The Class

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 88
  2. Negative: 12 out of 88
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  1. BillD.
    Mar 1, 2009
    10
    I was totally absorbed in this movie. It was a 130- minute escape from the world that seemed more like 90 minutes. This movie is special.
  2. MarkP
    Feb 8, 2009
    10
    So if you can't deal with the hard reality of inner city classrooms today find yourself some fluff. But this film is outstanding, gets it totally right, and has some unbelievable performances. It's hard to believe anyone is acting.
  3. JaimeC
    Apr 6, 2009
    8
    One of the other reviewers talks about this is a poor transformational drama... I often wonder if people actually watch the films in front of them. For transformational drama read no Hollywood ending, or read no moral to the story, or not even an uplifting ending... and surely that was the point. Whatever the teacher or the kids intended, nobody got anything. Nobody learned a thing. The One of the other reviewers talks about this is a poor transformational drama... I often wonder if people actually watch the films in front of them. For transformational drama read no Hollywood ending, or read no moral to the story, or not even an uplifting ending... and surely that was the point. Whatever the teacher or the kids intended, nobody got anything. Nobody learned a thing. The illegal immigrant got sent home, the troublemaker got expelled, and the quiet girl really had nothing to say. That's what the film tried to capture, life isn't all swans, the majority stay as ugly ducks. Expand
  4. PhilipL.
    Dec 21, 2008
    10
    After "Time Out" and "Human Resources," my hopes for this film were extremely high. Cantet surpassed them briliantly. This is probably going to knock "Wall-E" off the top of my personal top 10 list - it's bloody indispensible.
  5. TomS.
    Mar 1, 2009
    10
    Quite simply the best class room movie I've ever been privilaged enough to see. The movie takes it's time and breathes fresh life into the tough classroom genre. Except in this one the teacher is every bit as tough as his tough-as-mails students. Not to give anything away an oh-so-valid crisis develops and it's more than worth the wait. Must say, I was sad when the screen Quite simply the best class room movie I've ever been privilaged enough to see. The movie takes it's time and breathes fresh life into the tough classroom genre. Except in this one the teacher is every bit as tough as his tough-as-mails students. Not to give anything away an oh-so-valid crisis develops and it's more than worth the wait. Must say, I was sad when the screen cut to black; even though the end was pitch perfect. Expand
  6. PollyW.
    Mar 3, 2009
    10
    I don't see how anyone could find this film boring. If nothing else, there's the constant question, "How well is the teacher handling the situation?"
  7. JohnS.
    Mar 7, 2009
    10
    This film is riveting. Period. Forgive me for what will sound like an incredibly arrogant and pedantic comment, but every negative review I've read of this film decries its lack of realism in that these students are not violent enough to be convincing Parisian "hoodrats," so there's no reason to care. But that is a conclusion borne of a deeply America-centric lack of This film is riveting. Period. Forgive me for what will sound like an incredibly arrogant and pedantic comment, but every negative review I've read of this film decries its lack of realism in that these students are not violent enough to be convincing Parisian "hoodrats," so there's no reason to care. But that is a conclusion borne of a deeply America-centric lack of understanding of the subject material here. Firstly, a quick Google search of French (or all of Europe, for that matter) crime statistics will show that the "Lean on Me" vintage of gun-toting, crack-selling inner-city students is an almost uniquely American phenomenon. The "hard-knock life" is a subjective thing, and it's worse here in the US because, overall, crime ITSELF is worse here in the US than Europe--and, for the most part, the world. Secondly, and more importantly, one needs to take into account the extraordinary difficulties with racial tensions France is having today. France is, both historically and currently, a country rife with racism that hasn't yet figured out how to deal with the incessant tidal wave of "invaders" from its colonies, who "threaten" to upset the very "Frenchness" at the heart of the French. And on top of that, there is little acknowledgment of the racial tensions within the country--this is why there has been wave after wave of race riots in African and Arab neighborhoods in Paris over the past ten years. It is precisely these issues--usually subtextually, but occasionally in boldface--that this film deals with. These are children who are angry, lost and confused--not because they are thrust into a life of crime and killing by abject poverty and/or absent parents, but because they are thrust into a country where they are commanded to adopt an identity--to be "French"--they not only don't want, but haven't been given an opportunity to understand. Expand
  8. JayH.
    Aug 8, 2009
    7
    Realistic and believably done, I did feel it was a little overlong and there were a few slow patches. At times it seemed repetitive, but overall it was a very effective film. Well acted.
  9. nickj
    Sep 11, 2009
    8
    If I could, I would actually give this an 8 1/2. It was an extremely subtle and well thought out portrait of the less seen in France. Francois Begaudeau was extremely good as himself in this extremely good film.
