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Cheaters (2000)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  20 May 2000 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,161 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 12 critic

Eleven students conspire with their teacher to cheat on an academic competition.

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Title: Cheaters (TV Movie 2000)

Cheaters (TV Movie 2000) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jolie Fitch
...
Constantine Kiamos
...
Darius Bettus
...
Matt Kur
...
Irwin Flickas
Dan Warry-Smith ...
Paul Kurgan
Anna Raj ...
Agnieska Maryniarczyk
Dominik Podbielski ...
Dominik Wesolowski
...
Robert Clifford
...
Larry Minkoff
Lenka Peterson ...
Mrs. Plecki
...
Jerry Marconi (as Alex Poch Goldin)
...
Corrine Davis
...
Joan Isenberg
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Storyline

In the fall of 1994, a teacher at Chicago's run-down Steinmetz High recruits seven students for an academic decathlon team. They work long hours, preparing for the February regional event, won for ten straight years by a privileged, preppy school. Steinmetz finishes just well enough to be invited to the state meet. When a team member steals a copy of the state test, the teacher and kids face a dilemma: to remain honest, or to cheat and score a victory for kids in underfunded schools. When they do well, they must face a withering barrage of investigations, accusations, lawyers' lies, and reporters' intrusions. Is it all worth it? What lessons does cheating teach? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Putting The System To The Test

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cheaters  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real-life Dr. Gerald Plecki was paid a consulting fee during the film's production. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Plecki and the students are watching "Stand and Deliver" at his house, the scenes from that movie are shown out of order in "Cheaters". See more »

Quotes

Jolie Fitch: Dr. Plecki is amazing. He's a really good teacher.
Darius Bettus: Well, what's he doing here?
See more »

Connections

Features Stand and Deliver (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Roads
Written by Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley
Performed by Portishead
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User Reviews

 
Great film highlighted by great performances.
20 May 2000 | by (San Diego, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

I saw this film when it debuted on HBO earlier tonight. I was pretty impressed by the story (by director John Stockwell), about a group of inner city Chicago youths who decide to cheat on their Academic Decathlon exams. The element that drives the story, however, is its performances, especially Jena Malone as Steinmetz student Jolie Fitch and Jeff Daniels as Decathlon advisor Dr. Gerard Plecki.

These youths decide to cheat solely for ambition, to beat the rival Whitney Young Decathlon Team (who wins every year) at the State finals. Basically, they're desperate, being an inner city school whose funding is based mostly on athletics. Daniels goes along with the plan because of this: to make a statement on how much focus is more on athletics and less on academics.

The only reason I decided to watch this film was for Jena Malone, who's one of the more talented young actresses cropping up out of obscurity. She's only fifteen, yet she's a better actress than women twice her age. She's even being compared to a young Jodie Foster. Hopefully, she'll continue to accept performances that aren't from your latest American teen comedies.

I did manage, however, to find a good story out of this, somewhat reminiscent of "Stand and Deliver," which the students actually watch in one scene. Whether or not we agree on Dr. Plecki allowing the students to cheat, we'll always agree that it's the teacher's responsibility to teach, and teach morally. Make up your mind about cheating; this story focuses on cheating and its consequences, and will probably be one of those great films not too many people will see.

Had it been released to theaters, it would've done modestly in the theaters and been critically acclaimed, then fade away after a couple of weeks. But it's good enough to win a few hearts and minds. Watch it for Jena Malone, though. I did, and I wouldn't be surprised if she was nominated for an Emmy here.


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