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Reviews & Ratings for
The Good Student More at IMDbPro »Mr. Gibb (original title)

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28 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Not so bad, but not great.

Author: hexrei from the Nth Dimension
21 December 2008

It wasn't awful, but this movie is pretty forgettable. With only a couple of exceptions, the characters came off as two dimensional, their actions made no sense and seemed totally unrealistic. The actors did a passable job with what they had. The dialogue had a few chuckles but largely felt short of witty, and it couldn't seem to commit to comedy and instead comes off as a not so compelling drama with a few comic moments. I will say the end was unexpected to me, but it didn't really make up for the flaws.

Of course, Hayden Panettierre is really hot, and if you enjoy looking at her this movie is probably worth seeing just for that.

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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining 90 Minutes

Author: jehrsam from United States
7 April 2009

The Good Student is an entertaining who-dun-it. It is well acted and worthwhile entertainment. Pay attention to the police detectives because the pair is portrayed with a little different approach. I guess I do not know what a "Dark Comedy" really is, but I wouldn't categorize it as such. (The term Dark Comedy is almost an oxymoron.) It is necessary for the viewer to get into the action and follow along. If one just remains at the surface, it will be hard to like this movie, so plunge right in. You will find yourself wavering back and forth as you attempt to figure out who is the actual villain. Just get into it and expect to enjoy it and you'll have a nice experience. If you like a few twists and turns along the way, you will like this movie and find it a good way to have spent 90 minutes.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

An interesting and cool weird movie!

Author: Jessi Cyrus from United States
22 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this movie on t.v. and I really liked it, so much as to try to find a website where I could rewatch it for free. I like Hayden Panettiere and thought she acted well in this movie. The movie surprised me twice. Once when Ally seemed friendly to her teacher and not creeped out by him, and again when he held her hostage but didn't do anything, then talked back to Ally's dad. I think it's kind of a weird and unusual movie, and those are exactly the kind of movies that I like. They aren't the same layout as other "cookiecutter" films. I tend to gravitate towards movies that contain certain characters, and Ally and her teacher were two of those types of characters (cool teenage girl) (odd eccentric guy) that I like to see in movies. I think The Good Student is a movie that can answer someone's "what ifs" about what if a teacher held one of their students hostage, but he decided to be nice and not hurt her and let her go?

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Black comedy in the spirit of "Election"

Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile
1 April 2013

This black comedy, kind of in the spirit of "Election", was only released on DVD several years after it was made and under the misleading title "The Good Student". It's a rare movie that instead of having a traditional hero, has more of a flawed "anti-hero", an unpopular high-school teacher (Tim Daly), who is as absorbed in his rather boring subject (US history) as any high-school teacher, but also harbors a not-so-hidden crush on one of his female students (Hayden Pantierre--I suppose it's kind of hard to blame him there though). After he gives her an ill-advised ride home and ends up kissing her, she mysteriously disappears, and he finds himself the prime suspect.

The movie stacks the deck here quite a bit by casting the good-looking and fairly young Daly in the role and also giving him a very attractive love interest more his own age (Paula Devocq). It would have been a lot more brave to cast a guy who LOOKS like a lecherous middle-age creep. He's also seems relatively noble compared to all the other characters in the movie--like the missing girls' father (William Sandler), a car salesman who seems to be using his daughter's disappearance to bolster his business, a cop (Dan Hedaya), who is both overzealous and incompetent, and another female student (Sarah Steele), who mocks "Mr. Gibbs" for his attraction to the missing girl and his interest in "barely-legal" porn, but who turns out to have her own "Lolita" thing going on. The worst perhaps though is a sleazy fellow teacher who confides that he is exchanging grades for sex with his female students.

This movie perpetuates the rather tiresome Hollywood myth that very many high-school teachers are, or would even want to, mess around with their students. Of course, not too many high-school students look like Pantierre, or even Steele. (Interestingly, Hayden Pantierre WAS high-school age when she made this movie, but she definitely doesn't look it. Steele, on the other hand, had played one of the more believable teen characters a few years earlier in "Spanglish" when she was in her "awkward years", but those years were obviously well behind her by this time). Like "Election", this movie does have some effective black comedy and satire, but it is a much more hit-and-miss affair. The movie also has a really great ending, but perhaps it is a little too subtle or ambiguous for many people to appreciate. All in all, this isn't a bad movie though.

