Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by
Washington Post
This isn't a stand up and cheer flick; it's a sit down and ponder affair. And thanks to Kline's superbly nuanced performance, that pondering is highly pleasurable.
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.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Turns a blind eye to the very history it pretends to teach.
Miami Herald
More than just another feel-good teacher movie.
Kline's divine -- alas, the film isn't.
L.A. Weekly
This likable but utterly conventional movie works harder than is necessary to unpack for us Ethan Canin’s short story "The Palace Thief."
Carefully sets itself up as an obvious, transparent morality play, and then just as deliberately refuses the easy payoff. This is both impressive and a little disingenuous: the film is in effect congratulating itself for refusing to offer a neat and tidy view of life without offering much else.
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.
Portland Oregonian
But with a potentially fascinating study of ethics, of how cheating rich boys become cheating rich men while humble souls do more good in the world, The Emperor's Club doesn't take the audience anywhere smart.
Austin Chronicle
Would be a much better film had it not relied so heavily on a bombastic soundtrack (by James Newton Howard) for its emotional impact and spared itself some of the more overdone images of campus life.

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