Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. A heart-grabbing, awe-inspiring work that needs no embellishment.
  2. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    We witness many of Stephenson's inspirational moments during class, but miles more exist behind her students' skills and execution.
  3. 75
    That rare commodity: a film with only good things to say about public schools.
  4. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    Succeeds by placing us in an interesting world with characters who are impossible not to root for.
  5. 75
    The movie's sense of inspiration is realistic. It never implies a future of glamour, only hard-won success.
  6. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    The intersection of food and identity is briefly explored, and the prep/exam sequences have a tension and charm that keeps the film moving toward its literally rewarding climax.
  7. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Stephenson's a true original, worthy of her own reality TV show. As Pressure Cooker proves: Anything is possible.
  8. Pressure Cooker belongs to the honorable if overpopulated genre of inspirational films (both documentaries and features) dedicated to the proposition that one committed, passionate teacher can make all the difference in the lives of disadvantaged students.
  9. Reviewed by: Jan Stuart
    Pressure Cooker may not get the royal, Conde Nast-magazine hype accorded that upcoming Julia Child movie (starring, who else, Meryl Streep), but it merits a place of honor at the table.
  10. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    The culinary setting gives this familiar formula an appetizing twist.

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