Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to

Garden State

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Smart drama for mature older teens and up.

Movie R 2004 109 minutes
Garden State Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

Good movie

Good movie, i'm not normally into this kind of genre, but it's actually good. Great soundtrack as well. There's a brief scene where they're in a back room of some building and there's multiple sexual things going on. Luckily it doesn't last long. Lots of drug use portrayed and lots of swearing. Don't let these things turn you off though. It's a great movie
age 14+

the drugs portray a POSITIVE message.

Alright this is one of my favorite movies. yes there are a lot of drugs sex and language, but the reason i would recommend it to 14 and up is because that's the age kids are becoming someone and that can be good or bad. this movie gives a great portrayal of the NEGATIVE effects of promiscuity and drugs. this movie shows that he is BETTER WITHOUT the drugs. he feels alive again because of love. i certainly think that's something 14 yr olds could learn about. as far as the inappropriate things.. just don't show it if you have a kid in THAT stage where they're gonna repeat every curse word or sexual innuendo.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

While there are some clumsy detours, Garden State is filled with outstanding performances and moments of great authenticity, sensitivity, and heart. Going home again helps Largeman understand who he is and who he wants to be. What is just as enriching is seeing how this movie is helping writer/director/star Braff learn who he is and wants to be. A hungover breakfast with Mark, his mother (Jean Smart), and a young man in a suit of armor is a small masterpiece of acting. And a scene near the end in an ark-like structure at the bottom of a canyon is deliriously but matter-of-factly audacious.

Braff's control of tone, mastery of image and feel for creating moments of moments of great sweetness and insight, and his willingness to hold back and not tell us everything about his characters to make them feel like they exist beyond what we see on screen are the qualities of a great film-maker. He makes us want to follow Largeman's journey as a man and continue with him on his own journey as a film-maker.

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