Movies about teachers and schools

by Suf-Fialoren | created - 02 May 2013 | updated - 02 May 2013 | Public
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1. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Unrated | 114 min | Drama, Romance

An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades.

Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin | Stars: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills

Votes: 8,942

2. Stand and Deliver (1988)

PG | 103 min | Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus.

Director: Ramón Menéndez | Stars: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan, Virginia Paris

Votes: 14,591 | Gross: $13.99M

3. The Breakfast Club (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

62 Metascore

Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Votes: 317,483 | Gross: $45.88M

4. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 367,387 | Gross: $95.86M

5. To Be and to Have (2002)

Not Rated | 104 min | Documentary, Family

87 Metascore

A documentary portrait of a one-room school in rural France, where the students (ranging in age from 4 to 11) are educated by a single dedicated teacher.

Director: Nicolas Philibert | Stars: Georges Lopez, Alizé, Axel Thouvenin, Guillaume

Votes: 7,221 | Gross: $0.78M

6. Freedom Writers (2007)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves and pursue education beyond high school.

Director: Richard LaGravenese | Stars: Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn

Votes: 61,783 | Gross: $36.61M

7. Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

PG | 143 min | Drama, Music

59 Metascore

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Director: Stephen Herek | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis

Votes: 33,415 | Gross: $82.57M

8. The Man Without a Face (1993)

PG-13 | 115 min | Drama

62 Metascore

Chuck wants to leave home but can't make the grade for boarding school. Then he finds out the disfigured recluse living nearby is an ex-teacher.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Nick Stahl, Margaret Whitton, Fay Masterson

Votes: 25,971 | Gross: $24.76M

9. Dangerous Minds (1995)

R | 99 min | Biography, Drama

47 Metascore

An ex-Marine turned teacher struggles to connect with her students in an inner city school.

Director: John N. Smith | Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, George Dzundza, Courtney B. Vance, Robin Bartlett

Votes: 44,493 | Gross: $84.92M

10. Lean on Me (1989)

PG-13 | 108 min | Drama

The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school and he is determined to improve by any and all means.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd, Robert Guillaume, Alan North

Votes: 16,654 | Gross: $31.91M

11. The Great Debaters (2007)

PG-13 | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.

Director: Denzel Washington | Stars: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Nate Parker

Votes: 53,222 | Gross: $30.23M

12. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 762,922 | Gross: $138.43M

13. The Emperor's Club (2002)

PG-13 | 109 min | Drama

49 Metascore

An idealistic prep school teacher attempts to redeem an incorrigible student.

Director: Michael Hoffman | Stars: Kevin Kline, Emile Hirsch, Joel Gretsch, Embeth Davidtz

Votes: 15,868 | Gross: $14.06M

14. Half Nelson (2006)

R | 106 min | Drama

85 Metascore

An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret.

Director: Ryan Fleck | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Shareeka Epps, Jeff Lima

Votes: 80,421 | Gross: $2.69M

15. Wonder Boys (2000)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey Jr.

Votes: 58,637 | Gross: $19.39M

16. Finding Forrester (2000)

PG-13 | 136 min | Drama

62 Metascore

A young writing prodigy finds a mentor in a reclusive author.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham, Anna Paquin

Votes: 78,932 | Gross: $66.40M

17. The Class (2008)

PG-13 | 128 min | Drama

92 Metascore

Teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau plays a version of himself as he negotiates a year with his racially mixed students from a tough Parisian neighborhood.

Director: Laurent Cantet | Stars: François Bégaudeau, Agame Malembo-Emene, Angélica Sancio, Arthur Fogel

Votes: 32,265 | Gross: $3.77M

18. The History Boys (2006)

R | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

74 Metascore

An unruly class of gifted and charming teenage boys are taught by two eccentric and innovative teachers, as their headmaster pushes for them all to get accepted into Oxford or Cambridge.

Director: Nicholas Hytner | Stars: Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Clive Merrison, Samuel Anderson

Votes: 19,443 | Gross: $2.71M

19. The Perfect Score (2004)

PG-13 | 93 min | Comedy, Crime

35 Metascore

Six high school seniors decide to break into the Princeton Testing Center so they can steal the answers to their upcoming SAT tests and all get perfect scores.

Director: Brian Robbins | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Erika Christensen, Chris Evans, Leonardo Nam

Votes: 22,206 | Gross: $10.39M

20. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 767,808 | Gross: $170.74M

21. Pay It Forward (2000)

PG-13 | 123 min | Drama

40 Metascore

A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

Director: Mimi Leder | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr

Votes: 107,043 | Gross: $33.52M

22. Kindergarten Cop (1990)

PG-13 | 111 min | Comedy, Crime

61 Metascore

A tough cop must pose as a kindergarten teacher in order to locate a dangerous criminal's ex-wife, who may hold the key to putting him behind bars.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed, Linda Hunt

Votes: 124,829 | Gross: $91.46M

23. School of Rock (2003)

PG-13 | 109 min | Comedy, Music

82 Metascore

After being kicked out of his rock band, Dewey Finn becomes a substitute teacher of an uptight elementary private school, only to try and turn them into a rock band.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Jack Black, Mike White, Joan Cusack, Adam Pascal

Votes: 243,973 | Gross: $81.26M

24. Election (1999)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.

Director: Alexander Payne | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein, Jessica Campbell

Votes: 82,946 | Gross: $14.88M

25. Notes on a Scandal (2006)

R | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.

Director: Richard Eyre | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Andrew Simpson, Tom Georgeson

Votes: 71,024 | Gross: $17.51M

26. To Sir, with Love (1967)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

55 Metascore

Idealistic engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London's East End.

