The Class


Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    I would be surprised if this brilliant and touching film didn't become required viewing for teachers all over the United States. Everyone else should see it as well--it's a wonderful movie.
  2. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Talky in the best sense, the film exhilarates with its lively, authentic classroom banter while its emotional undercurrents build steadily but almost imperceptibly over a swift 129 minutes. One of the most substantive and purely entertaining movies in competition at Cannes this year.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    It is hard to think of another film more tightly autobiographical than this one. It's even harder to think of other films that build so gripping a narrative out of a string of comparatively minor and disparate incidents.
  4. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    This unassuming movie will nail you to your seat.
  5. Cantet's real-time classroom scenes are revelations: They make you understand that teaching is moment to moment, an endless series of negotiations that hang on intangibles—on imagination and empathy and the struggle to stay centered. This is a remarkable movie.
  6. The Class is clearly a microcosm of contemporary France, beset by social and economic tensions. More than that, though, it's a saga of education's struggles in many parts of the modern world. If only the film were pure fiction.
  7. Wherever you were schooled, in public schools or private, in the slums or in the suburbs, you will recognize yourself in this film and laugh and beam and cower.
  8. 100
    The movie is bursting with life, energy, fears, frustrations and the quick laughter of a classroom hungry for relief.
  9. This is one of the screen's most rewarding explorations of the teacher/student relationship in any language.
  10. 100
    I was much more disheartened leaving the movie the first time I saw it than I was the second. Its richness resides in its apparent objectivity. Without sacrificing a sense of hope, Cantet suggests that the school system is just like a certain vexing grammatical tense: imperfect but still fighting against irrelevance.
  11. 100
    The Class is not just the best film released thus far this year. It may be the most gripping.
  12. The young cast, all nonactors who developed their characters with Cantet and Bégaudeau, brings the weight of full lives to each of the students.
  13. 100
    The Class ranks with the very best films ever made about teaching, and it's unlike any English or American film about teaching ever made.
  14. 91
    The beauty of The Class is that it puts the lie to the one-teacher-can-make-a-difference myth propagated by so many other films.
  15. 90
    The Class is a lovely, exhilarating work about the ways in which failure and frustration can open the pathways through which we make sense out of life.
  16. 90
    For anyone who loves language, this cut-and-thrust is a heady delight, so rich and free-flowing in its rhythms that it's hard to decide whether what we're seeing is a vérité-style documentary or a realist drama.
  17. The reality of François' classroom is so intense that it holds our interest even while the film's dramatic focus is building so quietly under the surface that we don't notice it at first.
  18. Here Mr. Cantet -- whose earlier features include "Human Resources" and "Time Out," two other dramas about systems of power -- has done that rarest of things in movies about children: He has allowed them to talk.
  19. The keen observations of The Class ultimately become a remedial education in themselves.
  20. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The Class is a deeply moving film about the challenges of educating children in a complex and often turbulent world.
  21. 88
    Fierce, funny and moving, The Class graduates with honors. It's unmissable.
  22. French movies are not so neatly resolved. In fact, the point of many French movies, such as this provocative one from director Laurent Cantet, is that some problems don't have satisfying solutions - or resolutions.
  23. 88
    Considering the strength of performances given by the 25-or-so teenage actors portraying the students, it's amazing that none of them have previous experience.
  24. 83
    A modestly scaled, sharply observed film.
  25. 80
    Most impressive, Cantet tracks the racial and ethnic resentments that simmer beneath the classroom discussions but become harder to quell when the parents get involved.
  26. 75
    The Class offers no Hollywood ending, but is rewarding for those up to the challenge.
  27. The Class is simultaneously old school and new, familiar in its themes but unique in design and, at its best, riveting in execution.
  28. This is the most realistic film about teaching that you're ever likely to see.
  29. 75
    Skillfully straddles an intriguing line between reality and fiction.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 90 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 33
  2. Negative: 7 out of 33
  1. Jan 17, 2016
    Two great thing about this film:

    1. The topic (integrating migrants into societies) is very relevant in today's society. However, the film
    Two great thing about this film:

    1. The topic (integrating migrants into societies) is very relevant in today's society. However, the film takes on the issue neutrally - it's neither pro-immigration or anti-immigration. It just shows the difficulties of dealing with the integration of people who are vastly different.

    2. It's super-real, yet it isn't a documentary. It may portray an immigrant school, but it's more close to showing how students behave in any ordinary school than any other movie I've seen.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 14, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This movie is not made for entertainment or for enjoyment, it is made to be a representation to the world of the difficulties of being a teacher in a French education environment. I am a student and found it mediocre as it was so accurate to a classroom situation. I appreciate this and I believe that this film explores the classroom atmosphere in a naturalistic sense without showing any extremes and still while highlighting key flaws that can occur anywhere, neither does it preach these flaws or show any resolve it just shows them. This is a brave move for any film writer and this is why it is so highly praised by the critics as they appreciate this courage and also find the film captivating in its unresolved nature. Full Review »
  3. Aug 26, 2010
    A fresh dose of authenticity makes all of the situations and struggles found in "The Class" all the more compelling. In an age when theA fresh dose of authenticity makes all of the situations and struggles found in "The Class" all the more compelling. In an age when the education system is overcome with scrutiny and pessimism against both teachers and students, the movie shows that we have to give it more than hope for it to survive - we have to give it constant dedication. I'd definitely recommend the movie to anyone who's a teacher or planning to teach. Full Review »