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Dangerous Minds
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Dangerous Minds More at IMDbPro »

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52 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

An underrated movie altogether...

Author: jlpicard1701E from New York, NY
8 June 2002

When this movie was first released, I refused to line up and watch it. I thought it was another of those simplistic and "popular" - love the teacher, fight delinquency - movies. In fact I refused to be taken for granted by clever Hollywood people who, usually, produce very "sweet" and "educative" movies. Well, a couple of years later, while I was refurbishing my own movie collection I stumbled on a special LaserDisc sale and bought this one as well (just to see what all the fuzz about it was really about). First of all, I was amazed to know that it is based on a true story, just like "Lean on me" and what caught my attention was that the teacher in question didn't belong to that profession: she was a discharged and unemployed USMC officer. I expected a war between her and the pupils she would "drill". What I received in return was an education on how one can be prejudiced, in more than just one way... Having served in the Swiss Army and having been a teacher myself, I could really empathize with the Character played by Michelle Pfeiffer. My first teaching approach, unlike hers, was disastrous to say the least... The entire movie deals with LITTLE, REAL, EVERYDAY problems and not with the big issues of life and this is probably why this movie was summarily discarded as being second rate. But when we consider how children consider and perceive our world nowadays, it's exactly what they expect us, the adults, to do as well. That's to say, take our time to explain to them the everyday happenings in their little worlds. Why mom and dad went their separate ways, why do they have to cope with homework they cannot understand and so on and so forth. This movie is a teaching lesson for teachers, not a moralizing or preachy one. It shows us how it should be done, nothing more. In Drama one says "less is more", why shouldn't it apply to life? We always want to set standards and a higher example to the students we are supposed to tutor, but what about our commitment to give them what they really want: lend them an ear when they talk, a heart when they feel sorrow, and sometimes, when required, a firm authority to look up to? Many colleagues I have met have forgotten what teaching is all about. It's not a simple profession to earn your life, it's much more than this, it's a mission, a passion, a drive, a call, just like the one an actor or a director have. In this instance in my own opinion, "Dangerous Minds" has amply achieved its goals. For the detractors of this tiny movie I would suggest to take a better and closer look, they might still learn something... But please, take your time and concentrate on it. This is really not a "Popcorn" and "Beer" movie.

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40 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

very inspirational movie

Author: todd2u from Ohio
28 November 2002

One thing I've learned through th years is that use your own opinion when it comes to movies. Just because someone says it a bad movie doesn't quite mean you wont like it. Dangerous Minds is an excellent movie. I've read reviews on this movie and saying that this was just another Hollywood movie. Their wrong! I watched this movie and I was really impressed by it. For me it was truly inspirational. Michelle Pfeiffer was excellent in this movie. There are some who says that Michelle isn't tough enough to play the character, but sorry to burst their bubble but it's called acting. You can be the weakest person on earth but if your truly a good actor then you can make anyone believe your a tough guy or girl. The music was awesome. The cast was great. The Plot and script was exceptional. I recommend this movie to anyone. You wont be disappointed. I sure wasn't.

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41 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

As Good As It Gets

10/10
Author: castro_la_bonita77 from WestCoast
15 August 2002

For anyone who's lived the life portrayed in this movie are the only one's who truly know it's essence and value. For those who call it 'questionable' apparently haven't lived life outside of a plastic bubble. Dangerous Minds is an excellent adaption in its own and holds many memories for me and for others as well. I can't imagine someone not taking to this film. and being infinitely inspired. People tend to forget where movies originate from, they mainly based on real events and real life itself and what life is really about. I'll never forget what this movie has taught me and what it won't ever let me forget. Dangerous Minds is about love, hate, fear, and strength. Dangerous Minds is about life.

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31 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

A simple and basic statement to its viewers.

Author: gelgamesh from USA
30 October 2002

As a critic, I have no basis for saying a movie is aesthetically sound or not. However, I believe there is a quality to this movie that deserves to be acknowledged. The fact that so many people are willing to trash the film based on the fact that an Inspirational Teacher Movie just is not real. Says a great deal for the need of a few teachers who fit that bill. Yes there are a few things that are old hat about the movie but you have to appreciate the fact that this movie has an honesty in its simple and basic statement to its viewers.

If you like the choices or not they have to be made. Maybe if a few more people, not just teachers, realized that we don't all live in Emerald City, of Wizard of Oz fame. Some of us actually survive each and everyday. Only to do it all over again in the morning.

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Inspirational

7/10
Author: Enrique Sanchez from Miami, FL
27 September 2007

I had no interest in seeing this movie when it came out in 1995. It just seemed to be another movie about angry inner city youth struggling to graduate from high school. So running into this tonight, I finally decided go give in and give it a watch.

My final assessment is that although this movie bears comparison to a long list of great-teacher-inspires-kids movies, I now embrace the movie because Michelle's portrayal brings it over the top, also, I was positively impressed with Renoly Santiago's honest and sensitive reading.

