Buena Vista Pictures | Release Date: June 16, 1989
8.1
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 182 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
161
Mixed:
11
Negative:
10
WATCH NOW
Stream On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
10
LarisseI.Aug 16, 2006
This story is the best! Especially for those people that are still studying that are having great pressure at their academics. You have to watch this film!! It can help you realize things about your life especially in your studies.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
CheyenneC.Dec 7, 2005
Carpe diem-all!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
StephenW.Aug 27, 2005
One of the best movies ever made.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
NatN.Mar 7, 2007
Extremly good movie that explores our deepest desires and the situations that get in our way.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RachelMay 22, 2007
It is probably the most influential movie I've seen in my life. I was truly inspired to change. Everyone should see it. CARPE DIEM!
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
mikem.Oct 11, 2005
A classic.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
PedroA.Oct 26, 2005
Iv'e seen thins movie dozens of times and on all of them the magic is allways there.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BlackNinja10Aug 15, 2013
This movie is a great movie, containing many different film techniques and themes which can be elaborated for further detail. The main themes; conformity, free of mind, belonging, complexity of life, individuality, and most importantlyThis movie is a great movie, containing many different film techniques and themes which can be elaborated for further detail. The main themes; conformity, free of mind, belonging, complexity of life, individuality, and most importantly discovery, which can make this film a great secondary source for the HSC students learning the discovery content.
The Dead Poet's Society is about a group of boys bounded together from experience and friendship. There are many different quotes from famous poets, such as Robert Frost's "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I...I took the one less travelled by and that made all the difference". The use of allusion has allowed the director to communicate effectly the idea of the scene.
A story of many different boys and from many different perspectives, the boys and the world, revolve together around poetry, enhanced by the use of literary allusion and film techniques.
The film is a excellent story which speaks of the balance of life and experiences of it. It teaches us how the schools' systems worked in the past and what you get for insubordinate behaviour.

Overall, the film is an outstanding success, and portrayed the themes and ideas fabulously.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
CaroCaresApr 18, 2016
The movie takes place in a conservative elite boarding school in Vermont and is about six boys who get inspired by their English teacher to take certain risks and develop their own character: Todd Anderson a shy boy who always feels inferiorThe movie takes place in a conservative elite boarding school in Vermont and is about six boys who get inspired by their English teacher to take certain risks and develop their own character: Todd Anderson a shy boy who always feels inferior to his older brother; Neill Perry a very good student whose father forbids him any pleasure so he concentrates on school; Knox Overstreet the romantic one who is in love with an engaged girl; Richard Cameron a disloyal overachiever, Steven Meeks and Gerard Pitts best friends and mischievous Charlie Dalton often tries to escape from the “prison” of the boarding school by playing tricks on the headmaster. These boys will form the Dead Poets Society throughout the movie.
The Welton Academy is a strict school, the lessons are hard and the boys do not have any chance to create individual thoughts . The new English teacher Mister Keating shows his students the beauty of poetry by giving unconventional lessons. His intention is to make them rethink their lives and what they want to achieve. He teaches them to feel poems and not to analyse them in a theoretic mathematical way. As a tribute to Walt Whitman he wants to be called Oh Captain, my captain.
When Neill finds out that Mister Keating was student of Welton and part of the Dead Poets Society. The teacher explains to his students that it was a group of boys who read poems together. The boys revive the Dead Poet Society and enjoy these moments when they cannot be caught smoking and laughing.
Meanwhile, Neill begins to act A Midsummer Night’s Dream without his father’s permission. Knox goes to a party were he gets into trouble with Chris's boyfriend because he touched the hair of sleeping Chris. Todd is troubled with Mister Keating’s homework where they must write their own poem because he is too shy to perform it in front of the classroom. Keating helps him by inspiring him with a picture of Walt Whitman. Todd invents a poem spontaneously and the whole class is impressed.
Few days before the opening performance Neill’s father finds out that his son acts without his permission and wants him to stop. Neill goes to Mister Keating who advises him to explain to his father that acting is what he loves to do. But Neill is too afraid of his father to tell him. Unfortunately, Neill’s father comes to the performance and sees his son on stage. Afterwards Neill is directly taken home where his parents tell him that he must join the Army and that he has to study medicine. When Neill tells them that this will take away ten years of his life and he does not want to do it, his father shouts at him and says that his son has to obey. In his despair Neill commits suicide while his parents are sleeping.

