Winter Solstice (2005)



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

Winter Solstice Videos

Winter Solstice 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.
R (for language.)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Box Office:

Watch it now


Aaron Stanford
as Gabe Winters
Mark Webber
as Pete Winters
Anthony LaPaglia
as Jim Winters
Ron Livingston
as Mr. Bricker
Allison Janney
as Molly Ripkin
Lars Engstrom
as Andrew
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

Critic Reviews for Winter Solstice

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (27)

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.

April 29, 2005
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

In an impressive feature debut, director-screenwriter Josh Sternfeld takes an observant, nuanced look at human behavior.

Full Review… | April 28, 2005
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

...while our brains quickly comprehend Sternfeld's point, our hearts never quite get the message.

Full Review… | April 22, 2005
Miami Herald
Top Critic

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
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

A great film! Very touching story about a widower and his two sons, and the struggle to have to overcome to get over the death of a wife and mother.

Leo L
Leo L

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
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Winter Solstice Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Winter Solstice on our Movie forum!

News & Features