A Teacher - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Teacher Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 3, 2014
Pretty bad not gonna lie. I didn't even watch the whole thing, I just fast forwarded through the boring parts which was like the entire movie. The majority of the movie is just poor choices of music that play over scenes where no real action is taking place. Like bad and loud music will play while the teacher is looking at the sunset for a long time at least 5 minutes-- just staring. That's not a good movie.

There's also no plot to this movie. There's a teacher and a student that are hooking up. But we don't know how the relationship started which probably would've been the most interesting part of the story, but no we never find that out. We just know they are together. They hook up occasionally and that's really all that happens until the very end when the teacher loves the student so much she goes to his house and his father finds out about their relationship. Then the student sells her out and she gets fired from her job. Actually we don't even know what happens because the movie ends with her getting a phone call from the principal saying "hey you're gonna need to come in to the office we have a student here and his father". So we never know what happens. We just know she gets really sad and goes back to bed.

The acting was horrible, so horrible at least the high school boy had okay acting skills. Although he looked more like a college student than a high school senior. He was way too ripped and built to be a high schooler. And the movie itself was just so poorly done I can't even begin to describe it. Half the scenes were done in the dark so you can't even see what is happening. Other times the camera stays on one angle the entire scene and its so BORING. The script sucks ass so what they say is not at all the least bit interesting. It's just a horrible movie overall. You can tell the director tried to be artsy and have a "underlying message" and capture the "intensity" of the forbidden relationship between the student and teacher, but he fails miserably on all accounts. There's no artistic value in this or underlying message, and with the shitty acting there's not much chemistry between the actors either. The director uses weird ass music and holds on shots wayyyy longer than he needs to, but none of it works because the director had no fucking clue what the hell he was doing. Whatever "emotion" he was trying to capture didn't work because there's no emotion. It's just a bad movie.

In the end the only real message from this movie is common sense: Teachers who sleep with students will get fired. There's no need to watch this movie because you probably already knew that.
½ April 25, 2014
A Teacher takes the gasp-awe taboo of teacher-student romance and puts it on center stage. Conceptually, A Teacher is highly engaging and has a lot to say. Unfortunately, the execution of those ideas never gets off the ground.

The viewer is flung right into the fray. Diana, an AP English teacher at a public high school, is already in the throes of a relationship with student Eric. While the movie never specifies how long they've been together, it can be assumed that the relationship is already sexual before the camera captures anything. On the one hand, this allows us to see the relationship for what it is at the outset, without our perspective getting colored by knowing characters (and yelling at them for bad mistakes, etc). But the trade-off is that we are flung into this scenario without any emotional attachment. And the movie never tries to bring us up to speed. It's like a kid relating a story: "And then we got into my SUV. And then we had sex in the back seat. And then we cuddled. And then he left. And then I missed him. And then I texted him. And then he texted me back."

They story gets conveyed, but it is always holding the viewer out at arms length. We see the effects on both Diana and Eric, but without any kind of glimpse into their mind to help lead us along. Sure, some if it can be assumed. Eric is a teenager. He's liking the sex. He's liking having a relationship. Perhaps he likes the weird power exchange, something he seems to drink up in one weird scene where he wants to get physical and Diana doesn't.

But to an extent Eric feels like a secondary character. He's The Romantic Interest, but the focus is almost entirely on Diana. And she is a tough cookie to crack. There are a lot of interesting surrounding details that seem to point at issues in her life, but none of them are explained. There is an interaction she has with her brother that hints at family troubles, but there's never any resolution there. There is her general inability to fit in with her peers--she's a fish out of water at a party, for example. Her feels like a cog that doesn't want to fit anywhere. Nowhere in this life machine seems to provide a comfortable slot for Diana. So maybe that's what the relationship is; a place she feels she can put her cog. But the weird thing is that even that fails to fit her. Her existence outside of work is either having sex with Eric or sitting around her apartment by herself, scrolling through Eric's Facebook photos. Again, larger issue being pointed to.

Some of this happens in the latter part of the movie where she seems to go crazy. In fact, Eric says that at one point. But her actions feel less like craziness and more like addiction desperation. Put her next to a junkie trying to get a fix and there's very little difference. In fact, replace Eric with a needle and you could make a very similar movie.