The Dead Poet Society is a movie that shows the beauty of poetry, love and friendship. One can understand what the boys are feeling. These boys have always been confined between the walls of the boarding school and with parents who expect too much of them. They have no chance to form their personality. The boys have often tried to escape but the lessons of Mister Keating make them feel important as an individual with their feelings and thoughts. Keating shows them the advantages and problems concerning conformity.
As Keating prefers the romantics, especially Walt Whitman, he has an optimistic view on the world and values passion. Mister Keating never tells the boys what they have to think. His only advice is: "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." And this is what the boys are doing. The spectator can see how they start to enjoy lessons and question certain things even if others do not understand why. Knox risks everything when he meets Chris but he does it with passion and Neill loves acting. So they are living for themselves.
And yes even if it’s shocking: Neill’s suicide is a very important element concerning this way of thinking. Because even though they are very optimistic in general they do not want to waste their life by living in a way they hate. When Neill’s parents tell him that he has to join the army, he realizes that he would never be free. After his studies his parents would have dicided about his career, which woman to marry etc. And from his point of view this is not "Sucking all the marrow out of life”,as Mister Keating quoted from Thoreau. Neill considered that this life was not worth living anymore.

This movie shows the audience how poetry can touch and change people.
As far as I am concerned, I started to value and admire poetry in a new way. Since I have watched this movie I have even begun to read poetry in my spare time and memorize quotes I like. The six boys are all very different so everybody has one to identify with. Then we can start to reflect upon our lives and if this is the way we want to live if it makes us happy. I'm convinced that everybody wants to be or do something extraordinary.
This is definitely a movie everybody should have seen at least one time during his youth.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
SarahBOct 22, 2005
I loved Dead Poets Society! It had tons of meaning, great references to literature and a touching ending!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
LacieZ.Oct 30, 2005
Great movie....Beginning had me thinking it would be horrible, but i kept and open mind and it enden up being awsome. It is a very inspiring film and it it send out a strong message about the dangers of conformity. i absolutly loved it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
KatarinaJ.Dec 30, 2006
Very Good Movie! Well done! Great acting and alot of great actors.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
Spielberg00Sep 15, 2011
There's absolutely no question as to why DEAD POETS SOCIETY was nominated for Best Picture in 1989. Truly, if it weren't for the fact that a few critics thought Robin Williams should have just gone back to comedies (an absolutely idioticThere's absolutely no question as to why DEAD POETS SOCIETY was nominated for Best Picture in 1989. Truly, if it weren't for the fact that a few critics thought Robin Williams should have just gone back to comedies (an absolutely idiotic statement, in my opinion, though I can see a slight bit of their reasoning), this would have easily won the award. "Carpe diem; seize the day, boys!" If that one quote is remembered centuries from now, don't expect me to be at all surprised. DEAD POETS SOCIETY was like a tragic, sometimes witty drama that is one of Robin Williams' best yet. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
9
moonman1994Jul 26, 2013
An excellent film with great writing and great acting by the entire cast. The film has a great message and it is in no way predictable. Also the story line is extremely gripping. That is what makes this film truly great.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
9
ichiroSep 1, 2012
One of the best movies I watched. It helped me through a lot in my life. Williams was pretty good in that movie - his character made me rethink everything. I enjoyed the movie from the beginning until the end. And even though I'm a male, IOne of the best movies I watched. It helped me through a lot in my life. Williams was pretty good in that movie - his character made me rethink everything. I enjoyed the movie from the beginning until the end. And even though I'm a male, I cried at the ending. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
All this user's reviews
9
arsenicCatnipJun 2, 2013
Influential, beautiful, and powerful. This film will stay in my heart forever. The acting and plot are unmatched by films of its kind, and the message will hold you tight.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
Potarto72Dec 21, 2014
There are two sides to Dead Poets Society ,and one of them makes me want to call it one of the greatest films ever made. The other makes it seem shallow and unimportant.
Robin Williams gives a good performance as the teacher who liberates
There are two sides to Dead Poets Society ,and one of them makes me want to call it one of the greatest films ever made. The other makes it seem shallow and unimportant.
Robin Williams gives a good performance as the teacher who liberates the students, and teaches them to stand up to authority, but sometimes the direction of the film forces him to do his typical comedy routine, when that type of humor has no place in this film. Sometimes the film is just too stereotypical and cliche to appreciate properly, and other times it does an excellent job conveying a message we haven't all seen before. So if there's such a balance of good and bad, why the high rating?
The ending of this film brings a tragedy, which I won't spoil. It is this tragedy, this unexpected, shocking, unusually brutal tragedy that makes Dead Poets Society more than just another Robin Williams comedy. It becomes an echo of the cry for help from American teenagers, and embodies that desperation, that struggle so brilliantly that I have to love this film. Regardless of its shortcomings and cliches early on, it takes such a drastic measure to burn its message in the viewers mind that it sets itself far apart from the image it has on the surface. The film's climax truly pushes it over the edge towards greatness.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
GregePorterAug 31, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Bottom line: Dead Poet Society is a powerful and unique motivational movie that I will almost certainly see again.

