Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Sep 23, 2014
    This movie is a portal, leading to a living museum of childhood at its most poignant.
  2. 100
    Nothing momentous happens here, but Philibert has a magical sense of how to find the simple poetry lurking in the universal routine of being a kid. A lot of the film's lyricism is extracurricular.
  3. 100
    Little miracles spring up throughout this picture.
  4. So superb, so graceful, so strong -- another beauty in this year of good documentaries -- that I do believe it will influence career choices, sending inspired viewers to study pedagogy, or cinematography.
  5. 100
    Hypnotically absorbing film.
  6. Reviewed by: Karen Karbo
    Watching a group of kindergartners learning to crack an egg into a bowl is hardly the stuff of drama, and yet watching it, you suspect that something important is happening. And it is.
  7. 90
    This heart-wrenching documentary about a French village schoolteacher at work offers the comedy and pathos of great drama and the visual magnificence of painting.
  8. 90
    To Be and To Have works in the grandest tradition of documentary filmmaking -- it keeps company with a small, specific place going about its business, and from it parses the whole world.
  9. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    Any negative stereotypes viewers might harbor about education in rural communities are sent packing by this magnificently lensed and cumulatively touching account from documaker Nicolas Philibert.
  10. It is, simply and stirringly, a kind of beau ideal of education, a vision of how the process can work at its best.
  11. Amounts to a rare gift and an opportunity to appreciate the end of an era and celebrate one of the screen's most subtly etched heroes: the soft-spoken Monsieur Georges Lopez.
  12. "You'll have to be patient." Philibert said, "That's the point." This is the film's success: its patience, which in a way mirrors the teacher's.
  13. A deceptively simple French film about teaching that keeps enlarging as you watch it, becoming beautiful and inspiring in a way most films never touch.
  14. Exhibiting the same sort of patience as his sensible hero, Philibert has created an extraordinarily humane portrait of a partnership between one adult and his very fortunate charges.
  15. 88
    One of the year's most engaging films.
  16. Gradually and inexorably, the small crises of the children assume a poignant dramatic profluence, and the soothing patience of the teacher begins to have an almost hypnotically balming effect on the viewer.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Oct 26, 2014
    This movie is beautiful in so many ways - the main character's unaffected and honest way of communicating with the kids, the charming setting, the melancholic feel of knowing that this is the final year of so so many for the teacher/ protagonist. If you need something to watch that will make you feel warm and fuzzy (and perhaps shed a tear) look no further - a beautifully executed film about a wonderful man that will fill you with hope, no matter how cynical you may feel. Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2012
    [Simple but deeply touching, Magical sense of warmth, Graceful, Emotional absorbing]
    The sense of simpliness, incnocence and truthfulness
    astonishingly constructs one of the most unique and incredibly heart-warming films ever created. A Remarkable Accomplishment in the World of Film. Full Review »
  3. SteveF.
    Mar 11, 2008
    A feast for the eyes, mind, and heart. It is hard to imagine a better teacher, or a film better at catching the mystery of teaching.