(I) (2006)

Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Chalk is loaded with life, energy, truth and respect. It may just make you yearn for your high schooling days. Okay, maybe not, but Chalk will have you laughing long after the movie has ended. How's that for homework?
L.A. Weekly
Though Akel and Mass share writing credit, Chalk was actually shot in a loose, improvisational manner in the mode of Christopher Guest's films, and its best set pieces are like devastatingly effective pinpricks puncturing the Hollywood hot-air balloon of inspirational teacher/coach melodramas.
Filtering one school year through the eyes of three young instructors and a rookie administrator, this loosely scripted satire mostly steers clear of cheap shots and over-the-top gags, balancing its comic observations with a real measure of affection for teachers and students alike.
The A.V. Club
Chalk pays homage to the kind of teachers students never forget, which makes it all the more perverse that it's so stubbornly, albeit affably, forgettable.
The Hollywood Reporter
More a series of loose-limbed vignettes than a sculpted narrative, Chalk lacks a compelling dramatic drive. But the cast creates a fine, improvisatory interplay, captured with verite-style camerawork, and the unforced humor and insights go a long way.
Chalk avoids some of the pitfalls of the mock-doc by showing real affection and empathy for its characters, whose funny lives of quiet desperation inspire more than their share of tenderness.
Unlike high school movies made for the teen market, Chalk gets many of its laughs from the backstage wrangling among the teachers as they unload their stress on one another.
Made by teachers for teachers, this local indie – which now sports the imprimatur of executive producer Morgan Spurlock – offers no easy answers to its statistic that 50% of teachers quit within their first three years on the job.
This loose-jointed ensemble comedy is funny in a squirm-inducing way.
Chicago Tribune
The problem with the movie is that all this improvisational verisimilitude never finds its way into fully developed stories.

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