Garden State

Garden State

Zach Braff (2003)

15 Certificate


Our Score
The puppy-dog charm and sharp comic timing of Scrubs star Zach Braff are very much to the fore in this, his first major leading role. But it's his talents behind the camera as writer and director that really impress. The story is familiar enough: an actor is forced to re-examine his rather empty, aimless life when he returns to his home town in New Jersey for the funeral of his mother. But Braff's thoughtful, mature script neatly sidesteps most of the obvious clichés, while as a director he shows a fine eye for offbeat composition. The performances are uniformly excellent too, particularly Natalie Portman as the quirky local girl that Braff befriends, and Peter Sarsgaard as his old grave-digging schoolfriend. It falters near the end, but this is still a fine directorial debut.


A TV actor shuffles through life emotionally numbed by the drugs prescribed for him by his stern psychiatrist father. However, he decides to ditch the pills when returning home for his mother's funeral. Free of medication, his apathy begins to lift, and an eccentric local woman reawakens his joy for life. Romantic drama, written, directed by and starring Zach Braff, with Natalie Portman and Ian Holm.

Cast & Crew

Andrew Largeman Zach Braff
Sam Natalie Portman
Gideon Largeman Ian Holm
Mark Peter Sarsgaard
Carol Jean Smart
Olivia Ann Dowd
Dr Cohen Ron Leibman
Diego Method Man
Director Zach Braff
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Buena VistaGuidance: Swearing, drug abuse and sex scenes.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 10 Dec 2004