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Garden State

580 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Dec 28, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Writer/Director Zach Braff delivers "an Oscar®-worthy performance" (CBS-TV Chicago) opposite a "wacky and endearing" (Newsweek) Natalie Portman in this quirky, coming-of-age comedy. Twentysomething, emotionally detached Andrew "Large" Largeman (Braff) hasn’t been home to New Jersey in nine years. Now, as Large attempts to re-connect with a variety of odd acquaintances – including his father – he decides to risk getting high on the most potent and unpredictable drug there is…life! Co-starring Peter Sarsgaard, Ian Holm and Method Man, Garden State is "marvelous fun" (Rolling Stone)

Special Features

  • 16 deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • Making-of featurette
  • Outtakes and bloopers

Product Details

  • Actors: Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, Amy Ferguson, Jill Flint, Gary Gilbert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (580 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JNC2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,497 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Garden State" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By erin on November 1, 2004
Format: DVD
this is definitely a movie to see if you've ever felt like screaming into "the infinite abyss." braff creates a story that is honest enough to be touching, quirky enough to be real. his imagery is both profound and effective, almost primarily because of the sometimes dry, sometimes laugh out loud silliness of the dialogue and situations used to carry it. if you like armor, or crazy motorbikes, or hamsters, or love, this is the movie for you. if you've ever felt trapped, or numb, or rejected, or odd, this is the movie for you. if you like amazing music, talented actors, and incredible cinematography, this is the movie for you.

when i left the theater, i felt humbled, and amazed, and a little less alone. stunning technical elements aside, i walked out of garden state feeling good.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Peterson on September 27, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found so much of this movie answered the questions i had been having in my life. It made me feel so good about what I have and ok with what I don't have. It made me see what is important in life. It sounds cliche to the maximum, but I laughed, I cried, and.....well I laughed more than I cried, but I left the theater (twice) with a complete and utter sense of awe. This is a spectacular movie.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By LK on January 4, 2005
Format: DVD
Garden State is not phenomenal. The script is not genius, the acting is not Oscar calliber and, believe it or not, there are better sound tracks out there. However, this movie is pretty irresistable.

Zach Braff (writer, director and star) wrote the screen play for Garden State while in college, a fact made pretty obvious by the lovely angsty cliches. But in Braff's subtle hands, what could be tarnished by the shallow pathos of a twenty-something is allowed to flourish into a touching coming of age story.

The premise is simple and effective: Braff plays Andrew Largeman, a young man who has recently decided to "take a vacation" from the numbing antidepressants he has been on for a decade. He flies home from LA for his mother's funeral, and happens to meet a quirky beauty named Sam (Natalie Portman). As Andrew reimmerses himself back in his home town in the Garden State, he must deal with old friends, new love, and deep family issues. All within four days, of course.

Lucky for us, four days is equivilent to about a fast paced hour and a half. Natalie Portman steals every scene, with her charming lies and intense facial expressions. Although Braff and Portman don't seem to exude tons of sexual chemistry, their jarring interactions are flawless.

No, Garden State won't win a slew of Oscars. But it will win you over anyway, dead hamster or not.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Harl on September 27, 2004
Format: DVD
My girlfriend and I became so obsessed with this film that we drove 100 miles to see it in Hollywood four times since it wasn't showing in our town. We then saw it two more times when our town finally began showing it. The film is one of the few movies I can watch over and over again and never tire of it. The soundtrack is also very well put-together and makes each scene that much more enjoyable.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By R. David Roe on November 30, 2004
Format: DVD
I'll have to admit that for the first ten minutes or so of the film, the casual coarse language used by Largeman (Zach Braff)'s high school buddies seemed like a gratuitous and slightly strained reach toward "hipness," in effort to appeal to a younger generation of moviegoers. Blame this in part on my being on the other side of the generation gap. But as I began to know the characters better, it dawned on me that this WAS the younger generation (at least a real part of its disenfranchised subculture, one of which I know very little) and offers an honest representation of the way they speak.

There is a tremendous heart to this film, characterized when Braff, Natalie Portman, and Peter Sarsgaard's characters both literally and metaphorically unleash a scream into the "eternal abyss." Their pent-up frustration stems from the recognized irony that each of us is trapped in a world not of his own making with all of its seemingly irrational expectations and demands. Though we may anesthetize ourselves from the sad truths behind our sustaining myth of self-determination, we risk blinding ourselves to the great redeeming aspect of our existance: the love of the people around us.

Natalie Portman as Largeman's girlfriend, Sam, is utterly luminous here. Not to mention she made me fall in love. I am embarassed to say I had to wait for the end credits to discover who this wonderful actress was (I have religiously avoided the obscenely over-merchandised Star Wars films of late and knew little of her adult work since her childhood debut in "The Professional.") Meryl Streep -- your spiritual daughter and future heir is growing up quite nicely.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Exploding Gopher on December 30, 2004
Format: DVD
You ever have one of those "wow" moments after a movie? You know, the final scene darkens, the credits roll, and you just sit there thinking. It's like a good song or a good book: you just feel satisfied when it's over. Garden State gives you one of those moments.

One of the best things about it is that it's nothing like any movie you'll ever see. It's not a movie where you can coherently answer the question, "What's it about?" because the plot doesn't follow the average story line. I guess you could say that Garden State is about people. It's a love story of the highest sort. Not only between a man and a woman, but between a man and himself. It's the story of the most significant journey in a man's life--the journey home.

What really makes this movie stand apart from others is the writing. Zach Braff, who also directed and starred in the film, brilliantly crafted a screenplay that both connects you with the characters and allows you to examine your own life in their context. However, it wasn't brooding or dark in the least. In fact, you often laugh despite yourself throughout.

This is due only in part to the writing, as the acting is also superb. Braff really develops his character (Andrew) as the movie progresses. Natalie Portman shines as the quirky, lovable Samantha who absolutely transforms Andrew's life. All of the other characters are relatively minor in comparison, but they're all well played and accent the depth of Braff's character.

The soundtrack also gets an honorable mention. Featuring Colin Hay, Nick Drake, Iron & Wine, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Shins (among others), the soundtrack is more than just background music. It adds to the mood and meaning of the movie. If my life had a soundtrack, and I wish it did, I'd want it to be this one.
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Topic From this Discussion
What are the best and worst songs to have opened a movie?
I love the fact that this is in the Garden State forum, because in my opinion, Dont Panic by Coldplay is the very best song I've heard to start a movie. Granted, there are plenty of soundtrack songs I like better, but for the picture being painted in the opening scenes, this song fits perfectly.... Read More
May 23, 2011 by Austin Dalyai |  See all 2 posts
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