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Detachment (2011)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  1 February 2012 (France)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 52,795 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 121 user | 138 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

A substitute teacher who drifts from classroom to classroom finds a connection to the students and teachers during his latest assignment.



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8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Kaye ...
Mr. Mathias
Dr. Hart


Detachment is a chronicle of three weeks in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students through the eyes of a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes. Henry roams from school to school, imparting modes of knowledge, but never staying long enough to form any semblance of sentient attachment. A perfect profession for one seeking to hide out in the open. One day Henry arrives at his next assignment. Upon his entry into this particular school, a secret world of emotion is awakened within him by three women. A girl named Meredith in his first period. A fellow teacher Ms. Madison, and a street hooker named Erica, whom Henry has personally granted brief shelter from the streets. Each one of these women, like Henry, are in a life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 February 2012 (France)  »

Also Known As:

O Substituto  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,739 (USA) (16 March 2012)


$71,177 (USA) (27 April 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Wincott was considered for a role. See more »


Boom mic visible reflected in the glass as Henry and Erica come out of the hospital. See more »


Henry Barthes: [In nursing home] Grampa, you doing any writing in your journal?
[Thumbs through empty journal]
Grampa: I don't remember much, I lost the habit. You can't think in this place, you can't make new memories.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[intertitle near start] And never have I felt so deeply at one and the same time so detached from myself and so present in the world. - Albert Camus See more »


Featured in Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.182 (2012) See more »


Written by Ray Lamontagne
Performed by Ray Lamontagne
Courtesy of Stone Dwarf, LLC and RCA Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

ubiquitous assimilation!!
29 February 2012 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Detachment is a dark movie which everyone can relate with, the solitariness, the cynicism, the despair and the darker shades of our lives which we cover with many other things. It doesn't end on a good note unlike the common genre movies - it could have easily drifted that way to be more appealing. But then who's gonna live happily forever!!

Though the education system and the schools and the students ain't that evil and rotten the way its shown in the movie, it does pose many a question, the dubious system in which everything goes on without a point. The miserable life of teachers were beautifully shown, yes they do go through worse situations. Adrien Brody does something meaty after pianist as the cool, composed and ailing substitute teacher. The climax was so dramatic and metaphorical, the background score adds value to the visual richness.

The screenplay is too dark at times, the lighter moments and the virtuous elements highly underplayed though it saves the movie many a time from drowning. I loved the way the narration takes us through, we feel the pain the characters are going through. Wish had it been lighter in content with some thing which kindled a ray of virtue somewhere, Alas! but that's the way it is..

39 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Are we supposed to care about these characters? TopperHarley29
Sexism against men kcolli11
Why did Henry take the risk of bringing a hooker to his home? OneInAZillion
Adrien Brody is superb. chris_koulouris
The relationship between Henry and Erica = Léon and Mathilda? andrea-fryer
Is this movie showing ANYWHERE? mspeed44
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