7.5/10
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106 user 99 critic

Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)

Trailer
2:35 | Trailer
An examination of the current state of education in America today.

Director:

Davis Guggenheim
16 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Charles Adams Charles Adams ... Self
Jonathan Alter ... Self
Robert Balfanz Robert Balfanz ... Self
Harriet Ball Harriet Ball ... Self
Steve Barr Steve Barr ... Self
Ms. Celeste Bell Ms. Celeste Bell ... Self
The Black & McGee Family The Black & McGee Family ... Themselves
Geoffrey Canada ... Self
James Carter III James Carter III ... Self
Todd Dickson Todd Dickson ... Self
The Esparza Family The Esparza Family ... Themselves
Mike Feinberg Mike Feinberg ... Self
Adrian M. Fenty Adrian M. Fenty ... Self (as Adrian Fenty)
Howard Fuller Howard Fuller ... Self
The Garcia Regalado Family The Garcia Regalado Family ... Themselves
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Storyline

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying "drop-out factories" and "academic sinkholes," methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The fate of our country won't be decided on a battlefield, it will be determined in a classroom.

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic material, mild language and incidental smoking | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a scene in which Bianca, one of the little girls, is reading from a book about someone taking apples and bringing them into the city to sell. The book she is reading is called "The Giving Tree" written by Shel Silverstein. See more »

Quotes

Geoffrey Canada: I was like what do you mean he's not real. And she thought I was crying because it's like Santa Claus is not real and I was crying because there was no one coming with enough power to save us.
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Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.101 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Takin' Care of Business
Written by Randy Bachman
Performed by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Repetitious and not that shocking at points, but the build up of the film's five case studies is powerful.
6 February 2011 | by Ryan_MYeahSee all my reviews

Waiting for 'Superman' is a documentary from Davis Guggenheim, the director of 2006's An Inconvenient Truth, that examines the faults and labyrinthine bureaucratics of America's educational government, a government more interested in protecting the jobs and pay salaries of lazy educators in public schools, rather than properly educating the average child.

The film isn't all that shocking. I admire the format, and the presentation of the film, but problems with the education of American children have been a highly publicized matter, especially a few of the points of which Guggenheim presents. At times it even feels like he's stating the obvious, and even repetitious in regards to sub-par school houses he points fingers at.

But the film's strongest impact comes from the case studies of five children, who show strong potential, but their parents struggle to set them up with the necessary education, placing them at the mercy of lotteries that determines the lucky few who get to attend successful charter schools. Their build-up is near impeccable, leading up to the film's emotionally powerful third act. A third act that, afterwards, is complimented perfectly by "Shine", a beautiful end credits song by John Legend, and overall one of the film year's very best original songs.

It isn't perfect, but I'm gonna give Waiting for 'Superman' *** out of ****


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Waiting for 'Superman' See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$139,033, 26 September 2010

Gross USA:

$6,417,135

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,433,688
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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