Written February 01, 2015
I was hoping this movie would have more punch to it regarding it is about a very sensitive current topic in the country. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis really stepped up to the plate and delivered what they were supposed to do in their performances about a struggling mother and teacher who are trying to turn a school around for the benefit of their children and students but I felt that Daniel Barnes didn't contribute enough to make the story resonate with the audience and that is where it fell flat. It was educative more than entertaining and that is where I was disappointed. I liked the movie but I was hoping to love it more. It didn't measure up.
Written May 22, 2015
Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, well-acted. Maggie Gyllenhaal really made this film. She was very appealing. It is a film that the entire family can enjoy. I liked it very much. It provided some good entertainment while addressing the issue wide-spread failure of our public schools to adequately prepare our children to assume a constructive and productive role in society. The issue of excessive influence of teacher's unions was dramaticlly portrayed in a melodramatic fashion. Yes teacher's unions have excessive influence protecting some teachers who should not be in the classroom, but the unions were also painted with a very broad brush as "bad" in general. Those who are strong supporters of teacher;s unions will not appreciate the message of this film and with some justification. In spite of the controversy that is sure to surround it, this film will put a sharp focus on the basic issue of the need to greatly improve the education of our children across the board
Written April 21, 2015
OK, it's a play after all. So it's fair to suppose the talent's trying to pull off the most realistic portrayal of their characters possible. I get that. It just doesn't work here, due to miscasting and a host of other rookie mistakes. And there's some mighty good talent in this film. It's just too bad a couple were badly matched to their roles, and none were given much to work with in the way of dialog or plot development--the fault of the writers. There's no emotional investment here either for the audience or the cast. Everyone on screen seems like a talking mannequin, more or less, just going through the motions. While this isn't a terrible movie, it's just not all that good. It's worth a matinee ticket at best, or wait for the DVD or stream. You'll be glad you did.
Written July 25, 2014
I did like the film, it's very interesting because it touches the very reason why some school are failing, and also shows how dificcult it is to get parents and teachers involved to try and change the culture of our school system.
Written October 28, 2014
This movie has all the components of an award winning movie. I believe this is a family movie that everyone should see. Everything from the acting, directing, writing, etc was excellent. It was real with real feelings and emotions. It really is a reality check for those of us who are concerned about our young people. The characters in the movie are so intense and convincing they brought their reality to me. They made me laugh and cry. But the most important lesson to us all is that one person can make a difference! I would recommend this movie to everyone. It was great!