Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by
Chicago Sun-Times
Kevin Kline's performance shows a deep understanding of the character, who is, after all, better than most teachers, and most men. We care for him, not because he is perfect, but because he regrets so sincerely that he is not.
Entertainment Weekly
A traditionally dressed, old-fashioned drama, starring Kevin Kline in the Robin Williams role -- is as much about the moral development of the adult as about his boys'. More so, maybe.
A substantial examination of character, morality and destiny.
There's still quite a bit of the essence of "Dead Poets Society" in The Emperor's Club. Thankfully, however, the level of schmaltz and manipulation has been greatly reduced.
Charlotte Observer
Like the story, Kline builds in intensity: He has no flowery speeches that would be untrue to his character, but he leaves a clear impression of a man who values knowledge and the imparting of it above all else.
Though the plot ends up taking some potentially compelling twists, its telling always feels manipulative.
New York Daily News
The ethical issues driving Michael Hoffman's The Emperor's Club almost outweigh the improbable arc of its story, and Kevin Kline's endearing performance as a prep school classics teacher is almost worth the price of admission.
It's an extraordinary performance in an often brave and intelligent film that, unfortunately, tends to collapse around him in the end -- just as the world of Kline's character, tweedy but likable William Hundert, deconstructs around him.
Philadelphia Inquirer
Don't blame Kline. This most thoughtful of actors is trapped behind the lectern of a film that spouts contradictory lessons it can't reconcile.
Director Michael Hoffman sprays on the tears like a toxic mist. Avoid like the plague.
Wall Street Journal
A movie's script is its fate, which means this one is doomed.

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