School Ties is a completely satisfying entertainment with an authentic sense of period, characterization and compelling drama. If there is any justice in this world, this affecting tale of injustice will find a wide audience to share its magic. [18 Sept 1992, p.8]
School Ties might have been more potent if it were set in the present instead of 1955; still, it's richly drawn, strongly felt, handsomely produced, with a smoldering performance by Brendan Fraser. [18 Sept 1992, p.56]
In illuminating how upper-class bigotry can encompass both the actively fascist and the politely passive, School Ties is actually one of the more realistic — and least insufferable — entries in the recent prep-school genre.
School Ties is powerful, but it cheats, too -- and the inspiring climax is telegraphed well in advance. What seems worse, though, is the movie's timidity on ground that has been well tested since A Gentleman's Agreement almost 50 years ago. [18 Sept 1992, p.G4]
Mandel and producer Sherry Lansing have obviously put their whole into the creation of what ought to have been a riveting and powerful film. Instead, School Ties ends up about as memorable as a plate of gefilte fish.