Pressure Cooker belongs to the honorable genre of inspirational films dedicated to the proposition that one passionate teacher can make a difference in the lives of students.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Wilma Stephenson...definitely deserves a subtler cinematic testament than this lazily inspirational documentary.
Inspiring cooking-themed docu is great for teens.
| Original Score: 5/5
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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.
| Original Score: 8/10
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.
| Original Score: 6.0/10
Unlike the United States's dismal university application process, this documentary is breathtakingly equal opportunity in its search for human poetry.
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.
| Original Score: 4/4
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.
| Original Score: 4/5
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.
Stephenson looms largest as a reminder of what the right teacher can mean to a kid looking for a way out; it takes a strong woman and a special grace to not only let her protégés go, year after year, but practically shove them out the door.
These stories move and inspire as tales of youth in need cooking up opportunity from scratch.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
A heart-grabbing, awe-inspiring work that needs no embellishment.
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.
The movie's sense of inspiration is realistic. It never implies a future of glamour, only hard-won success.
Wilma Stephenson is a charismatic teacher who does great things for her charges, but her job appears not as difficult as you might think.
| Original Score: B
At times, you wish the directors were more challenging of their premises; these graduating seniors are learning the value of precision, yes, but also, subtly, how to serve. Is that escape enough?
| Original Score: 3/6
| Original Score: 3/5