Metascore
100

Universal acclaim - based on 4 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: JFK High School, located in the midst of a run-down area in Newark, New Jersey, is a public school for all types of students with special education needs, ranging from those on the autism spectrum to those with multiple disabilities. Janet Mino has taught her class of young men with autismJFK High School, located in the midst of a run-down area in Newark, New Jersey, is a public school for all types of students with special education needs, ranging from those on the autism spectrum to those with multiple disabilities. Janet Mino has taught her class of young men with autism for four years. When they all graduate in the spring of 2012, they will leave the security of the public school system forever. Best Kept Secret follows Ms. Mino and her students over the year and a half before graduation. The clock is ticking to find them a place in the adult world â Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Reviewed by: Annlee Ellingson
    Sep 5, 2013
    100
    This is no sappy portrait of a saint: Mino is tenacious, critical and defensive, and in one memorable scene, a colleague tries to get her to face reality about what the real world holds for their students after graduation.
  2. Reviewed by: Miriam Bale
    Sep 5, 2013
    100
    Best Kept Secret is an exemplary documentary: It spotlights an important issue yet never seeks to squeeze the truth into an easily digestible narrative frame. Instead it expands its storytelling to the boundaries of messy, joyful and painful reality.
  3. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Sep 10, 2013
    100
    If Secret can leave the viewer despairing, it's also hugely inspiring, thanks to Mino. She's one of the cinematic heroines of the year.
  4. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Sep 11, 2013
    100
    At once heartbreaking and uplifting.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Sep 26, 2013
    10
    forever. Best Kept Secret follows Ms. Mino and her students over the year and a half before graduation. The clock is ticking to find them aforever. Best Kept Secret follows Ms. Mino and her students over the year and a half before graduation. The clock is ticking to find them a place in the adult world a job or rare placement in a recreational center so they do not end up where their predecessors have, sitting at home, institutionalized, or on the streets. Expand
  2. Mar 14, 2015
    8
    This film provided a unique perspective into the autistic community. These are kids from a low-income neighborhood with little to no outsideThis film provided a unique perspective into the autistic community. These are kids from a low-income neighborhood with little to no outside resources available to them. I say they are kids but in fact they are 21 year old adults about to age out of the public school system. It's clear from the start that they are not ready to participate in the outside world and their options are bleak.

    The film doesn't have a narrator and, due to the linguistic limitations of the subjects, none of the kids can be interviewed directly. But the film focuses on Janet Mino, who is their very passionate teacher. By the end of the film I found myself seeing the students through her eyes as individual people with their own dreams and motivations even though they can't articulate them.

    The one weakness I found was that there were a few meetings (particularly between Ms. Mino and the school principal) that were obviously staged to provide background to the audience. This damaged the film's credibility in my eyes but Ms. Mino's passion was obviously not staged.

    The film doesn't become too preachy and tell people what needs to be done. It simply provides us with a glimpse into the troubles of a few underprivileged students.
    Expand

Trailers