User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 46
  2. Negative: 4 out of 46

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  1. Apr 13, 2013
    As important as this is to the masses, we should be more concerned about that, than whether or not it entertains or pulls the right strings. But it happens to be very well made. End of review.
  2. j30
    Sep 22, 2011
    Informative, touching, and powerful. Is there anything else you could ask for in a documentary?
  3. Jul 15, 2011
    A very bold look at the truth behind America's under-performing public school system. A look at 4 various families coming from different backgrounds, with one goal: Get there kid on the right track to future success. Finally, someone gives the "right" side on how to help America's school system, push Unions aside, and fire the "bad lemons" of the public school system. Of course, I don't see many Teacher Unions embracing such an enlightening film, most likely because the film pushes the envelope on changing the system. Expand
  4. Mar 9, 2011
    Very powerful movie, it really sheds light on one of the biggest problems with our education system, unions control over the entire system. There were a couple of scenes of teachers in class that were just shocking, thank god my kids are in a better school district than those depicted in this film, however, the national statistics are shocking for American schools from coast to coast. This is a film that every registered voter and parent should see, a real eye opener. I had never heard of "rubber rooms" before, what an incredible waste of all of our tax money (you'll have to see the film). For years I assumed that the worst school districts were bad primarily because of poor parenting, crime, etc. in urban areas, however, the bigger problem is poor teachers, lack of discipline, and teachers unions that prevent even the most obvious positive changes to be made because they may effect the overall power of the the unions. If everyone in Minnesota saw this film they would be on the side of Governor Walker who wants to limit the powers of public unions, this is the only way our schools will EVER improve. This is not to say that teachers are bad but the crappy ones need to go NOW and the good ones need to be rewarded for their hard work. One of the problems with unions is that they provide absolutely NO incentive for a good teacher to work any harder than the worst teacher who sleeps in class while the kids run wild. No private business would ever survive with scores of bad employees who cannot be fired because they get tenure after just 2 YEARS! Its is insanity, the ending of this movie was very powerful and so sad at the same time. If we could cut through the B.S. we could change our schools so quickly but we the taxpayers need to wake up and raise our voice Expand
  5. Mar 5, 2011
    A must see movie if you care to find out why American educational system today is not as efficient as before. Touching stories of several people and a great deal of data in this movie, don't miss it in the tide of new movies!
  6. Dec 23, 2010
    A must see film if you want to know why the education system doesn't work.
    It is done on the US but I think many of the problems can be related to any other country like Canada.
    It is unexpectedly touching.
    The graphs, the story telling, all is well done. A time you wont regret.
  7. Oct 23, 2010
    This documentary looks at the sad, sorry state of the US public education system. In addition to staggering statistics, the film follows the plight of several students who are caught in failure-prone schools. They end up at lotteries for charter schools in a sequence that's suspenseful, joyful and tearful. The picture this film paints is bleak and dramatic, but it also offers hope. It's the kind of doc everyone should see, but the heavy approach will keep it from mainstream appreciation. Expand
  8. Sep 27, 2010
    This is a powerful and important movie about our country's future -- and it's enjoyable to watch, with compelling characters and drama. Don't miss it!

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 70
    This documentary about the public education crisis isn't as smart or rigorous as Bob Bowdon's shoestring production "The Cartel," which arrived in town earlier this year and quickly vanished. But the new movie is still an admirable exercise in straight talk.
  2. By showing how fiercely dedicated idealists are making a difference, it is a call to arms.
  3. 67
    Nobody can disagree that Waiting for Superman deals with a subject demanding attention. But it paints the engulfing problems of U.S. education with a brush too broad and samples too small to be definitive.