The fourth submission in the June review writing contest: by “Billy.”


FEATURING: Starring Zack Braff and Natalie Portman with Peter Sarsgaard, Gideon Largeman and Method Man

PLOT: Andrew Largeman (Zack Braff) returns home to New Jersey to attend his mother’s

Still from Garden State (2004)

funeral.  While there, he realizes the funeral was only the beginning.

WHY IT DESERVES TO MAKE THE LIST:   There is a family who repeatedly kills hamsters, grave robbing, argumentative spin the bottle, conversations in Klingon, marijuana, ecstacy and a man dressed up as a knight in shining armor.  Random moments through out the movie shine of weirdness and that alone will keep you glued to your seat.

COMMENTS: When you’ve finish watching this movie you may be puzzled.  I can see you now with that tilted head and unsure expression.  You will probably want to take a moment and allow the movie to ferment in your mind.  However, that doesn’t make a movie “weird” by itself.  But, considering the flashes of nearly 2 hours of surprise and complexity… I’m not sure if I have a better adjective to describe the movie.

Also, not to mention, the cinematography is amazing and the soundtrack is absolutely perfect.   It fits clip by clip and moment by moment with the movie and I recommend it to anyone. The movie, from beginning to end is strange and odd in the purest sense of the words.  All in all it is a really a great movie.


“This is not a perfect movie; it meanders and ambles and makes puzzling detours. But it’s smart and unconventional, with a good eye for the perfect detail, as when Andrew arrives at work in Los Angeles and notices that the spigot from a gas pump, ripped from its hose when he drove away from a gas station, is still stuck in his gas tank. Something like that tells you a lot about a person’s state of mind” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times (contemporaneous)

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