It is easy, as I am ample testament, to dismiss movies that appear to be clones, but since this was reportedly based on a true story of an ex-military woman, it either demonstrates that the story does not emerge from the minds of banal-thinking writers, but from fact, or that the stories like these repeat themselves daily in the fabric of America and need to be told under as many guises as there are stories. WHY? Because all of us need inspiration and hope in our lives.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

I Really Liked this Movie

8/10
Author: mjw2305 from England
29 December 2006

This movie gives us a little hope that there are people in the world prepared to go to extreme lengths for the good of others. This is a heart warming story, and although at times it's quite tragic, it shows a growing bond between a group of socially discarded students and a very special teacher.

Michelle Pfeiffer's performance is simply wonderful, she captures the passion and warmth of her character perfectly. The rest of the cast are a little mixed, but there is plenty of strength in their performances to cover any cracks.

Overall this is a highly emotional and educational journey, that is enjoyable to watch.

8/10 If you enjoyed this watch 187, its even better.

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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Great movie!...

Author: arson83 from Long Island, New York
4 November 2003

I'm not about to call this movie a "feel-good movie" or a "coming-of-age-tale." What am I gonna do is call it what it really is - a great movie.

Michelle Pfeiffer is at her best. She is absolutely fantastic in this movie. The actors in the classroom hold their own against her as well.

Basically, the plot is as follows: White teacher enters a mostly-minority "alternative" (read: group of kids that act out) classroom and commands respect. In turn, she changes their lives as they change hers. It's basically the story of Raul, Emilio, and Carrie, and how they cope with life as a result of Ms. Johnson.

The movie has some really good lines (my favorite: "You asked me how I was gonna save your life. This is it. This moment.") and really good drama. Sure, some of it is hokey-it-only-happens-in-the-movies, but the majority of it is good. I'm a guy, and I shed a few tears.

Overall: 9/10.

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20 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Goes next to "To Sir, with Love", "Stand & Deliver", etc.

Author: Boyo-2
21 July 2000

I really liked this movie very much, even if its nothing new. I think every generation should have a movie in this genre - there have been so many, going back to "Goodbye, Mr. Chips", that they must mean something to each new viewer. This is pretty realistic, too, although some of it is a little sugarcoated, it helps to remember that it is a movie. Pfeiffer is very good as the teacher struggling with several different things all at once. I must also mention that I appreciate the fact that there was no obligatory love interest for Michelle's character. I read somewhere that Andy Garcia was edited out of this movie, and as much as I like him, I was glad she didn't have a Supportive Boyfriend Who Understands.

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Well-intentioned but floundering drama (spoilers)

Author: Alain English from London, England
22 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on the non-fiction book "My Posse Don't Do Homework" (written by Louanne Johnson), "Dangerous Minds" tries but fails to cut to the heart of the social issues it discusses. The main problem is that the script depends too much on dramatic convention, and too often chooses to take the easy way out rather than directly confronting the reality of it's premise and characters.

Louanne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer) is an ex-marine who begins a teaching career in a tough NYC inner-city school. But she finds her pupils, from the inner-city projects, to be a rebellious handful in need of guidance as much as education. She then decides to use her own methods to win them round to learning, against the wishes of her bureaucratic superiors...

From "Dead Poets Society" to "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" this sort of plot has been rehashed a thousand times before, and "Dangerous Minds" is not brave enough to really attempt anything new. The music (especially the Coolio hit "Gangsta's Paradise") has more grit and originality than the script. Nearly all the stock characters from this sort of film are present in one form or another: the gifted but reluctant star pupil, the tragically flawed pupil, the resistant, reactionary parents, the list goes on. The ending, as expected, is the typical happy-ending copout.

The acting, however, isn't too bad and just about saves the film from becoming a complete bore. Pfeiffer struggles with the central role, failing to give the part significant dimension or depth. But she's well supported by George Dzundza as a fellow teacher, Courtney B.Vance in an underplayed turn as the by-the-book principal, as well as Renoly Santiago and Wade Dominguez as two self-destructive students.

A missed opportunity as a movie, "Dangerous Minds" was later turned into a short-lived TV series with Annie Potts taking over from Pfeiffer as Louanne Johnson.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

very nice

9/10
Author: manflesheater from Morocco
12 February 2007

Well..for me it was very interesting to watch a movie like because it shows how a bright person can change a ''dangerous mind'' and make them active rather than rejecting them and drive them to the streets selling drugs and the likes...the ideas is this movie were very awesome and hitting on the core of the American society in the early 90's,so that it criticizes the whole daily life in an inner city as a prototype...family,relationships,fear,fights,power,those are some of the crucial themes the movie .Actually, the teacher did a good job with the collaboration and curiosity of those students,because they feel that there is something special about the new teacher which they lacked with the previous one and also because she gave them more freedom and behaved toward them as friends not students,,,:) well done teacher!!!

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