Half Nelson - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Half Nelson Reviews

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August 21, 2006
An After School Special done up in gritty indie style.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
March 10, 2007
I hated this movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Fernando F. Croce
CinePassion
August 30, 2009
The filmmakers bask disingenuously in their tidy vision of border-busting healing
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
March 9, 2006
More nuanced than your average Sundance character study, Ryan Fleck's carefully observed Half Nelson still doesn't overcome its origins as a padded-out expansion of the filmmaker's 2002 short Gowanus, Brooklyn.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
September 27, 2006
Co-writers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (who also directed) expand their indie-circuit short to feature length, and a padded-out short is just what it looks and feels like.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
August 12, 2006
Mostly, we just watch the teacher get high, and his classroom talks about civil rights are nothing but filler.
| Original Score: 2/4
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
April 22, 2009
The movie hits a stream of false notes when Dunne's students deliver oral reports on Civil Rights struggles that could only have been plagiarized. The film's ending isn't only meager, it's utterly listless.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Jeremy Heilman
MovieMartyr.com
September 2, 2006
Whatever confusion it holds at its core, Half Nelson is not a total wash.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
August 12, 2006
Half Nelson certainly sees things in a new way. Unfortunately, it doesn't see them very clearly.
| Original Score: 2/4
December 20, 2006
Half Nelson feels like the choke hold is on the poor audience. It has moments of inspired acting and filmmaking, but entertainment and believability are as scarce as sober characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan
September 23, 2006
Half Nelson is, I suppose, well-intentioned, but it's also junk.
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
April 21, 2007
Looks to me like a self conscious film that thrives on its own negativity. Studied, anti-establishment, arthouse cinema that gloats over its moral superiority %u2013 which is rather ironic.
Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette
August 11, 2006
This is the usual waste of celluloid that many in the indie world loves so much for some reason.
| Original Score: 2/5
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
September 8, 2006
Neither performance ... can help the movie accomplish much with its characters.

E! Online
August 25, 2006
Here's a good rule of thumb: When you have 30 minutes worth of material, don't try to stretch it out to an hour and a half. Please.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Mike Barnard
Future Movies UK
August 11, 2006
Ryan Gosling turns in an exquisite performance as a drug-addicted teacher, matched only by 18-year-old Shareeka Epps.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 20, 2006
The movie comes down to Gosling's spot-on performance and how we feel about it.
| Original Score: 4/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
October 6, 2006
...insists on the grown-up notion that the world is a complex place populated by people who can't be neatly divided into good and evil.
| Original Score: 93/100
Pete Hammond
Maxim
August 11, 2006
a slow moving but uncompromising film that will have you in it's grip days later, largely due to the galvanizing performance of Ryan Gosling.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
September 14, 2006
A wholly absorbing and delicately shaded portrait of an educator played by Ryan Gosling, a young man harboring an offstage secret.
| Original Score: 3.5/4

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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