Critic Reviews



Based on 18 critic reviews provided by
Rolling Stone
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.
Chicago Reader
Though it lacks the sensational pizzazz of "Blackboard Jungle", the politics here are arguably somewhat better, and the supporting cast -- George Dzundza, Courtney P. Vance, Robin Bartlett, Beatrice Winde -- isn't bad either.
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.
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.
The sweet story turns stickygooey, however, as writer Ronald Bass sprinkles the script with saccharine lines that sound plain dumb coming from high schoolers.
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.
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.
Christian Science Monitor
Movie stars have tamed sassy kids in movies from "The Blackboard Jungle" to "Stand and Deliver," but it's hard to remember an example more patronizing or sentimentalized than this one.

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