7.5/10
10,521
104 user 116 critic

Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)

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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 Adam Charles Adam ... Self
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
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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" and was 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.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

American Idiot
Written by Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Pritchard and Frank Wright
Performed by Green Day
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

User Reviews

 
Not perfect, but it's informative and emotionally-resonating
19 October 2010 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

Director Davis Guggenheim waited for Superman as a child, because children like the hope that somebody will come and rescue them and the world. I knocked the U.S. Education system documentary "Waiting for Superman" down two stars for two reasons. One is that they just didn't give me enough hope.

The other main failing of this film, as other reviewers have pointed out, is that he didn't cover all of the many, many reasons for an under-performing education system. Well, he kind of did, but not very clearly. He spent more time on poor teachers and the unions, and many people seem to have come out of thinking that's all he talked about. Contrary to popular reviews, he did make other points. They were just too subtle. I will agree though that he was too heavy-handed with the American Federation of Teachers.

The primary focus of the film is five children each from different parts of the country and each desperate to get into a better school. I think he padded the documentary a bit too much with their situations, and a few too many tear-jerking moments. But when Guggenheim presented me with facts, knowledge and history, "Waiting for Superman" became both informative and emotionally-resonating. And yes, that's what a good documentary is, and that's why it gets 8 stars.

Perhaps "Waiting for Superman" should have been more well-rounded, but I don't think you can present more sides in just a two-hour film. And most important, the sides he did present are accurate, informative, entertaining and well presented. I wish I saw Superman at the end instead of just tears, but I still recommend it.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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