189 user 208 critic

Half Nelson (2006)

2:21 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret.


4,518 ( 74)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 27 wins & 45 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A delusional young man strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.

Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The relationship of a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman
Life in Color I (2015)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Out of work and with no place to live, a fired nanny and a struggling comedian are stuck house-sitting together. To get back on their feet, this odd couple reluctantly helps each other ... See full summary »

Director: Katharine Emmer
Stars: Josh McDermitt, Katharine Emmer, Adam Lustick
The Believer (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young Jewish man develops a fiercely anti-Semitic philosophy. Based on the factual story of a K.K.K. member in the 1960s who was revealed to be Jewish by a New York Times reporter.

Director: Henry Bean
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Summer Phoenix, Peter Meadows
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man's experience in a juvenile detention center that touches on the tumultuous changes that befall his family and the community in which he lives.

Director: Matthew Ryan Hoge
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Don Cheadle, Kevin Spacey
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

Director: George Clooney
Stars: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Drive I (2011)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Mr. David Marks was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Katie who disappeared in 1982, but the truth is eventually revealed.

Director: Andrew Jarecki
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella
Fracture (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An attorney, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute.

Director: Gregory Hoblit
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A middle-aged husband's life changes dramatically when his wife asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a newfound friend, Jacob, learning to pick up girls at bars.

Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Stars: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyra Kwao-Vovo ...
Rosemary Ledee ...
Jamal (as Tristan Wilds)
Bryce Silver ...
Kaela C. Pabon ...
Erica Rivera ...
Erika (as Erika Rivera)
Karen Chilton ...


Young Caucasian Dan Dunne teaches history and coaches the girls basketball team at a Brooklyn high school populated primarily by black and Hispanic students. To the chagrin of his superiors, Dan bucks the outlined curriculum of historical facts in favor of the philosophy of historical events, generally discussing the concept of dialectics. As such, he captures the imagination of his students, at least in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, Dan's life is in shambles. He has a distant but cordial relationship with his family. He uses illicit drugs rampantly. Although his former girlfriend Rachel was able to clean up her drug habit, Dan believes that rehab will not work for him. Due to a combination of these issues, he treats women poorly. Thirteen year old Drey is a student in his class and a player on his basketball team. Drey has her own problems. Her parents are divorced, with her father a virtually non-existent figure in her life and her EMT mother generally absent as she is ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Secrets don't let go.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content throughout, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 September 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Half Nelson - Encurralados  »

Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$53,983 (USA) (11 August 2006)


$2,694,973 (USA) (8 December 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dan picking up the cat before going into Frank's house was unrehearsed. Ryan Gosling saw the stray cat during the filming to the scene, and picked it up. Because Dan's cat died a few scenes before, the filmmakers thought it was perfect for the film and put it in the final cut. See more »


[last lines]
Dan: Knock, knock.
Drey: Who's there?
Dan: The Interrupting Cow.
Drey: The Interrupting Cow, who?
Dan: [realizing he's blown the joke] ... Moooooo.
Drey: [laughing] That was horrible!
See more »


References Sesame Street (1969) See more »


Someone's Theme
Written and Performed by Broken Social Scene
Published by Arts & Crafts Music
Licensed Courtesy of Arts & Crafts Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

8 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Anyone who has experienced addiction in their lives, whether your own or someone close to you, will find this film cutting. It is not about the reasons leading to addiction or the recovery, rather it is about the experience of the addiction in its raw reality. Even if you have not experienced addiction in your life, the story is worthwhile and the photography stellar. Ryan Gosling is the perfect portrait of a good person who got lost. His portrayal of a crack head is almost too good. The dialog is not pretentious or assuming and not overused. The story unfolds itself in a very natural manner.

Highly recommended.

198 of 245 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why did his cat die? mccart-richie
Do you have recommendations for similar movies? nnmko
Half Nelson Full Crap mokf6
Is it typical in America for black kids to have a white teacher? fane232000
why did he act withdrawn after the date? DinahtheCat
Multiple viewings anyone? vernaequinox
Discuss Half Nelson (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page