Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 189 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Robin Williams stars as John Keating, an unconventional teacher at a conservative New England prep school who inspires his students and encourages them with the rallying call "carpe diem" (seize the day).

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Pauline Kael
    100
    The picture draws out the obvious and turns itself into a classic. [26 June 1989]
  2. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Rick Schultz
    100
    One of Australian director Peter Weir's most sensitive films.
  3. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Judy Stone
    100
    Hurrah! Poetry and passion, comedy and tragedy are fused into one absolutely marvelous affirmation of independent spirit in Dead Poets Society. [2 June 1989, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
  4. 80
    It's a literate though strained uplifter.
  5. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Williams is impressively restrained as well as funny, so fans need not fret. It only means that instead of Good Morning, Preppies, we're given a bittersweet, even eerie Goodbye, Mr. Hip. [2 June 1989, Life, p.1D]
  6. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Gene Siskel
    75
    A refreshing if obvious drama. [9 June 1989, Friday, p.A]
  7. Beneath the polished surface, Dead Poets Society is moribund at the core - too pat, too safe and too hypocritical, as conformist as the conformity it so easily decries.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 58
  2. Negative: 1 out of 58
  1. Rachel
    May 22, 2007
    10
    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!
  2. PedroA.
    Oct 26, 2005
    10
    Iv'e seen thins movie dozens of times and on all of them the magic is allways there.
  3. NatN.
    Mar 7, 2007
    10
    Extremly good movie that explores our deepest desires and the situations that get in our way.
  4. SarahB
    Oct 22, 2005
    9
    I loved Dead Poets Society! It had tons of meaning, great references to literature and a touching ending!
  5. Sep 15, 2011
    9
    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 aThere'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
  6. Oct 21, 2014
    8
    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 wasThis 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
  7. Sep 7, 2010
    5
    For me this film works until the final 10 minutes were it descends into an implausible maelstrom of madness.

    If you decide to watch this,
    For me this film works until the final 10 minutes were it descends into an implausible maelstrom of madness.

    If you decide to watch this, maybe take the ending with a grain of salt. This way you might get more enjoyment from the experience.
    Expand

See all 58 User Reviews

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