Critic Reviews



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And Pfeiffer gives a funny, scrappy performance that makes you feel a committed teacher's fire to make a difference.
Dangerous Minds doesn't drop the sentimental conventions of the good-teacher Hollywood drama but reconstitutes them with strong performances, sensitive direction by Canadian film maker John N. Smith ("The Boys of St. Vincent") and a firm belief that teachers can and will make a difference in a person's life.
San Francisco Examiner
It's all quite inspiring, but despite the fact that this is based on someone's actual experiences, the whole thing has an unfortunate Hollywood ring to it.
Director John N. Smith, who helmed last year's masterly "The Boys of St. Vincent", is reduced to carrying Michelle Pfeiffer's baggage in this assembly-line star vehicle.
In the case of Dangerous Minds, we get an idealized version of inner city life, where, though problems may require more than the wave of a magic wand to remove, the solutions still seem too facile.
Entertainment Weekly
Yet despite its promising pedigree, Dangerous Minds has a slick, syrupy fraudulence -- it's like an Afterschool Special made for MTV.
Pfeiffer's performance supersedes any of the material, but the rest of the film is a seething mass of clich's despite the "true story" origins.
The movie pretends to show poor black kids being bribed into literacy by Dylan and candy bars, but actually it is the crossover white audience that is being bribed with mind-candy in the form of safe words by the two Dylans.
USA Today
Michelle Pfeiffer has made a lot of memorable movies, including many that undeservedly failed to connect with the public. Never, until Dangerous Minds, has she had to flail her way through a movie beyond all redemption, including even the prehistoric "Grease 2". [11 Aug 1995, Pg.04.D]
As far as Pfeiffer's performance goes, she's got charm and pep to spare, but next to zero substance when it comes to exploring her character's particular hypocrisies and pretensions.

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