Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Aided greatly by an expert film adaptation by its playwright, Willy Russell, Gilbert has come up with an irresistible story about a lively, lower-class British woman hungering for an education and the rather, staid, degenerating English professor who reluctantly provides her with one.
  2. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Lewis Gilbert, and two career best performances from his leading actors, give this film such energy it leaves the pleasant aroma of life and possibility.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    This is a poignant if predictable take on the English class system, buoyed by an effervescent performance from Walters.
  4. The achievement of Educating Rita is a function of the distinguished performances, the agreeably archetypal situation and the scissor-sharp lines. [23 Sep 1983]
  5. The plot is ''Pygmalion'' warmed over, but Michael Caine and Julie Walters give sparkling performances, and director Lewis Gilbert keeps the action humming along.
  6. 60
    The film doesn't transcend its genre, but it's an honorable achievement within it.
  7. 50
    Educating Rita, which might have been a charming human comedy, disintegrated into a forced march through a formula relationship.
  8. The essentially two-character play has been opened up to the point that it includes a variety of settings and subordinate figures, but it never approaches anything lifelike.
  9. Reviewed by: Michael Blowen
    If you were ever curious how a bad director can destroy the work of two talented actors and a slight, but funny, script, you need look no further than Educating Rita. [28 Oct 1983]

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