(2006)

Critic Reviews

85

Metascore

Based on 31 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Entertainment Weekly
Half Nelson offers an opportunity to marvel, once again, at the dazzling talent of Ryan Gosling for playing young men as believable as they are psychologically trip-wired.
100
Superb drama from New York-based filmmakers Ryan Flek and Anna Boden.
91
The A.V. Club
Gosling excels at playing contradictory characters like this one, having kick-started his career as a Jewish neo-Nazi in "The Believer," but here, his inner turmoil rarely gets vocalized. It's a remarkably subtle performance.
90
Village Voice
The audacity of making an inner-city drama in which the white-male authority figure is the crackhead finds its equal in Gosling's already legendary performance, a high-wire act that's gutsiest for its unconscionable charm.
90
What makes Half Nelson both an unusual and an exceptional American film, particularly at a time when even films about Sept. 11 are professed to have no politics, is its insistence on political consciousness as a moral imperative.
80
Fleck manages to mix the storylines which include drug abuse, political commentary and making good choices about your life's path flawlessly.
80
New York Magazine (Vulture)
Downbeat as it is, Half Nelson is a genuinely inspirational film--a terrifically compelling character study and a tricky exploration of the links (and busted links) between the personal and the political.
80
If there was ever any doubt, with Half Nelson, Ryan Gosling establishes himself as a major talent and one of the finest young actors around.
80
Variety
Avoiding rote inspirational notes as well as boyz-in-the-hood violence, scrupulously low-key drama nonetheless builds to a powerful impact.
75
Premiere
Nelson works largely because Gosling and Epps work flawlessly together.

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