Monsieur Lazhar - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Monsieur Lazhar Reviews

Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 1, 2012
Although it raises timeless questions about life and loss, and timely ones about mentorship and multiculturalism, "Monsieur Lazhar" would rather teach than preach.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
May 24, 2012
A gentle film can still be searing in its effect on an audience, something that "Monsieur Lazhar" proves emphatically.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
May 11, 2012
With a few folds, this story could have made a script for John Barrymore, like Topaze, or for Chaplin.
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Cath Clarke
Time Out
May 1, 2012
You could almost describe 'Monsieur Lazhar' as a morality tale, but it's more thought-provoking than debate-provoking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 27, 2012
A sad, reflective study of the possibilities, and the impossibilities, inherent in the teacher-student relationship.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
April 27, 2012
"Monsieur Lazhar" is good. Really good.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
April 26, 2012
"Monsieur Lazhar" is a complex, multilayered tale that reveals new meanings as it introduces each new character.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 26, 2012
The film is rich in naturalistic, tossed-off details.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
April 26, 2012
A standard liberal tale about an inspirational teacher gradually deepens into a quiet study of how grief works its way through a community.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 26, 2012
It's all a bit neat. But whatever the film's limitations, it's certainly engaging to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 26, 2012
Its purpose is to present us with a situation, explore the people involved and show us a man who is dealing with his own deep hurts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
April 20, 2012
How do we get past tragedy? Together.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 19, 2012
What could be didactic is rendered life-size and indelible, even with the cards that Falardeau has carefully stacked.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
April 13, 2012
Fellag, an Algerian comedian and humor writer, anchors the film as the ineffable Bachir, a man who's so private that even the third-act revelation of his back story doesn't fully explain his motivations to us (nor would we want it to).
Top Critic
Stephen Farber
Hollywood Reporter
April 13, 2012
Canada's foreign-language submission is a searing classroom drama about grief that should be an Oscar front-runner.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 13, 2012
The French-Canadian film Monsieur Lazhar has one of the most powerful openings I've ever seen in a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 13, 2012
The movie's tonic lack of sentimentality binds the various griefs together into something moving.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
April 13, 2012
An understated story of coping with emotional blows that offers a compelling portrait of a decent man.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 13, 2012
Like a dedicated teacher, this is a film that stays with you.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
April 13, 2012
Fellag, a comedian and himself an exile from Algeria, makes Lazhar both a sensitive and an amusing figure. And the kids are just terrific, especially Emilien Neron as a boy who carries the guilt of the whole school on his shoulders.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 13, 2012
The film, alas, seems determined to be as careful, as gentle, as Lazhar himself.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
April 12, 2012
This film deals almost casually with a range of issues and themes, handling with a light and even affectionate touch weighty subjects like grief, guilt, community and love.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 12, 2012
What makes the film enthralling is the wisdom and grace with which it addresses the twin subjects of grief and healing, and the quiet beauty of Mohamed Fellag's performance in the title role.
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
April 12, 2012
"Monsieur Lazhar" sustains an exquisite balance between grown-up and child's-eye views of education, teacher-student relations and peer-group interactions.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
April 12, 2012
Falarde, in adapting a play, has a sweet, humanistic approach reminiscent of Bill Forsyth's '80s dramedies that lets "Lazhar's" protagonist and his class shine.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
April 12, 2012
Though it's a bit too early to say that it's an unforgettable movie, one suspects it is. It's also about so many things it nearly defies explanation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 12, 2012
The film leaves you hopeful, and even exhilarated, that even the most painful wounds can sometimes heal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
John Semley
AV Club
April 12, 2012
Falardeau offers a film as believably wrenching, and finally cathartic, as the grieving process itself.
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Time Out
April 10, 2012
Fellag does for the film what his Lazhar does for the pupils: He's soothing and entrancingly enigmatic enough to keep us fixed to our seats.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
April 10, 2012
Monsieur Lazhar builds hope in the face of tragedy and sheds new light on the question of what is truth and how we find it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michelle Orange
Village Voice
April 10, 2012
NÚlisse, with her tough, Courtney Love puss, and NÚron's portrayal of a boy's well-defended torment are extraordinary, as is the film's realization of the small, temporary world that surrounds them.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
April 10, 2012
Monsieur Lazhar is so discreet that it never quite comes to life.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 9, 2012
Ineffably sad-yet there's almost no loitering. The film is crisp, evenly paced, its colors bright, as sharp as the winter cold.
Top Critic
Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
January 27, 2012
An exquisite, humanistic and subtly topical work of cinema art that manages to keep the intimate, revelatory sensibility of a one-man play intact while fleshing out the characters and creating a very realistic and richly detailed school community.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 26, 2012
It's a tapestry of fraught relationships, weaving issues of parental authority, social taboos and national boundaries. Empathy comes through understanding, but it's not easily achieved. It never is.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Boyd van Hoeij
Variety
October 19, 2011
Quietly intelligent and respectable, much like its protag.