Garden State - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Garden State Reviews

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½ April 19, 2017
Something's going to happen.... something's going to happen.... something........ and it's over.
April 6, 2017
Chick flick about a guy with a very troubled past who meets a girl and falls in love. Also a good comedy, but more dry humor than anything else. One of my favorite romance movies. The ending is awesome.
Super Reviewer
½ January 26, 2017
What a fine movie, finding just the right balance between humor and thoughtful scenes. Especially the writing is excellent, but so is the acting. If Natalie Portman wouldn't have gotten her Oscar nomination for Closer, she would have deserved it for her quirky, natural and wonderful performance in this. Just try not to fall in love with her character. Each awesome song from the soundtrack fits perfectly into the scene it is played in. Such a wise, sad and funny movie with a really unique atmosphere. Kudos to Zach Braff for pulling all that off. And the ending is nothing but perfect.
January 13, 2017
A slow start is elevated by the arrival of Natalie Portman. Once she arrives in the film it starts to ramp up and make sense due to the quirkiness of the plot in the beginning. The film has such a simple plot in that it explains the loneliness of the characters throughout. All of them are flawed but once they are together they are able to shove it aside and remiss on the greater things in their life. I loved the chemistry between Braff and Portman. All of their scenes were top notch and calm. This is really one of the best romantic comedies I have ever seen.
January 2, 2017
Garden State is gleeful film about a young adult finding his way in life and juggling between his past and future. Well written and phenomenally acted, Garden State fills me with pure joy.
½ December 9, 2016
Not a comedy in my books, not by any stretch of the imagination. A bittersweet movie about coming to terms and becoming the person you were owed to be, a film about mending the broken tiles of the path to forgiveness. Not an epic, nothing extraordinary -- but then again... it needn't be. This is a good movie. Watch it. Let it do its "thing" and it just might surprise you.
August 7, 2016
I'm not very good for this kind of movies. I think not even Natalie Portman could save it for me. Not a bad one though.
½ July 25, 2016
In addition to a monotonous script, there's not a single likable or fully developed character in the whole movie.
½ July 12, 2016
I was late to the scene this one so I got to see it apart from all the hype. Add that to the fact that I never watched Scrubs and don't care about either of the main actors and you get a good, not great romcom.
July 8, 2016
one of my faves and one of the best movie soundtracks of all time
July 4, 2016
Garden State shouldn't work this well. It's a familiar tale of a struggling twenty-something whose life improves upon meeting what many would consider a manic pixie dream girl, and their (mis)adventures as they wander though a meandering story that's light on plot. It comes from the writing/directing debut of an actor whose most notable role, up until this point, was in a television sitcom. And yet, there's something truly special at hand here.

The aforementioned writing/directing debut is that of actor Zach Braff, who keeps his directorial style simple in order to focus on character. Braff crafts a rather beautiful series of events and characters in a story that is semi-autobiographical to his early life as a twenty-something with little to no direction in life. These elements of Braff's life are mirrored into the life of protagonist Andrew Largeman, whose own aimlessness and emotional numbness is sure to be relatable to anyone who has faced a similar point in their life. Braff proves that he really understands this character not just through his screenplay, but through his performance as well: as the film, and Largeman as a character, progresses, Braff evolves from stoic to more outspoken, and is given multiple opportunities to prove his acting chops.

The film sounds like quite a downer, but there's a lot of laughs and all-around happiness to be had here though. While the subject matter deals with a lot of heavy themes, Braff also intersperses a healthy dose of humor into the film, most of which is quite deadpan but endlessly funny. It's never too outrageous, and blossoms organically from these characters and their situations. A lot of great moments come from interactions between Largeman and Natalie Portman's Sam, who couldn't be more different to the former. Her eccentric quirkiness sometimes rides the line of being a little too over-the-top, but Portman is simply too strong of an actress to let that happen, and she keeps her character grounded and very easy to relate to as well, especially towards the end of the film. On paper, Sam is a very manic pixie dream girl type, but Braff manages to subvert the trope by giving her a lot of development that, like Largeman's, has to evolve over the course of the film.

There's a reason why Garden State is a cult classic and a film that defines a certain generation of young adults. It's an impressive indie film with a lot of relatability, and a strong showcase for Zach Braff as an actor, a writer, and a director, the ultimate trifecta. Andrew Largeman may be emotionally numb, but you certainly won't be by the time credits roll: between the laughs and more somber emotional moments, there's sure to be something that will resonate with most anyone who has shared the same experiences of these characters.
June 30, 2016
One of those movies that gets worse every time you watch it. Intellectually it is stimulating only in the way that it makes me question why I have faith in Zach Braff for clearly no reason.
May 30, 2016
I grew up in New Jersey and this is a terrific movie.
½ May 19, 2016
WAY beyond expectations. took me awhile to see then i fell in love with Braff
½ May 5, 2016
warm & fuzzy feelings. very good music. easy to relate to. quirky & funny
April 20, 2016
Pretty indie film with a great soundtrack. This does have a bit more substance than most.
½ April 14, 2016
Garden State is a remarkably surprising movie with pacing that is just as telling as the phenomenal acting by Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, and Peter Sarsgaard, who's role serves as the control that we set the dynamic and evolving lead's characters against.
½ April 14, 2016
If you don't think this film is something quite special then I suggest visiting a doctor for you are broken, my friend...
April 12, 2016
I've been waiting to see this movie ever since I got hooked on the soundtrack back in 2007. It's finally available on VidAngel and I was really excited to see this quirky story I had followed and youtubed.
Maybe it was because of being very indie and low budget, or maybe because it was Zach Braff's first attempt at writing and directing, but the movie had a lot of lost potential.
I found the overall concept to be very interesting. A 26 year old man has been wrongfully medicated since he was 10 and been completely numb to emotion because of it. His mom dies and he goes home to the funeral and doesn't take his medication while there, and begins to finally feel these lost emotions that he's been missing out on. If I were a producer and someone pitched that idea alone to me, I'd be captivated and hooked. Then, adding Natalie Portman as the nerdy, epileptic, pathological liar love interest to counter the weirdness of the's a great combo and they had good chemistry. For people being so used to seeing Natalie playing roles where she's awesome, this is a great role for her stepping outside of her comfort zone.
Anyway, halfway through the movie the plot took a turn and on the "last day" Zach Braff's character is in town it just goes downhill, almost like they didn't know how to make a good ending and just did a normal one.
Back to the concept of a medicated numb man finally experiencing emotion, I felt like there could have been a number of shots showing him finally coming up for air during these experiences when he is finally feeling again and crying, yet we don't see that. We see scenes showing how numb he is at the beginning of the movie, but none conveying the transformation.
In short....Garden State = Average movie. Amazing soundtrack.
March 24, 2016
Very impressed with Braff for his first-time directorial debut. Touching film.
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