Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: December 19, 2008
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 100 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
73
Mixed:
15
Negative:
12
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6
domcalabreseOct 14, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
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10
BillD.Mar 1, 2009
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
JamesGOct 1, 2009
Some interesting scenes and a lot of comic value from the terrible dubbing.

But above all this movie shows why classroom instruction is a terrible way to educate kids. It provides the illusion of education but no learning. The social
Some interesting scenes and a lot of comic value from the terrible dubbing.

But above all this movie shows why classroom instruction is a terrible way to educate kids. It provides the illusion of education but no learning. The social context takes over and the material is an obstacle to be avoided. It isn't about learning, its about students and teachers making each other miserable. Real learning comes from books, experience, videos, tutoring, or tests. If I were teaching the class in the movie, I would devote all class time to testing, quizzes, worksheet, etc. It's the only way to get the kids to shut up and learn.

The movie also illustrates the comical unwillingness of educators to face reality. There is a teacher talking about what books to assign the kids, "I was thinking of starting them on Voltaire".
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0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
zacksJan 7, 2009
In its own rights this is a pretty good movie. But the whole teacher trys to give underage kids a better education has been played out so many times. Its like the WW2 games of the movie industry.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
DWillyFeb 7, 2009
A very dull movie. Not even a movie, really. I'm guessing critics who can't understand French thought something real was taking place, but it's not. It's amateur. The actors break and the filmmakers pass it off as acting. A very dull movie. Not even a movie, really. I'm guessing critics who can't understand French thought something real was taking place, but it's not. It's amateur. The actors break and the filmmakers pass it off as acting. I can imagine an American inner city teacher going to this movie and having the response: "Ha! Is this suppose to be rough? Our honor role students would destroy these punks." Education is such a great topic for transformational drama and none of it happens in this slice-of-life movie, no doubt transcribed from a real class of snotty jerks. Collapse
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MarkPFeb 8, 2009
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.
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8
JaimeCApr 6, 2009
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
PhilipL.Dec 21, 2008
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.
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1
PerrT.Feb 15, 2009
Boring - had to fight to stay awake. what are the critics thinking -- do they have a clue about what drama is? felt like my entire high school experience crammed into one protracted evening. metacritic let us down!!!!!! [ed: talk to the critics]
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2
andrewwFeb 8, 2009
Pretty boring, the climax was especially dull. i was ready to leave after the first 30 minutes.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
TomS.Mar 1, 2009
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
ZachCMar 14, 2009
Too little interest in too long a span of time. The display of interactions between the teacher and his students was accurate, and amusing at times, but there was nothing profound or even novel about the story, such as it was, to warrant Too little interest in too long a span of time. The display of interactions between the teacher and his students was accurate, and amusing at times, but there was nothing profound or even novel about the story, such as it was, to warrant these kind of rave reviews. Tolerable, but very forgettable. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
GloriaSMar 16, 2009
I thought the film was overly long, tedious, and boring. It's a puzzlement to me how the critics could give it such high marks.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
PollyW.Mar 3, 2009
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?"
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10
JohnS.Mar 7, 2009
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 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
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2
nonameApr 9, 2009
One of the worst, boring, repetitive and disappointing movies I've ever seen! The point of view of the students isn't explored, the conversations are often parallel and repetitive and its just the beginning.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
HaroldTAug 30, 2009
Been there, done that. Ever hear of the Blackboard Jungle, or more to the point for this movie, To Sir, With Love? Bonding over soccer, the game that both the colonizer and the colonies love, as a coda? Please. If this movie were in English Been there, done that. Ever hear of the Blackboard Jungle, or more to the point for this movie, To Sir, With Love? Bonding over soccer, the game that both the colonizer and the colonies love, as a coda? Please. If this movie were in English it would be laughed out of town, but almost anything in French has its appeal. A six for charming characters and actors and the Frenchness of it all. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
JayH.Aug 8, 2009
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
nickjSep 11, 2009
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.
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2
richardjSep 7, 2009
Well, this film has had very high critical ratings. I must be missing something as I thought this film was tedious, very long in length and no character development at all and poorly acted. The joke is I have just trained as a teacher and Well, this film has had very high critical ratings. I must be missing something as I thought this film was tedious, very long in length and no character development at all and poorly acted. The joke is I have just trained as a teacher and this class on screen were the most docile pupils I would have ever taught and most of them were very unintelligent, try teaching in South London in the UK or schools in the US within rough areas, when you have to break up knife fights, issues with anger management, ADD and other issues. With that in mind, this film makes The Class seem very weak, Souleyman would never have been expelled in most schools for what he did as it was a minor incident and the new boy was perfectic. If this was an English speaking film, it would be laughed at and criticised for being tame. Don't believe the hype, and don't watch as you will be wasting two to three hours of your life. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JJRJan 31, 2009
This was truly an amazing film. Incredibly rewarding and challenging, it leaves a lot to think about after the credits roll.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
BobB.Feb 17, 2009
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
barbielFeb 8, 2009
Quietly brilliant.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
ThomasB.Mar 6, 2009
The Class is a decent enough film. However, it's biggest pro is also one of its biggest cons. It captures a school room perfectly but, in doing so, borders on the realm of uninteresting. That said, there are a few very well acted and The Class is a decent enough film. However, it's biggest pro is also one of its biggest cons. It captures a school room perfectly but, in doing so, borders on the realm of uninteresting. That said, there are a few very well acted and some very, genuinely amusing moments. It's a film where nothing happens, there's no REAL ongoing plot, there's no resolution in the film. By the end, you're obviously supposed to fill in the blank of "what happens next" but you really won't care because none of the students are particularly memorable or, again, interesting. It will polarise viewers, but it is, at least, an watchable and will definitely have fans. Expand
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4
A.KAug 16, 2009
The Class would have made for a wonderful short film. It was provocative and the characters were human. But it was simply too long; it almost alienates the viewer with its fluff. If it would have spent about an hour less establishing the The Class would have made for a wonderful short film. It was provocative and the characters were human. But it was simply too long; it almost alienates the viewer with its fluff. If it would have spent about an hour less establishing the characters and setting, then jumped into the main conflict of whether or not Souleymane should be expelled it would be more than worthy of the high praise it has received. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
RyanSAug 17, 2009
Boring, monotonous drivel. Felt like I was back in grade school, listening to all the bickering going on around me. This movie really is pointless. It just goes on and on.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
trashcanSep 15, 2009
Unique, different, and something you haven't seen before? Yes. A great must see movie? No.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
SvanurP.Jan 31, 2009
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 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. Expand
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10
JanY.Feb 14, 2009
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
PeterGAug 16, 2009
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
JohnAug 21, 2009
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 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
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10
ryancarroll88Aug 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 the education system is overcome with scrutiny and pessimism against both teachers and students, the movieA 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
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8
PetitBikiniJan 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 takes on the issue neutrally - it's neither pro-immigration or anti-immigration. It just shows the
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.
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9
EpicLadySpongeMay 4, 2016
The Class is in that list of first-rate movies and it joins in first class. First class all the way! So much for 2008 movies, right? This high school is in first class for now.
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