MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 724 this week

Half Nelson (2006)

 -  Drama  -  11 August 2006 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 62,098 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 183 user | 204 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $7.88 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 10 Sep 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 12 Mar 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 29 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Half Nelson" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Half Nelson (2006)

Half Nelson (2006) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Half Nelson.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 32 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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

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

Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider
The Believer (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The film centers on 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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
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
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Tells the story of 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
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
Beginners (2010)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.

Director: Mike Mills
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 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
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young man finds solace with a young woman, his mother, and a high-school football coach who recruits him to quarterback a six-man team.

Directors: Alex Smith, Andrew J. Smith
Stars: Ryan Gosling, David Morse, Clea DuVall
Fish Tank (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Everything changes for 15-year-old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Tyra Kwao-Vovo ...
Rosemary Ledee ...
...
Bryce Silver ...
Kaela C. Pabon ...
Erica Rivera ...
Erika (as Erika Rivera)
...
Eleanor Hutchins ...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Secrets don't let go.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 August 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Half Nelson - Encurralados  »

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$2,694,973 (USA) (8 December 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's title "Half Nelson" refers to a wrestling hold in which one arm is passed under the opponent's arm from behind to the back of the neck. See more »

Quotes

Dan: I used to be so fucked. I used to be so fucked up. I was just out there. You know? But I fucking cleaned up. I cleaned up,
[snorts a line of cocaine]
Dan: For the most part. I do it now to get by, but I can handle it. You know what I mean? I tried the rehab thing. I tried it. But it didn't work, Didn't work. It works for some people. My ex girlfriend is getting married. That's how it works for some people. Right? Didn't work for me. The kids keep me focused. And I...
See more »

Connections

References How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Alright to Cry
Written by Carol Hall
Performed by Roosevelt Grier (as Rosey Grier)
Published by Ms Foundation for Women Inc. c/o Free to Be Foundation, Inc
Licensed Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The 'dialectics' indie filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden created in "Half Nelson" is realized by Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps' unarguably nuanced performances
3 September 2006 | by (sf, usa) – See all my reviews

Ryan Gosling is truly amazing in his film role deliveries. His breakthrough role in "The Believer" 2001 was explosively intense. He consistently gives integral reflective portrayals, even for a departure romantic role in director Nick Cassavetes' "The Notebook" 2004, he was absolutely convincing as Noah who loves Rachel McAdam's Allie to the core. Here in "Half Nelson," he appears to disappear into Dan Dunne, a high school teacher with an ideal and a crack addiction problem. That sure sounds contradictory in terms: a teacher being a role model, while drug addiction a totally unacceptable behavior. As Dunne wrote on the blackboard in the beginning: 'Dialectics,' the film "Half Nelson" is in itself dialectics demonstrated.

Gosling's Mr. Dunne the history 'teach' doubling also as basketball coach, meeting (a solid matching delivery from) Shareeka Epps' Drey, the 13-year old student who 'found' him and 'witnessed' his secret - theirs is a relationship, naturally portrayed, of two 'opposing' forces as dialectics as can be. I felt Drey is the primary force that 'helped' Dunne's secondary force to yield and together, they created a contradiction anew as life goes on.

I remember from a 1969 book, a quote that might describe the heart of "Half Nelson": "Contradictions are the source of all movement and of all life. All things are in themselves contradictory and it is this principle, more than any other, which expresses the essence of things."

In a way, contradictory yet similar: Dunne and Drey both are 'on their own' trying to hang on, to manage the conflicts in their life's journey. Do we need all the answers in life? Do we have to know why someone behave as he/she does or something happen as it did? Director Ryan Fleck and co-writer/editor/producer Anna Boden tried not to 'over-explain anything'. Sometimes the answer can simply be: "I don't know."

"Half Nelson" is an ambitious film. Besides 'comments' on educational system, single parent family strife, Dan's addiction predicament, the script also managed to include political viewpoints unobtrusively expressed through talking heads of single student reciting historical civil rights movement events. The 'R' rating does indicate some intimate scenes, clever inter-cuts juxtaposing what the two forces were each doing at the moment. Music (by "Broken-Social-Scene") is timely applied at certain segments but sparingly. Well-rounded supporting cast, especially Anthony Mackie as Frank the 'friendly' dealer who may want to do right by Drey but only in the way he knows how within the realms of selling drugs (reminds me of w-d Boaz Yakin's "Fresh" 1994, brilliant debut performance by Sean Nelson as the 12-year old interacting with a dealer 'mentor').

Kudos to all involved on "Half Nelson". The film was shot in Brooklyn, New York. Thanks to ThinkFilm for being the distributor (documentary: Spellbound; Murderball; March of the Penguins; drama: The Last Kiss - Italy; Kontroll - Hungary; Gus Van Sant's Gerry).


55 of 76 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
why did he act withdrawn after the date? DinahtheCat
Half Nelson Full Crap mokf6
Is it typical in America for black kids to have a white teacher? fane232000
I thought Gosling was one of the dullest UNTIL... BenAtlanta
Discuss Half Nelson (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page