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19 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

The very definition of Low Budget Non Comedy

Author: mohamed_nashaat from Egypt
22 December 2008

let's get the good stuff out of the way first...

the story line and the writing both are amazing... in the hands of a more capable director, this movie could've been an excellent movie.

the story has all the elements that could attract a viewer, from the good building of the problem, the attraction, the deliberate misguiding to the twists at the end. (but no comedy whatsoever)..

but it was really really really bad directed, and you can notice that from the very first shot of the film. a summer trained director trying his luck, and thinking that having a star like Hayden Panettiere can sell the movie - which i don't know why she agreed to do the movie in the first place?? being that she's totally in her prime...

there are some characters in the movie that were in it only for the purpose of the felling of an empty 5 minutes or something, there are characters that appeared in the beginning of the movie, and it was set in my mind that this character will play an important rule in the story line, but suddenly i didn't see that character again!!!!

overall, it was below medium, and really what a sham, it could've been something really good.

my vote is 3 out of 10

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Delightful deadpan black comedy

Author: Woodyanders ( from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
5 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After popular high school student Ally Palmer (an appealing performance by the insanely foxy Hayden Panettiere) goes missing, nerdy history teacher Ronald Gibb (an excellent and engaging performance by Tim Daly) becomes the prime suspect concerning her disappearance because he was the last person seen with her. Director David Osky and writer Adam Targum ably wring plenty of painfully funny humor out of Gibb's pathetically lackluster lot in life. Moreover, Osky and Targum not only handle the potentially offensive premise of an older man lusting after a younger girl in a tasteful, yet still hilarious manner, but also derive a considerable amount of sly satiric mileage out of the hypocrisy of certain people in the town and the shameless opportunistic manner in which they attempt to capitalize on Ally's misfortune. The low-key quirky tone and brisk pace keep this picture on a steady course from start to finish. Daly does a fine job of making his sadsack loser character sympathetic; he receives ace support from William Sadler as Ally's slick car salesman father Phil, Paula Devicq as smitten neighbor Holly, Sarah Steele as the brash and meddlesome Amber, John Gallegher Jr. as Ally's dumb boyfriend Brett Mullen, Brian Anthony Wilson as the hard-nosed Detective Dick Moon, and Dan Hedaya as amiable janitor Gabe. Jordan Lynn's glossy cinematography provides an attractive bright look. Randy Lee's jaunty score hits the sprightly spot. A neat little sleeper.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

failed quirkiness and not dark enough

Author: SnoopyStyle
1 June 2015

Mr. Ronald Gibb (Tim Daly) is a depressed slovenly widowed high school history teacher. His students are bored. His neighbor Holly (Paula Devicq) is interested in him. He has a crush on popular cheerleader Ally Palmer (Hayden Panettiere). She's in a TV ad for her father (William Sadler)'s used car lot. Smart alec Amber (Sarah Steele) teases him about it. Ally breaks up with her boyfriend Brett and Gibb drives her home. Janitor Gabe (Dan Hedaya) notices them together. She gives him a kiss. Then she's kidnapped from her home. Amber publishes a picture of the kiss and Gibb is suspended from school.

The production is a bit weak. Director David Ostry doesn't have a compelling style. The movie tries to be quirky but mostly fails. It's also not dark enough. I follow this for the kidnapping mystery but not much else.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not So Interesting

Author: Desertman84 from United States
20 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Good Student is a dark comedy drama starring Tim Daly and Hayden Panettiere.The story is about a high school teacher,who turns his life around after a student gets kidnapped.It was directed by David Ostry.

An unpopular high school teacher finds himself the primary suspect in the case of a missing student when news gets out that he was the last person to see her.Mr. Gibb is reviled among the student body as quite possibly the worst teacher ever to stand at the head of the class. He's infatuated with Ally, a popular teen and local celebrity. When Ally suddenly goes missing, the entire suburban town descends into panic. Could Mr. Gibb have something to do with her disappearance? When a police investigation reveals that Mr. Gibb gave Ally a ride home mere moments before she vanished without a trace, the teacher who was universally despised discovers that his troubles have only just begun.