  10. JJR
    Jan 31, 2009
    10
    This was truly an amazing film. Incredibly rewarding and challenging, it leaves a lot to think about after the credits roll.
  11. BobB.
    Feb 17, 2009
    9
    Interesting to compare and contrast the inner city issues within Paris schools with movies about the same issues in the US, Morrocans and Malis instead of Mexicans and Vietnamese.
  12. barbiel
    Feb 8, 2009
    9
    Quietly brilliant.
  13. trashcan
    Sep 15, 2009
    8
    Unique, different, and something you haven't seen before? Yes. A great must see movie? No.
  14. SvanurP.
    Jan 31, 2009
    9
    A great movie that offers a genuinely realist picture of a classroom. The film deals with contemporary issues of French politics but the issues are also prevalent to the rest of the world, dealing with immigrants, language, and how people react to one another. I found the film funny, exhilirating, thoughtful, touching, and all in all a great night out at the movies.
  15. JanY.
    Feb 14, 2009
    10
    Deserving to grab the Academy Award statuette for this year. It's a long waited film that would serve those involved with the education of children here and abroad. The film has a great cast, offering very credible moods and emotions that would remain very memorable for years to come. Very well crafted film that would truly touch the hearts of those who care about kids. I've Deserving to grab the Academy Award statuette for this year. It's a long waited film that would serve those involved with the education of children here and abroad. The film has a great cast, offering very credible moods and emotions that would remain very memorable for years to come. Very well crafted film that would truly touch the hearts of those who care about kids. I've also seen Waltz with Bashir and strongly view that The Class strikes as a far better and memorable story for the audience. Waltz with Bashir can only boast about its stylistic animated creativity, but as a story, it is lacking in emotional thrust. Perhaps, the fault lies with the animated works that allow Waltz with Bashir coming off as fictional fantasy and takes rather than being based on documented facts. Three cheers to The Class. Expand
  16. PeterG
    Aug 16, 2009
    10
    It's hard for me to imagine a story so heavily anchored in the mundane that kept me so heavily anchored to my seat. I've watched this film about 4 times so far, and have yet to grow bored of it. The teacher, who has a predetermined curriculum to impart, is constantly being derailed by the dialectic that these students seem to prefer much more. In so doing, they seem to arrive at It's hard for me to imagine a story so heavily anchored in the mundane that kept me so heavily anchored to my seat. I've watched this film about 4 times so far, and have yet to grow bored of it. The teacher, who has a predetermined curriculum to impart, is constantly being derailed by the dialectic that these students seem to prefer much more. In so doing, they seem to arrive at a middle ground between what society has determined is important for these kids to learn, and what actually IS relevant to them in their lives and experiences, not unlike a dialogue between interlocuters and Socrates, to whom they later even pay tribute with a mention of Plato's 'Republic'. Along the way, you observe the blindness and shortcomings of institutions as well as the obstinant perpetuance of the disenfranchised. Somewhere between the need for social harmony and the need for change, between the theoretical and the practical, and between aspirations and reality, you are educated at the crossroads through which all these intersect "between the walls" of 'The Class'. Expand
  17. John
    Aug 21, 2009
    7
    Lots of Pros and Cons. The authenticity is great. But as someone who observes teachers all day, what struck me was that he was not really a very good teacher. There are teacher who would have created a much more positive and productive climate. Lecture and discussion is a really limited instructional approach. I observe in the most challenging schools in LA and I see teachers that have 0 Lots of Pros and Cons. The authenticity is great. But as someone who observes teachers all day, what struck me was that he was not really a very good teacher. There are teacher who would have created a much more positive and productive climate. Lecture and discussion is a really limited instructional approach. I observe in the most challenging schools in LA and I see teachers that have 0 problems with students and others who seem to be living in a war zone with the same students. This school in France is really typical, in that it is not that great. The solutions and the cleverness do not include any really good ideas or lead to any real answers. The acting in the movie is amazing. The kids were remarkable. But this is not a slice of life movie, it is slice of life in the class of a teacher who is creating his own struggles, dramas and perpetual difficulties. The movie about the teacher who got this same group of kids to work in teams and invest in meaningful work and refrained from all the negativity, would never be made it would be too uneventful and would seem unrealistic. But I was in a class today that was in inner city LA, with much lower income students and all the students were happy, on task and positive. This movie is to teaching what "Revolutionary Road" is to relationships. A good relationship or a good class is just not that interesting, but it is possible and it is much more fun to be involved in. Expand
  18. Aug 26, 2010
    10
    A 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 anyoneA 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. Expand
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  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. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    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.