Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 20
  2. Negative: 6 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 16, 2012
    [Director Kaye's] dedication to the material is admirable, but his tactic of following one dismal development with an even more depressing one comes to seem monotonous and pointless.
  2. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Mar 22, 2012
    I didn't believe a word of the film and found myself feeling nothing but (I'm sure this wasn't Kaye's point) detachment.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    Mar 13, 2012
    Movies about teachers are flypaper for overblown armchair crusaderism, and this overbearingly cynical attempt gets my vote for worst offender yet.
  4. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    May 10, 2012
    The movie has an undeniable visceral power. It is also a loud, grating wallow in dime-store despair, a cheap and hollow button-puncher.
  5. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Mar 13, 2012
    Detachment drives a coffin nail through a noble profession with such ruthless virulence that it makes no point at all.
  6. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Mar 11, 2012
    Endng in risible bathos, Tony Kaye's urban high school melodrama is all about the cute teacher's crises and the girls who love him.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Mar 17, 2012
    Adrien Brody's performance is very good, and the movie ends up being an inspiring drama.
  2. Jul 21, 2012
    Superb movie with great messages for the US education system (and the worldwide one, too) !! A must for parents, students and professional teachers. Also, proof that small budget films are usually much much better than their blockbusters cousins. Full Review »
  3. Jan 12, 2013
    Adrien Brody was fantastic as the frazzled teacher trying to live despite the world seemingly going mad around him. Sami Gayle was also impressive as Erica.
    Despite the rather depressing subject matter, the quality acting made it so believable and Henry so endearing that I have fallen in love with this film.
    Full Review »