And if the movie had been able to bring all of these disparate issues into focus to provide a reason for her relationship or some sort of psychological viewpoint we could see or understand, A Teacher could have been an astounding movie. Answer the questions of why she acts like an addict in this relationship. Why is her family reaching out to her, but she's running from them. Why, why, why! But none of these things get touched on with any kind of resolution. Nothing happens to make us say, "Oh, Diana makes sense now!". Instead they just exist as glimmering fools gold; half-baked ideas that are meaningless.

And without this psychological understanding of Diana, all we as a viewer is left with is what the movie gives us: a story of a relationship that keeps the viewer at arms length until the end.
January 29, 2014
I enjoyed the solitude mental feel "a la Stanley Kubrick" given by director Fidell on this drama. The artistic aspect was a visual reflection of a simple yet unknown state of mind of the main characters. Overall pace was a bit unbalanced but the naked ambience sounds made it more intimate and suspenseful. The main character's performance was slowly escalating into its dark nature, the reasons were kept a mystery which it's okay, I believe were not needed anyways.
½ October 14, 2013
Hannah Fidell's new film, A Teacher, says it is "part psychological thriller" and "part provocative character study" although it never really becomes either as the incredibly short Sundance film (74 minutes) doesn't develop its central character with any layer of psychosis beyond what the audience sees skin-deep. It is "provocative" in that Diana (Lindsay Burdge - First Winter) is a young teacher who finds herself attracted to Eric (Will Brittain), one of her minor students; but even provocative becomes the wrong word when the main character appears to have no semblance of acceptable vs. un-acceptable behavior. Our teacher is completely devoid of rationality ... and that is the film in a nutshell ... the base relationship moves on to the next level each time she advances it. The film's literature implies that the teacher knows what is acceptable in society but there is no evidence (in the movie) that Diana ever sees what she is doing as wrong. She actually becomes more upset if she believes the pair might have to pause between dalliances and at one brief moment when Diana fears they might have been discovered she hysterically questions what that other person might be saying (the fault being that other person's ... NOT what Diana was possibly caught doing). This is what the film gets VERY wrong ... she is just a bad seed nobody would really befriend. The movie pretends there is a moral compass somewhere in the movie; but there isn't one. There is very little moralizing here and it shouldn't pretend that it is something it is not as Diana's character never wrestles with what NOT to do ... she wants more of it and more of it and more of it. There is never a call or cry for help ... Diana unravels ... and I wish it had happened sooner!
September 5, 2013
I'm flabbergasted by the negative reviews. This is a fine film, complex study of a women in over her head.
½ August 28, 2013
A Teacher is a great thriller film of the ages. The deep relationships that are showcased through this dark story are amazing and the actors do a great job of telling the story at many levels.

