacey(Michelle Monaghan), behind. Gabe's younger brother, Pete(Mark Webber), sporting an unfashionable looking hearing aid, is on the ten-year plan in high school and is set to go to summer school. Molly Ripken(Alison Janney) is a housesitter that moves in nearby...[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]In "Winter Solstice", not much happens.(I do not mind if a movie is slow, just as long as it is headed somewhere.) I know that in real life people are more likely to be hanging out at the local Dariy Queen than having life-changing events, but it does not make for compelling drama.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]All of which is a shame because the movie wastes a fine cast including Anthony LaPaglia. Michelle Monaghan and Alison Janney brighten whatever room they are in. And Ron Livingston almost steals the movie playing a history teacher.[/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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