The Best and the Brightest (2011)



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Set in the world of New York City's elite private kindergartens, The Best and the Brightest centers on a fresh-faced young couple from Delaware, Jeff and Samantha, who have only recently moved into town, and the extreme lengths they must go to in order to get their five-yearold daughter into school. Every private school in the city informs Sam that she's simply too late to apply for a kindergarten spot this fall. But Sam will not be denied. The only way Sue is able to arrange it is by telling the headmistress a critical lie: that Jeff is a renowned poet. Keeping this ridiculous lie aloft is the main action of the movie, as Sam and Jeff are forced to prove their poetic bona fides not only to the school's headmistress but to the entire school board. -- (C) Official Site
R (for pervasive language, sexual content and some nudity)
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Amelia Talbot
as Beatrice
Nina Hodoruk
as Upper East Side Mom
Michael Elian
as Middle Eastern Bag Dealer
Suzanne Savoy
as Chapin Headmistress
Jennie Grace
as Altoids Mom
Cornelia Guest
as Spence Mom
Brea Bee
as Grace Church Mom
Jenna Stern
as Katherine Heilmann
Kelly Coffield Park
as Cindy Tanaka-Blumstein
Jos Laniado
as Luis the Super
Juliette Dunn
as P.S. 184 Tour Guide
Sadiq Afif
as P.S. 184 Boy
Jordan Johnston
as P.S. 184 Boy
Ralphie May
as P.S. 184 Security Guard
Tim Johnson
as Kid Harassing Security Guard
Ellis Walding
as P.S. 184 Cop
Amy Sedaris
as Sue Lemon
Maria Armesto
as Consuela
Mets Suber
as Abraham
Kate Mulgrew
as Player's Wife
Stephen Park
as George Tanaka-Blumstein
Jalen Hoang
as Yoshi
Richard Schiffrin
as Corrupt Nassau County Lobbyist
Urs Hirschbiegel
as Man At Podium
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Critic Reviews for The Best and the Brightest

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (11)

Absurd premise and weak script doom this comedy about haute-preschool angst.

Full Review… | June 23, 2011
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Josh Shelov's smug and smutty farce employs an estimable cast in an only sporadically funny story...

Full Review… | June 23, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

Far too many sitcom shenanigans crop up like clockwork...

Full Review… | June 23, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

A repellent comedy that's less fun than a parasite infection...

June 23, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

Flies off its comic rails after an engaging start, never to land back on solid ground.

Full Review… | June 23, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The Best and the Brightest is amusing at times but never more than a modest diversion, lacking the cleverness and imagination required to turn it into more than a one-joke movie.

Full Review… | June 23, 2011
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Best and the Brightest

I love NPH, but this movie was weak. The "poems" were hilarious, as well as the character Clark, but apart from that... it was bland.

l i n  d a
l i n d a

There is almost no plot to speak of, but some of the dialogue is absolutely hilarious. And, I mean, who can go wrong with Neil Patrick Harris? It's insipid, pointless and sometimes incredibly crass, but I enjoyed it anyway. There's nothing wrong with mindless comedy once in a while, and this is one of the more fun mindless comedies I've seen recently.

Amanda Hendsbee
Amanda Hendsbee

At this point in Neil Patrick Harris' career, he could sell just about any film. The problem with The Best and The Brightest is that it under-utilized him. The situation that Jeff and Samantha endure while attempting to get their child into school after a big move is so far-fetched that it becomes impossible to enjoy. Though I believe people can be duped, this film comes off like one of those poorly produced National Lampoon or American Pie spin-offs. However, the dead-pan performances from NPH and new-comer Peter Serafinowicz make the film much more than it is.

Christopher Haskell
Christopher Haskell

Super Reviewer

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