Director: James Clavell | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson, Christian Roberts, Suzy Kendall

Votes: 14,173 | Gross: $42.43M

27. Teachers (2001–2004)

50 min | Comedy, Drama

Comedy drama that follows the exploits of school staff both inside and out of the classroom.

Stars: Ursula Holden Gill, Gillian Bevan, Lloyd McGuire, Ellen Thomas

Votes: 2,821

28. Remember the Titans (2000)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

48 Metascore

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst

Votes: 183,967 | Gross: $115.65M

29. October Sky (1999)

PG | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Family

71 Metascore

The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Chris Owen

Votes: 75,044 | Gross: $32.48M

30. Chalk (I) (2006)

PG-13 | 85 min | Comedy, Drama

70 Metascore

An improvisational take on the high school experience, told from the educators' point-of-view.

Director: Mike Akel | Stars: Troy Schremmer, Janelle Schremmer, Shannon Haragan, Chris Mass

Votes: 1,287 | Gross: $0.30M

31. Coach Carter (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

57 Metascore

Controversy surrounds high school basketball coach Ken Carter after he benches his entire team for breaking their academic contract with him.

Director: Thomas Carter | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Rick Gonzalez, Robert Ri'chard, Rob Brown

Votes: 111,569 | Gross: $67.26M

32. Tuesdays with Morrie (1999 TV Movie)

89 min | Biography, Drama

A journalist finds himself questioning his own life when his best friend, a dying man, offers him some very powerful wisdom and advice for coping in relationships, careers and society.

Director: Mick Jackson | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Hank Azaria, Wendy Moniz-Grillo, Caroline Aaron

Votes: 4,029

33. Music of the Heart (1999)

PG | 124 min | Drama, Music

54 Metascore

Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Meryl Streep, Cloris Leachman, Henry Dinhofer, Michael Angarano

Votes: 11,281 | Gross: $14.86M

34. The Wonderful World of Disney (1995–2005)
Episode: The Miracle Worker (2000)

TV-PG | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A television remake of William Gibson's classic play about Annie Sullivan's efforts to draw Helen Keller from her world of darkness, blindness, deafness and silence.

Director: Nadia Tass | Stars: Alison Elliott, Hallie Eisenberg, Lucas Black, Kate Greenhouse

Votes: 1,468

35. Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)

PG | 111 min | Documentary

81 Metascore

An examination of the current state of education in America today.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Charles Adam, Charles Adams, Jonathan Alter, Robert Balfanz

Votes: 10,285 | Gross: $6.41M

36. The Lottery (2010)

Not Rated | 81 min | Documentary, Drama, News

72 Metascore

Four children enter a high-stakes lottery. If they win, they can attend one of the best schools in New York. A look at the crisis in public education, The Lottery makes the case than any child can succeed.

Director: Madeleine Sackler | Stars: Cory Booker, Geoffrey Canada, Candice Fryer, Gregory Goodwine Jr.

Votes: 541 | Gross: $0.05M

38. Just a Beginning (2010)

97 min | Documentary

"Just A Beginning" follows a nursery school class for a period of two years. But this is a very unusual class as the children, aged three to five study... philosophy! Seated in a circle ... See full summary »

Directors: Pierre Barougier, Jean-Pierre Pozzi

Votes: 125

39. The Hobart Shakespeareans (2005 TV Movie)

Documentary

Rafe Esquith, 1992 American Teacher of the Year and National Medal of Arts recipient, teaches 5th-grade children whose parents don't speak English at a school in a dangerous, poor, drug-infested 100% Latino/Asian neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Rafe Esquith, Ian McKellen, Michael York

Votes: 115

40. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

PG-13 | 117 min | Drama

45 Metascore

A free-thinking art professor teaches conservative 1950s Wellesley girls to question their traditional social roles.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Votes: 71,998 | Gross: $63.86M

41. Up the Down Staircase (1967)

Approved | 124 min | Drama

The experiences of a young female English teacher in an inner-city New York high school.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Patrick Bedford, Sandy Dennis, Eileen Heckart, Ruth White

Votes: 1,686

42. Conrack (1974)

PG | 106 min | Drama

White Pat Conroy was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina. In March 1969 under the Beaufort School District, he starts a job teaching at a small poor school located on Daufuskie ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Jon Voight, Paul Winfield, Madge Sinclair, Tina Andrews

Votes: 1,616

43. Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Approved | 101 min | Crime, Drama

A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern, Margaret Hayes

Votes: 7,368

44. Precious (II) (2009)

R | 110 min | Drama

79 Metascore

In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.

Director: Lee Daniels | Stars: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey

Votes: 99,933 | Gross: $47.40M

45. The Blue Angel (1930)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Music

88 Metascore

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti

Votes: 12,328 | Gross: $0.08M

46. Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Thriller

35 Metascore

The story of a girl who is willing to do anything to become Valedictorian, even if it means murdering the teacher that stands in her way.

Director: Kevin Williamson | Stars: Helen Mirren, Marisa Coughlan, Katie Holmes, Jeffrey Tambor

Votes: 18,837 | Gross: $8.95M

47. Bad Teacher (2011)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Romance

47 Metascore

A lazy, incompetent middle school teacher who hates her job, her students, and her co-workers is forced to return to teaching to make enough money for breast implants after her wealthy fiancé dumps her.

Director: Jake Kasdan | Stars: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch

Votes: 180,719 | Gross: $100.29M

48. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 288,653 | Gross: $70.14M

49. The Ron Clark Story (2006 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 90 min | Biography, Drama