A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.
Police officer Dirk Hendricks (Bartlett) files an amnesty application for Alex Mpondo (Ejiofor), a member of the South African Parliament who can't remember the torture he once endured as a captive political activist. South African-born attorney Sarah Barcant (Swank), meanwhile, returns to her homeland to represent Mpondo, as well as Steve Sizela, Mpondo's friend who arrested along with him and ... See full summary »
It's 1994 in Long Beach, California. Idealistic Erin Gruwell is just starting her first teaching job, that as freshman and sophomore English teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School, which, two years earlier, implemented a voluntary integration program. For many of the existing teachers, the integration has ruined the school, whose previously stellar academic standing has been replaced with many students who will be lucky to graduate or even be literate. Despite choosing the school on purpose because of its integration program, Erin is unprepared for the nature of her classroom, whose students live by generations of strict moral codes of protecting their own at all cost. Many are in gangs and almost all know somebody that has been killed by gang violence. The Latinos hate the Cambodians who hate the blacks and so on. The only person the students hate more is Ms. Gruwell. It isn't until Erin holds an unsanctioned discussion about a recent drive-by shooting death that she fully begins to ... Written by
Early prints were released under the title 'Maggie'. See more »
At the beginning of the movie when Mrs. G is new to the school, in the office, she picks up her coffee cup and puts it down, then in the next shot you can see her putting the coffee cup down again. See more »
It's the dumb class cuz. It means you too dumb.
Man, say it to my face cuz.
I just did. See what I mean? Dumb?
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by Talib Kweli, Kwame (as Kwame Holland) & Fred Williams
Performed by Talib Kweli
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
Contains a sample of "Tell Her" by Fred Williams
Performed by Fred Williams & the Jewels Band
Courtesy of Jazzman Records, Ltd. See more »
Great movie! I just saw an advanced screening, and was taken aback. I went into it not knowing a lot about what the movie was about, but expecting a "Dangerous Minds" Knock-off, but was surprised at how much I really loved this. It's not like an award-winning film; however, it is definitely worth checking out. And, without a fear of losing my masculinity, I can honestly say that there were two, maybe three scenes that I had to bite my lip and try to not tear up... if you can watch this movie and not get misty eyed at least once there is something wrong. There were actually scenes where the packed theater clapped and cheered, and other times when everyone gasped at the same time.. it will keep you entertained and you will walk away glad you came to see it.
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