Though it is many young teen boys fantasy that they would be able to date one of their teachers one day, this film showcases the dark side of what really happens in these situations. Lindsay Burdge does a great job playing the teacher in love and Will Brittain is just enough of a cheesy teen, but also enough of a repressed spoiled teen, that he sells the story.
½ August 21, 2013
The movie not only loses basic aspects of story telling but also can't even make any attraction by shots or actings. Is really hard to call it even an armature movie. It's just wasting money and time.
February 18, 2016
This could have been good, but the plot unraveled and went nowhere in the end.
February 3, 2016
Lindsay Burdge was very compelling in this role and I really enjoyed her work. I fellt the story lacked a bit of closure, though, as we can only assume why she became involved in the affair in the first place. Very vague clues about her past relationships and family leave you wondering whether she was severely emotionally scarred, or just reckless. Her descent into raw vulnerability left me squirming uneasily.
January 20, 2016
Very slow, but I think it has to be to get inside the head of the teacher. It's watchable.
December 24, 2015
Uninspiring, bland. A lot more could have been done to offer insight. Two stars for actress Diane.
½ October 26, 2015
A very interesting view from a forbidden love. Great music and visuals.
½ September 23, 2015
There is a sad lack of action in this movie, and it is never really clear what drives our leading lady to break down during the movie, as there is no outer treat. One can only assume there is an inner battle we cannot see or know off
½ September 23, 2015
"A Teacher" boasts the promise of a independent feature treading over murky waters, in this romantic drama with an unsettling twist, however the film is so incredibly boring that anything achieved by the actors falls completely flat on its face. "A Teacher" follows the life of Dianna, a youthful and troubled high school teacher, who we soon discover is having a relationship with one of her students Eric. The couple at first, manage to hide their affair with each other from the public, however the further into the relationship Dianna gets, her mental state really begins to unhinge, as the prospect of losing everything begins to win over. "A Teacher's" premise is not at all weak, there is plenty to play with, emotionally and character wise, however the actual meat of the piece, the entire premise that should have us all gripping the couch in horror, just is not executed well at all. The acting by Lindsay Burdge and Will Brittain is actually watchable and indeed quite strong, the couple do convey a solid sense of chemistry throughout the piece and both manage to steer the relationship into damaged territory, its just the film is written and filmed in such a boring manner, that nothing in this film really happens. We follow Dianna about mostly, getting zero idea of what Eric is actually like as a human being, we only see his character from the one dimension of his trying to impress an older woman, nothing else, its hard then to sympathize with him or indeed feel a lot of his emotion, due to the fact that, we just dont know enough about him. The work that Brittian pulls off is decent, but his character is so poorly structured, a lot of the time he just comes off as a horrible human beings, something I cant help but feel shouldnt be the case here. Burdge has a lot more to play with here, she is given a wealth of opportunity to show some creative and mixed emotions, but the surroundings we find ourselves in, more often than not, are extremely tedious and boring. I think the message the film is trying to convey is something that should be addressed and the content here isnt exactly shown as black and white, which is completely the route to go down, however we just dont get enough of what matters, the relationship. The film goes for the typical style that independent films are by now, well known for, however it never stands out, only when for some reason the slow motion hurts your eyes, which is not a one time thing, these segments feel like the frame rate hasnt been set properly for the effect and the constant slow motion is just literally an eye sore. There really is not a whole lot on offer here, it should be a gripping drama, soaked in sympathy and tension, instead its just a set of boring images, that really never go anywhere. Complete waste of time.
½ September 9, 2015
In some parts is slow and it could be better.
August 22, 2015
The plot is simple. The experience and looming consequences are dangerously complex. Hannah Fidell approaches the topic of a young female high school teacher who encages in an affair with one of her senior-age students without background or detail. This is a bit of genius as it allows her leading actor, Linday Burdge, an unbridled opportunity to fully explore her character without the burden of following a more "familiar" connect-the-dots screenplay. Burdge is more than up for the task.

Fidell establishes the tone of the film utilizing abrupt editing, intense musical score and off-kilter camera perspectives. We are given just enough information about the protagonist to know that she is on the verge of crisis. The film needs no dialog or "set-up" to understand how a mutually erotic flirtation swells into something far more menacing.

At the end of the day, this is an artistic portrait of a woman pushed to her emotional and psychological limits. She hides her pain, loneliness and isolation so well that it is barely detectable as she interacts with others. The exception being her lover who is far too immature to understand the area into which he stumbles. This film is not "provocation" or "salacious." Fidell avoids those traps. However, she is smart enough to create more than a little erotic tension.

Unpredictable, unflinching, dark and with a constant tone of threat -- "A Teacher" is a horrifying film. It should not be missed. I'm particularly disappointed with The New York Times and NPR for failing to grasp what this experimental film manages to achieve.
½ July 18, 2015
A teacher is a movie about a single teacher of a local high school and the inappropriate relationship she has with one of her students. Basically in a nutshell the movie revolves around the start of their relationship and the conclusion..
This is not a movie for all. I did not like it either.
July 17, 2015
A teacher falls for a student then tells him to go away, then wants him back. Knowing what she does puts her career in jepody. It's all about the sex.
March 13, 2015
I don't get all the low reviews for this movie. I thought the acting by both leads was brilliant. With the exception of the last scene, the score created tension throughout the film.
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