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Cheaters (2000)

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1:29 | Trailer

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Eleven students conspire with their teacher to cheat on an academic competition.

Director:

John Stockwell

Writer:

John Stockwell
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Daniels ... Dr. Gerard Plecki
Jena Malone ... Jolie Fitch
Paul Sorvino ... Constantine Kiamos
Luke Edwards ... Darius Bettus
Blake Heron ... Matt Kur
Dov Tiefenbach ... Irwin Flickas
Dan Warry-Smith ... Paul Kurgan
Anna Raj Anna Raj ... Agnieska Maryniarczyk
Dominik Podbielski Dominik Podbielski ... Dominik Wesolowski
Ned Eisenberg ... Robert Clifford
Robert Joy ... Larry Minkoff
Lenka Peterson ... Mrs. Plecki
Alex Poch-Goldin ... Jerry Marconi (as Alex Poch Goldin)
Karen Glave ... Corrine Davis
Marcia Bennett ... Joan Isenberg
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Storyline

In the fall of 1994, a teacher at Chicago's run-down Steinmetz High recruits seven students for an academic decathlon team. They work long hours, preparing for the February regional event, won for ten straight years by a privileged, preppy school. Steinmetz finishes just well enough to be invited to the state meet. When a team member steals a copy of the state test, the teacher and kids face a dilemma: to remain honest, or to cheat and score a victory for kids in underfunded schools. When they do well, they must face a withering barrage of investigations, accusations, lawyers' lies, and reporters' intrusions. Is it all worth it? What lessons does cheating teach? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Putting The System To The Test

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La grande triche See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real-life Jolie Fitch, who was played by Jena Malone, was interviewed by the press in 2000 (at the time of the release of the movie), noting that she had dropped out of college because she was pregnant. She now works at a department store in the suburbs of Chicago. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Plecki and the students are watching "Stand and Deliver" at his house, the scenes from that movie are shown out of order in "Cheaters". See more »

Quotes

Irwin Flickas: It was a multiple choice test. Nobody told me you could only pick one answer!
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Connections

Features Stand and Deliver (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Look Who's Perfect Now
Written by Gary Clark, Eric Pressly, Keely Hawkes
Performed by Transister
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under License From Universal Music Special Markets/Virgin Records Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Great film highlighted by great performances.
20 May 2000 | by deadkerouacSee all my reviews

I saw this film when it debuted on HBO earlier tonight. I was pretty impressed by the story (by director John Stockwell), about a group of inner city Chicago youths who decide to cheat on their Academic Decathlon exams. The element that drives the story, however, is its performances, especially Jena Malone as Steinmetz student Jolie Fitch and Jeff Daniels as Decathlon advisor Dr. Gerard Plecki.

These youths decide to cheat solely for ambition, to beat the rival Whitney Young Decathlon Team (who wins every year) at the State finals. Basically, they're desperate, being an inner city school whose funding is based mostly on athletics. Daniels goes along with the plan because of this: to make a statement on how much focus is more on athletics and less on academics.

The only reason I decided to watch this film was for Jena Malone, who's one of the more talented young actresses cropping up out of obscurity. She's only fifteen, yet she's a better actress than women twice her age. She's even being compared to a young Jodie Foster. Hopefully, she'll continue to accept performances that aren't from your latest American teen comedies.

I did manage, however, to find a good story out of this, somewhat reminiscent of "Stand and Deliver," which the students actually watch in one scene. Whether or not we agree on Dr. Plecki allowing the students to cheat, we'll always agree that it's the teacher's responsibility to teach, and teach morally. Make up your mind about cheating; this story focuses on cheating and its consequences, and will probably be one of those great films not too many people will see.

Had it been released to theaters, it would've done modestly in the theaters and been critically acclaimed, then fade away after a couple of weeks. But it's good enough to win a few hearts and minds. Watch it for Jena Malone, though. I did, and I wouldn't be surprised if she was nominated for an Emmy here.


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