Dangerous Minds


Dangerous Minds

Critics Consensus

Rife with stereotypes that undermine its good intentions, Dangerous Minds is too blind to see that the ones it hurts are the audience.



Total Count: 39


Audience Score

User Ratings: 102,991
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Movie Info

In this drama, a school teacher discovers that it takes more than the ABCs to get through to a class of "uneducatable" kids. When Lou Anne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer), a nine-year veteran of the Marine Corps with a degree in education, begins a new job at an inner-city school in California, the principal (George Dzundza) warns her that her class will be the "rejects from Hell" -- kids with severe social problems and no interest in education. While at first her African-American and Latino students scoff at Lou Anne, she ultimately gets them to open up to learning and literature, through a combination of bribery (candy bars) and intimidation (her karate training from the Marines comes in handy), and she's able to reach out to the students who need her the most: Callie (Bruklin Harris), a bright girl who believes she's thrown away her future when she becomes pregnant; Emilio (Wade Dominquez), a macho bully whose violence is stifling his academic potential; and Raul (Renoly Santiago), the brightest kid in the class, who is afraid to show his intelligence. Dangerous Minds was adapted from a memoir by Lou Anne Johnson entitled My Posse Don't Do Homework. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for Dangerous Minds

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (28)

Audience Reviews for Dangerous Minds

  • Jun 05, 2012
    Stories about teachers winning over a tough audience are always uplifting - shades of 'To Sir with Love'. This movie has all the normal ingredients - tough-but-caring teacher, kids-with-chips-on-their-shoulders, fights, the teacher deciding to leave, but kids pull her back. Music is great. I would have rated it higher, but it really has been done before many times.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2010
    It may seem like just another of those countless inspirational movies about a teacher who "saves the lives" of a group of rebellious students (and it is indeed condescending sometimes, especially with those candy bars), but it is also honest enough to be definitely worth it.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 28, 2009
    The lives of these troubled and misunderstood teens are described very well and maybe that's one of the reasons why I liked this movie. Michele Pfeiffer portrays a teacher who gets a new job teaching at a city school. When she gets there, she realizes that she has agreed to teach a classroom full of hoodlums. After a terrible reception, from the students she tries unorthodox methods of teaching, using friendship and attention to win the trust of her students. In the end she becomes their inspiration for caring about their future. Not up to the classy "To Sir with Love" but pretty good nonetheless. I thought the soundtrack was great and I especially loved the song, "Gangsta's Paradise," by Coolio. This song really suits the atmosphere of the movie in a neighbourhood where fights and deaths are a common thing. Dangerous Minds is actually based on a true story. This movie carried a powerful message of hope, recognizes that there are certain situations where you truly have no control over, but ultimately you still have the choice and power to change your own life.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2009
    Been spending most our lives living in the gangsta's paradise.
    Jason O Super Reviewer

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