101- Half Nelson [5.5]

An inner-city teacher struggling with a drug habit forms an unlikely bond with a young student who catches him in a compromising position.

Half Nelson lays it on pretty thick with its theme of change in history (or lack thereof) and how it can relate to addiction. Though it thankfully avoids a lot of trite plot points found in teacher/student movies (especially those set in urban neighborhoods), Half Nelson still feels like a dozen films you’ve seen before stitched together. Ryan Gosling and young Shareeka Epps are excellent, but there performances are much better than the material at hand. (Also, as much as I love Broken Social Scene, their music felt quite out of place throughout.)

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