• R, 2 hr. 6 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    John Singleton
    In Theaters:
    Jun 1, 1994 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jul 3, 2001
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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Higher Learning Reviews

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The film lapses into polarized melodrama but it's a handsome piece, displaying a fair understanding of our desperate need to belong.

Full Review Source: Film4

July 25, 2010

TV Guide's Movie Guide

Singleton gets points for exposing the hypocrisy of "politically correct" institutions, but stilted dialogue and cardboard characterizations undermine the message.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3/4

July 25, 2010
Todd McCarthy
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive category of American films these days.

Full Review Source: Variety

October 18, 2008
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A stylish, intelligent film-maker, Singleton interweaves the threads of his demographic tapestry with assurance, passion and a welcome awareness of the complexities of the college community's contradictory impulses towards integration and separatism.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Brad Laidman
Film Threat

There's some nice ideas and realistically felt characters here.

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 4/5

December 6, 2005
Luke Y. Thompson
New Times

For anyone who's been to USC, it's a pretty hilarious parody of life there. If you take it as presented, however, it's over-dramatic and unbelievable.

| Original Score: 3/5

November 3, 2005
Clint Morris

Another tour-de-force for Singleton

| Original Score: 3/5

March 23, 2005
Spence D.
IGN Movies

| Original Score: 3/5

January 24, 2004
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...John Singleton's third (and best) film.

Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 1, 2003
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette

Flawed but often arresting drama

| Original Score: 3/5

June 4, 2003
Michael Dequina

A flawed endeavor... but still an entertaining and thought-provoking film.

| Original Score: 3/4

May 25, 2002
Scott Weinberg
Apollo Guide

Singleton deserves praise for shining the spotlight on some of today's biggest social issues; it's just unfortunate that the laws of cinema ultimately blunt some of his messages.

Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Original Score: 68/100

September 10, 2001
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Higher Learning is often clichéd, unfocused and didactic. But Singleton has a goal most of his contemporaries have given up on: He wants to make a movie that makes a difference.

May 12, 2001
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite excesses and missteps, there is still a wealth of digestible, thought-provoking material in Higher Learning.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 1, 2000
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic


Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Bruce Kirkland
Jam! Movies

With Higher Learning ... Singleton, as writer-director, tackles larger issues with more insight and confidence.

January 1, 2000
David Armstrong
San Francisco Examiner

Energetic, uneven but engaging.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner

January 1, 2000
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite some likable performances (Epps is especially winning), the drama in Higher Learning is constricted, hemmed in by Singleton's compulsion to view his characters as walking paradigms of racial and sexual politics.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C

July 6, 2010
Emanuel Levy

| Original Score: 2/5

June 26, 2005
Derek Smith
Apollo Guide

| Original Score: 2/5

July 18, 2004
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