We open to an opening ceremony held in the chapel of a very old, very traditional, all male, prep school named Welton Academy. Led by a young man playing bagpipes, a line of boys walk to the front of the chapel. Four of them hold banners which state the four pillars of the school: tradition, honor, discipline, and excellence. This staunch tone is reflected in the students (and their parents) of the school. One student, Neil Perry (Leonard), has a domineering father who dictates the course for his son’s life; Neil will go to Welton, then to medical school, then become a doctor.

A new English teacher, John Keating (Williams), was hired to replace the one who had retired. His methods are unorthodox. For one of the first few days of class, he has his students read an excerpt from the introduction of the official poetry textbook. It states that one might plot a graph whose x and y axis is meter and importance, respectively. The “greatness” of a poem can be defined by its placement on that graph. Keating vehemently opposes this notion and, in the spirit of rejection, he has his students tear it out of the book. They are dumbfounded but comply.

Poetry isn’t something you can measure like a height and weight, Keating says, poetry is life. So to teach them about poetry, Keating is teaching them how to live and how to seize the day. His students, in each their own way, are touched by his teaching. Neil Perry, for example, comes to realize that he has always wanted to act and he works to make his dream a reality despite his father’s opposition.

I thoroughly enjoyed Dead Poet Society. This is a motivational movie that hit the spot and departed from what I’ve always associated with motivational subject matter. That is, it wasn’t about an athlete persevering despite physical, emotional, or political obstacles. Not that there’s anything wrong with athletics but Dead Poet Society is refreshing. The use of poetry to develop the idea of living is lovely. It isn’t about them writing poetry, mind you, it is about the students breaking from their repressive molds by learning to appreciate poetry.

Generally, I have mixed feelings about Robin Williams. Sometimes he can be a little much, but his performance as John Keating is fantastic. His antics are silly but not distracting. The acting overall is solid. It is really uplifting to see the students’ eyes light up as they develop a new outlook on life. I also really liked how the movie didn’t feel the need to give much if any epilogue. The students have a new perspective on life and that’s that. The movie doesn’t say “Student X went on to .”

I really liked the music and the cinematography. There is a shot of a fall morning with flocks of birds taking off. The camera cuts over to flocks of students filling the stairwells of the academy on their way to class. Later, after a couple weeks of Keating’s teaching, one of the boys rides his bike down a hill through a flock of birds, disrupting them and causing them to fly. It is a simple yet effective visual metaphor.

