Dangerous Minds

1995

Dangerous Minds (1995)

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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 (38) | Top Critics (12)

Pfeiffer gives a funny, scrappy performance that makes you feel a committed teacher's fire to make a difference.

May 12, 2001

The tale screenwriter Ronald Bass came up with, and the way director John N. Smith tells it, is stereotypical, predictable and simplified to the point of meaninglessness.

Feb 13, 2001 | Full Review…

If only the filmmakers had used some subtlety in telling the story, they could have done right by the real LouAnne Johnson.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Pfieffer is absurdly miscast: Sly Stallone would make a more plausible Mr. Chips than the frail, squeaky actress does a nine-year veteran of the Marine Corps.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Stay home and watch Welcome Back Kotter. It's more enlightening.

Jan 1, 2000

The movie pretends to show poor black kids being bribed into literacy by Dylan and candy bars, but actually it is the crossover white audience that is being bribed with mind-candy in the form of safe words by the two Dylans.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dangerous Minds

½

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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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 Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

I like movies like these, although its not as good as films like freedom writers, it is an entertaining enough movie. Its not the most inspirational drama that gives you the wow factor at the end of the movie but it is funny and keeps you interested. I absolutely love the soundtrack to this movie its amazing.

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Stereotypical, predictable and unrealistic.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

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