The could have been interesting but unfortunately,it leaves the viewer wanting for more.The drama was not interesting and the comedy falls flat.Also,the characters in the film are hardly understood especially Mr.Gibb's fascination towards Ally.Why?Just because she is good looking doesn't explain everything.The only thing going for it is the presence of Hayden Panettiere,who is very pretty; and it will keep you guessing until the very end.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I wouldn't ignore Paula Devicq if she was my neighbor

Author: MBunge from Waterloo, Iowa
22 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Good Student is a neat little character study in quiet desperation that is ill served by an illogical and unnecessary twist ending. It's enjoyable and effective enough that you won't mind the poor finish, though, and the twist happens so late that you can really just ignore it and focus on the calm, sedate confidence of this story and its take on small town existence.

Ronald Gibb (Tim Daly) is a history teacher who dresses up as Lincoln for class and gets peanut butter sandwiches thrown at the blackboard when his back is turned. Ron is also the sort of man who drives a piece of crap car and lives in a relatively run down trailer, even though he's got a box full of money under his sink. He's also the kind who is oblivious to the attentions of the bowling alley bartender (Paula Devicq) who lives next door but develops an innocent crush one of his hot, young students (Hayden Panettiere).

Then that hot, young student disappears and Ron is the last one to see her, bringing him into the sights of both the local cops and the girl's monstrous ass of a father (William Sadler). Ron's also constantly harassed by another smart alec student (Sarah Steele) who thinks she's got this lonely, awkward, older man all figured out and holds him in contempt because of it.

The Good Student is about a man who's hiding from his own life, whose unhappiness is leading him into foolish behavior because he won't admit and deal with it. That inner conflict is then crystallized by the external problem of the missing girl and given a structure through which Ron eventually confronts himself and starts acting like a man instead of a hesitant boy. The connection between and inner and outer conflict is a well worn storytelling trope and a lot of low budget indy dramas think they can dispense with such a clichéd dramatic design. They're usually wrong to think that. Conventions become well worn because they work and creators dispense with them at their own peril. Anyone who thinks they're blazing a new narrative trail should remember two things.

1. People have been telling stories for thousands of years and it's extremely unlikely you're doing anything that hasn't been done before.

2. If you think you are, it's probably because people tried it, found it didn't work and learned not to do it that way.

Even after thousands of years, there are those who still bring something new to storytelling. For every one like that, there's a thousand who choke on their arrogant pretension.

But while the missing girl mystery gives form to the story of Ronald Gibb, it only concludes with a twist ending that fails the most basic test of such things. The second most basic test is that it make sense and not invalidate what the audience has seen. The most basic test of a twist, however, is that it changes the audience's perception of events. They think the story was one way, then the twist shows them it was another way. Well, these filmmakers could have eliminated their twist or taken it in a completely different direction and it wouldn't have changed much at all about the story of Ronald Gibb. Maybe they're doing something meta with a twist that isn't really a twist and I didn't get it, but I don't think so.

Tim Daly is good, Paula Devicq is excellent and both writer Adam Targum and director David Ostry demonstrate a real appreciation and insight toward Ron and his circumstances. Their characters have internal life that usually doesn't conform to the faces they show the world or what they convince themselves they see in the mirror.

The Good Student is worth watching, especially if you're not being completely honest with yourself about your own life. If you come across it, give it a look.

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Great movie, but why have nudity?

Author: SimpsonFan101 from United States
7 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was very interesting. The movie starts out with a man teaching his class and telling the audience some background information. The whole aspect behind the movie is the event that a teacher has a school boy crush on one of his students,then she gets kidnapped, and he is the one that actually tries to find who the kidnapper is and where Ally is. During this investigation, he finds out some disturbing information about his perverted co-worker, and some other students. He also finds that the father of Ally is more concerned about his business and sex life then he is about his daughter. The students and faculty are all convinced that he has something to do with the kidnapping, and he is questioned and interrogated many times. With some interesting plot twists and and fair storyline, I enjoyed this movie. But, from the title, I would like to say that there was no reason what so ever to have the scene of nudity in it that it did, it was purely disgusting. With that being said, I give this movie a 7/10.

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