The only thing I didn’t really like is how, until obligatory sad portion, everything works out so perfectly. This isn’t anything major but I’ll describe why this is a pet peeve in my discussion post. Other than that, I had no issues with this movie. It got me pumped up and, I suppose, that’s the point of a motivational movie. I’d recommend this for any time, especially if you are feeling a little down.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
Antgiog1202Jun 2, 2016
"O Captain! My Captain! A beautiful poem by Walt Whitman used in a beautiful film. Dead Poets Society was a brilliant piece of poetry amalgamated with a motion picture. Almost every word out of Robin Williams' mouth is inspiring and"O Captain! My Captain! A beautiful poem by Walt Whitman used in a beautiful film. Dead Poets Society was a brilliant piece of poetry amalgamated with a motion picture. Almost every word out of Robin Williams' mouth is inspiring and intellectual.

Rating: 9/10

A+ = 10
A = 9
A- = 8
B+ = 7
B = 6
B- = 5
C+ = 4
C = 3
C- = 2.5
D+ = 2
D = 1.5
D- = 1
F = 0
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
grandpajoe6191Sep 18, 2011
Although "Dead Poets Society" copies the original book with no prominent changes, It still lives as a classic movie.
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
All this user's reviews
8
anshimanJan 11, 2013
This is a film whose very fibers engender truly moving sentiments through what is Williams' best performance to date, an illustrious script and an overall gorgeous portrayal of honest human emotions. 'Dead Poet's Society' is packed withThis is a film whose very fibers engender truly moving sentiments through what is Williams' best performance to date, an illustrious script and an overall gorgeous portrayal of honest human emotions. 'Dead Poet's Society' is packed with memorable one-liners that are consistently quoted in the film world, and can proudly be called a film classic. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
8
SpangleNov 26, 2014
An incredibly emotional and inspirational film, Dead Poets Society stands tall as a great film in the coming of age category. Robin Williams is absolutely brilliant. Truly a great performance on his part and his charisma really shinesAn incredibly emotional and inspirational film, Dead Poets Society stands tall as a great film in the coming of age category. Robin Williams is absolutely brilliant. Truly a great performance on his part and his charisma really shines through. He is entirely believable and the inspirational and caring teacher. The performances from the younger actors is also good. The direction from Peter Weir, writing from Tom Schulman, and cinematography from John Seale, are also all great and all increase the impact this drama has on its viewers. It can get a little sentimental at times and it gets dark pretty quick at times, but overall, Dead Poets Society is a smash success that needs to be watched by all. If anyone ever says that Robin Williams is not a great actor, this in particular is a great film to show them to prove them wrong, because dammit is he great. His performance is one that stays with you for a while. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
StaticSpineApr 2, 2015
A thought-provoking and emotionally-engaging drama about one simple fact: nobody can teach you how to live your life. A great performance by Robin Williams.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
8
MovieGuysOct 24, 2014
Although it may be a little overrated as a whole, Dead Poets Society is still one of Peter Weir's best films, and an important if abstract look at the pressures of being a teenager and the transition into making one's own decisions.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
phishyphishyOct 21, 2014
This was one of those movies I hadn't seen, but had kind of seen. I've seen snippets aired on TV, and mostly new the plot. However, this was the first time I sat down and watched it beginning to end. I liked it. Sometimes it's message feltThis was one of those movies I hadn't seen, but had kind of seen. I've seen snippets aired on TV, and mostly new the plot. However, this was the first time I sat down and watched it beginning to end. I liked it. Sometimes it's message felt trite, but it's saved by wonderful acting performances. The best thing I can say about this film is that it holds up. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
7
ERG1008Aug 23, 2010
Man returns to teach at the school where he studied, gets his students to speak & express themselves from within, students stumble upon secret society that teacher was in, school tradition, discipline & parents disapprove.
Well written film
Man returns to teach at the school where he studied, gets his students to speak & express themselves from within, students stumble upon secret society that teacher was in, school tradition, discipline & parents disapprove.
Well written film with a great performance by Robin Williams & a very young Ethan Hawke. It is quite predictable but the iconic scene at the end is very powerful.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
TokyochuchuJun 25, 2012
