Half Nelson
Half Nelson (2006)

Dan Dunne is an idealistic inner-city junior high school teacher. Although he can get it together in the classroom, he spends his time outside school on the edge of consciousness. He juggles his hangovers and his homework, keeping his lives… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: August 11, 2006
DVD Release Date: April 24, 2007
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Half Nelson features powerful performances from Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps. It's a wise, unsentimental portrait of lonely people at the crossroads.

Bob Mondello

Ryan Gosling's self-destructive teacher is easily the year's most mesmerizing character study. And he's hardly the only reason to see this film. Shareeka Epps anchors her scenes as Drey with a self-possession way beyond her years.

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Andrew O'Hehir

Gosling is indeed amazing as a bewildered, depressed New York schoolteacher who is slipping into dire drug addiction; it's exactly the kind of star turn in a smaller film that Academy voters could (and should) notice.

Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

A fantastic merging of talents into a pure piece of art...

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Dave Calhoun
Time Out

Gosling and Epps, an unusual but effective pairing, show real commitment in their performances.

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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press

Although the subject promises more than the film can deliver, there is compensation in Gosling's convincing, unromanticized portrayal of someone seeking escape from longing and loss that neither he nor the movie can really define.

Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Indie inner-city drama with drug-addict teacher.

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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel

The movie comes down to Gosling's spot-on performance and how we feel about it.

Jim Emerson

This movie... is concerned with an even greater achievement that is generally unacknowledged: how people -- flawed, miserable, frustrated people -- go to work every day and find a way to care about something beyond themselves, despite themselves.

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Nick Rogers
The Film Yap

"Half Nelson" elegantly tiptoe around its elephant in the room: Dan's most compelling instruction to not let Drey enter the drug trade is his own destruction. That point of panic turns into something approaching penance.

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More reviews for Half Nelson

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
Gowanus, baby! That's my Brooklyn. Sophisticated but somewhat hazy (existential-dialectic-liberal) look at the conflict and dis-integration of the… More
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps, Anthony Mackie, Deborah Rush, Jay O. Sanders, Nicole Vicius, Denis O'Hare, Tina Holmes Director: Ryan Fleck Summary:… More
Daniel Perry
There's no doubt that Ryan Gosling achieves something special in this film, breaking out by playing a character who's incredibly vulnerable and… More
Kase Vollebregt
Ryan Gosling and company give great performances, but the original charm the characters seem to offer slowly dwindles until Gosling's character stoops to a… More
Sam Barnett
It's a refreshing deviation from the 'inspirational inner city teacher' cliche, and a decent exploration of morality. It has other good things… More
Mark Walker
Ryan Gosling is one of those actors that is in danger of his talents being overshadowed because he's seen as eye candy for the female cinema going public -… More