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Pressure Cooker (2008)



Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 1,491

My Rating

Movie Info

Philadelphia's Frankford High School isn't exactly the kind of place one would expect to find the world's next great culinary talent, but in this documentary from filmmakers Mark Becker and Jennifer Grausman, food enthusiasts discover why that concept may not be so far fetched after all. Their lives complicated by financial woes, broken homes, and abusive pasts, three Frankford High seniors find an unlikely ally in the form of culinary arts teacher Wilma Stephenson. Stephenson's kitchen isn't a

Apr 20, 2010

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (2) | DVD (2)

The movie's sense of inspiration is realistic. It never implies a future of glamour, only hard-won success.

September 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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An earnest crowd-pleaser that could have used an extra helping of dramatic tension -- but it succeeds by placing us in an interesting world with characters who are impossible not to root for.

August 21, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Wilma Stephenson...definitely deserves a subtler cinematic testament than this lazily inspirational documentary.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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If the filmmakers do little to expand the vocabulary of the genre, they enhance our appreciation of that most undervalued sector of the American workforce, the city schoolteacher.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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Pressure Cooker is not about pressure so much as clarity of purpose. It's about a unique teacher's way of building confidence and pride, with results that joyously speak for themselves.

July 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A heart-grabbing, awe-inspiring work that needs no embellishment.

June 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Inspiring cooking-themed docu is great for teens.

May 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

By the end, you won't need to slice onions to get the tear ducts working.

September 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

I grew a deep hunger while watching Pressure Cooker, not just from the students' mouthwatering dishes, but from the fact that teacher/chef Wilma Stephenson could uniformly inspire such success.

June 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

These stories move and inspire as tales of youth in need cooking up opportunity from scratch.

June 1, 2009 Full Review Source:

High school teacher Wilma Stephenson nourishes her culinary arts students in their hungry bids for better lives. An inspiration, 'Pressure Cooker' is a welcome antithesis to slice and dice.

May 31, 2009 Full Review Source:

It's convincing because of the force of Wilma Stephenson's personality and the fierce love she bestows on her culinary arts students at Philadelphia's Frankford High School.

May 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Critic's Notebook
Critic's Notebook

Neither the filmmakers nor the students-nor, for that matter, Stephenson-are fishing for sympathy. What they really want most is to give back-to provide nourishment, literal and figurative, to those who have so generously helped nourish them.

May 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

An engaging, uplifting, well-edited and occasionally suspenseful documentary that leaves you hungry for more insight into the lives of the culinary arts students and their Judge Judy-like teacher.

May 27, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

A fitting tribute to a selfless role model with an big heart and an indomitable spirit. Let's face it, they don't make 'em like Wilma Stephenson anymore.

May 27, 2009 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

Such a heartfelt inspirational story that one can fully understand why it seemed like such a worthwhile effort to capture the results of Stephenson's efforts on film.

May 26, 2009 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Pressure Cooker

Has this one in my Netflix queue for ages. Basically Spellbound for high school culinary students.
September 10, 2012

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