The Emperor's Club - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Emperor's Club Reviews

November 25, 2002
Kevin Kline perfectly cast to play this.
November 22, 2002
This isn't a stand up and cheer flick; it's a sit down and ponder affair. And thanks to Kline's superbly nuanced performance, that pondering is highly pleasurable.
November 22, 2002
It's a simpering, ineffective ersatz-drama, so simple-minded and unrealistic and so full of fussy stupidity, it exiles you.
November 22, 2002
You don't have to be an especially tough grader to give a charitable B-minus to The Emperor's Club.
November 22, 2002
The movie may not be worthy of an Oscar, but Kline's highly nuanced performance is certainly worthy of our attention.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 22, 2002
It's comfortable and pleasant, and if you squint you can practically see Dead Poets Society. And then it surprises -- just a bit, but enough.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 22, 2002
A substantial examination of character, morality and destiny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 22, 2002
Everything about The Emperor's Club feels like recycled goods.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
November 22, 2002
This is a film of enormous heart, compassion and intelligence that tackles vital issues with wrenching, thought-provoking honesty and cinematic skill.
November 22, 2002
The film has the uncanny ability to right itself precisely when you think it's in danger of going wrong.
Read More | Original Score: B+
November 22, 2002
If you stay with the story's overly familiar arc, there is an unexpected plot twist that redeems the film, and makes a valuable point.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 22, 2002
Only two-fifths of a satisfying movie experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 22, 2002
In the name of an allegedly inspiring and easily marketable flick, The Emperor's Club turns a blind eye to the very history it pretends to teach.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 22, 2002
A sentimental mess that never rings true.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
November 22, 2002
Kline's performance shows a deep understanding of the character, who is, after all, better than most teachers, and most men. We care for him, not because he is perfect, but because he regrets so sincerely that he is not.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 22, 2002
Hoffman waits too long to turn his movie in an unexpected direction, and even then his tone retains a genteel, prep-school quality that feels dusty and leatherbound.
Read More | Original Score: C
November 22, 2002
Kline has rarely been better, but the film's turgid pacing -- and a dreary romantic subplot ... may put off the young audience that would benefit most from seeing a very rare Hollywood movie about moral values.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 21, 2002
Life, the movie concludes, is not as simple as most movies like it would have you believe, but it doesn't manage to make the characters complex enough to make this an insight rather than an axiom.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
November 21, 2002
Though the message of The Emperor's Club is not precisely what you might expect, it's an awfully familiar one nevertheless, a theme that's too comfortable for its own good.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
November 21, 2002
Kline's powerful and even daring portrayal may be wrapped inside a fairly traditional movie, but it's definitely worth seeking out.
Read More | Original Score: B
November 21, 2002
The obvious sincerity of director Michael Hoffman and star Kevin Kline doesn't translate to on-screen energy.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
November 21, 2002
It's hard to believe that this film by Michael Hoffman ... is so humorless, so bloodless, so mawkish, so talky.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
November 21, 2002
What's at stake in this film is nothing more than an obsolete, if irritating, notion of class.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
November 21, 2002
In the spirit of Canin it ought to be, yet director Michael Hoffman and screenwriter Neil Tolkin can't resist converting rumination into plot, then tailoring the plot to the explication of messages they don't trust us to get -- or argue with.
November 21, 2002
Canin's story is far more effective, but because of its basic premise, The Emperor's Club is more than just another feel-good teacher movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 21, 2002
Thinking about what the film might have been makes it almost impossible to enjoy the film that is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 21, 2002
Kline gives a beautiful performance, one every bit as moving as Williams' in Dead Poets Society, Robert Donat's in Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Michael Redgrave's in The Browning Version.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 21, 2002
Kline does a welcome, restrained job as a prof whose ambivalent relationship with his own successful father shades his teacherly relationship with a senator's kid.
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 20, 2002
Hoffman sprays on the tears like a toxic mist. Avoid like the plague.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
November 19, 2002
Though the prep-school visual cues need revamping ... Club's inability to moralize saves it from kitsch.
November 18, 2002
It dares to be a little different, and that shading is what makes it worthwhile.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 9, 2002
It's as if every teacher's greatest hits, from Mr. Chips to Mr. Holland, have been input into a computer that has in turn spit out something blandly generic.