Dead Poet's Society is an easy to watch coming-of-age / youth-against-the-man flick which espouses the beauty and meaning of literature. It's well acted and written, with a nice lightness of touch. Dead Poets Society is in no way revelatoryDead Poet's Society is an easy to watch coming-of-age / youth-against-the-man flick which espouses the beauty and meaning of literature. It's well acted and written, with a nice lightness of touch. Dead Poets Society is in no way revelatory or profound but it is entertaining. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
HalfwelshmanFeb 4, 2012
I must admit, Dead Poets Society has been slightly ruined for me by the numerous parodies and references to it both on TV and in films over the years. I guess it's my own fault for not seeing it sooner. It hinges on a fantastic centralI must admit, Dead Poets Society has been slightly ruined for me by the numerous parodies and references to it both on TV and in films over the years. I guess it's my own fault for not seeing it sooner. It hinges on a fantastic central performance by Robin Williams, playing Mr. Keating, the physical embodiment of everyone's perfect teacher. He teaches a subject many would find dull, poetry, in unorthodox ways, not through reading from textbooks and note-taking, but through fun exercises and physical activity, and unlike the rest of the prep school teachers, he genuinely cares for his students. The cast of young actors playing Keating's students that re-form the titular Dead Poets Society that Keating founded in his youth, all do their part, but of particular note is Ethan Hawke's captivating break-out role as the painfully shy and troubled Todd Anderson. His characterisation results in one of the best scenes in the film, where Mr. Keating puts Todd on the spot and forces him to improvise a poem in front of his class, and through doing so, cures Todd of his crippling lack of confidence. The story does take a little while to get going, and the overall running time of the film feels a little gruelling, though the final act is superb. What surprised, and disappointed me the most about Dead Poets Society, considering how etched into popular culture it has become, is how little it actually had to say. There's only so far you can take the "seize the day" moral - Keating's students may be encouraged to have fun and enjoy life, but what happens when they all sit their exams, when they realise their teacher has taught them much about life, but not a whole lot they than actually apply to their studies? (Unless they plan to stand on their desk as a protest to archaic teaching methods for the rest of their education). It's a pleasant fantasy that you can get through school and university, and achieve your ambitions simply by living life to the full, but not a realistic one. Though if you're just looking for a pleasant bit of fantasy escapism with good performances, plenty of humour and heart, then look no further than Dead Poets Society. Though director Peter Weir has done far more intelligent, brilliant films since (The Truman Show, Master and Commander), it was this twee little comedy-drama that introduced him to the mainstream, and allowed his Hollywood career to blossom. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
Tss5078Sep 30, 2014
Dead Poets Society is considered by many to be the crowning achievement of Robin Williams career. There is no dispute over Williams performance, as it is considered to be one of the best of all time, and the film is so revivered, that it'sDead Poets Society is considered by many to be the crowning achievement of Robin Williams career. There is no dispute over Williams performance, as it is considered to be one of the best of all time, and the film is so revivered, that it's require viewing in many education classes, but just how good a film was it? Robin Williams stars as Professor John Keating, an unconventional teacher who inspired his students to push the boundaries of the way they think. Keating's students worship him and reform the old club he was a founding member of as a student, The Dead Poets Society. Keating's unconventional thinking pushes his students, but the question is will it push some of them too far from the norm, at their strict boarding school? The performances makes this film, as you will see some amazing things. As for the story, it really isn't anything more than a means to present the characters. When you take away the performances, the truth is that this film is about a traditional boarding school, an English class, and a poetry club, not the most interesting of stories. Dead Poets Society is rather slow moving and one begins to question just how meaningful a club like this would be, especially in today's digital world. When it comes to Dead Poets Society, I loved the performances, but wasn't crazy about the film as a whole. I think the storyline is lacking, the characters aren't as unconventional as they could have been, and things move much too slowly for mainstream audiences. That being said, if you are a movie lover, this film is like It's A Wonderful Life and Citizen Kane in that it may not be the best of films, but it is a part of cinematic history that must be scene for it's undeniably outstanding performances and it's contribution to the history of film. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews