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Movie Info

Dr. Zach Riley (Aaron Eckhart) begins practicing at the Millwood Psychiatric Clinic -- a mental health retreat where his deceased father, renowned children's book author T.L. Pierson (Nick Nolte), was once interned. Riley finds an unlikely friend in Gabriel Finch (Ian McKellen), a disarming patient who forces him to examine himself. When Finch suggests that the fantastic land in Pierson's classic book "Neverwas" is real, Riley begins a spellbinding investigation into his father's work.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Neverwas

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (6)

  • This is the kind of movie where a madwoman's outburst leads her to throw a mug that just happens to be filled with gold sparkles -- which can then be photographed cascading down on all the adorable loonies, in slow-motion.

    September 20, 2005
  • At a time when most films lack subtlety, it is rare to find one as delicate, wistful and tender as 'Neverwas.'

    June 21, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Writer/ director Joshua Michael Stern has crafted something more than a mess and something less than a film that hits home. Neverwas never does quite win us over.

    July 4, 2007 | Rating: 66/100
  • Never has so much talent come to so little because of a screenplay that's so adrift and aimless. Eckhart plays a psychologist with enough personal psychoses to keep himself preoccupied for a lifetime.

    July 4, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Seems rather a waste to use name actors and then not have them actually do anything.

    July 3, 2007 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…
  • Good actors are wasted, sets dominate storytelling, and it's all based on the most banal and artificial of children's tales. Avoid.

    June 21, 2007 | Rating: D | Full Review…
  • This is the kind of movie where a madwoman's outburst leads her to throw a mug that just happens to be filled with gold sparkles -- which can then be photographed cascading down on all the adorable loonies, in slow-motion.

    September 20, 2005
  • At a time when most films lack subtlety, it is rare to find one as delicate, wistful and tender as 'Neverwas.'

    June 21, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Writer/ director Joshua Michael Stern has crafted something more than a mess and something less than a film that hits home. Neverwas never does quite win us over.

    July 4, 2007 | Rating: 66/100
  • Never has so much talent come to so little because of a screenplay that's so adrift and aimless. Eckhart plays a psychologist with enough personal psychoses to keep himself preoccupied for a lifetime.

    July 4, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Seems rather a waste to use name actors and then not have them actually do anything.

    July 3, 2007 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…
  • Good actors are wasted, sets dominate storytelling, and it's all based on the most banal and artificial of children's tales. Avoid.

    June 21, 2007 | Rating: D | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Neverwas

  • Apr 27, 2011
    Neverwas takes you on this wonderful and emotional ride with a fantastic story and a extraordinary cast.
    Jason R Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2010
    Aaron Eckhart plays Dr. Zachary, is a talented young psychiatrist attempting to understand the nature of his father's (Nick Nolte) madness which resulted in a successful suidice. He takes a position at a mental institution where his father had been hospitalized. There he meets and becomes friends with an old man, Gabriel (Ian McKellan), who knew his father while they were both inmates. He comes to realize that the old man's delusion was the basis for his father's inspiration as a children's fantasy writer. Jessica Lange plays Zack's bruised alcoholic mother who can't forget her dead husband, Brittany Murphy is the reporter obsessed with the kid of the brilliant author of a children's book entitled Neverwas. William Hurt appears as the hospital's administrator. A lot of big names here including Alan Cummings and Vera Farmiga as patients of the institution in this formidable cast. At the end of the movie I was perplexed though at what exactly was reality and insanity....perhaps I need to look at it again.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2010
    I really enjoyed this movie. I got a little confused about what was happening from time to time, but I think in the end it all kind of came together for me. I really think that Ian McKellan and Aaron Eckhart are very fine actors, and definitely made this movie worth watching.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 27, 2009
    I don't know where eabrownfield (reviewer) gets off telling people to "stay away" from Neverwas. This is a magical, and very touching story. An excellent premise with a superb cast and stellar performances from all involved. The scenic settings were well shot and lit, often showing the differences between the dark and lighter sides of life. I say dark, yes there are parts in this film that are hard hitting, poinient moments that really make you think and get you inside the characters being played, again i think this is down to the great acting. The flip side is the fairy tale narrative that runs through the whole film, not that it turns in to a children's film at all, as its a story I'm sure many can relate to and will enjoy being told in this fashion. I will say it probably deserves its pg13 rating, its perhaps not for the very young, despite its fairy tale like appearance. Overall go and see this film, you wont be disappointed, i had a great time.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer

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