Waiting for Superman Reviews

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Brian Orndorf
October 14, 2010
Change? Hope? Action? Well, there's a number you can text at the end of the film for that. Gee, thanks, Mr. Guggenheim.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
October 7, 2010
It's just an advertisement for boarding the Good Intentions Express, bound for... I don't know where. And neither does Davis Guggenheim.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Rob Gonsalves
November 8, 2010
The way Guggenheim builds up suspense by, in effect, watching the life or death (in the film's terms) of five kids decided at random is a little sickening.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Sukhdev Sandhu
Daily Telegraph
November 29, 2010
In the end, this is scattergun film-making, well-intentioned but sloppy, sometimes deliberately evasive. If this documentary were an exam essay, I'd fail it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
November 14, 2010
Tells us little we don't already know about why most schools need to be fixed.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly
April 28, 2015
Overlooks some larger issues regarding systemic poverty and social inequities, while the tricky matter of private funding is elided altogether.
Top Critic
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
September 21, 2010
Guggenheim's insistence on not engaging with the injustices that children of certain races and classes face outside of school makes his reiteration of the obvious... seem all the more willfully na´ve.
Rob Thomas
Wisconsin State Journal
October 14, 2010
Go see it, and then talk about it. But don't necessarily buy into it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Philip French
November 29, 2010
A hectoring, simplistic affair that has nothing of value to contribute to the British debate.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
September 23, 2010
Guggenheim does not seem aware that extensive educational research has failed to identify what makes a "great teacher" or how to train one, nor that there are strikingly different and conflicting strategies for teaching literacy.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 30, 2010
The fact that most charters fare no better than regular public schools, or do worse, is only glancingly mentioned.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
October 4, 2010
We need another movie, one that shows us why some charter schools work and others dont.
Steve Persall
Tampa Bay Times
October 14, 2010
Waiting for "Superman" is the movie version of all those books and white papers about flaws in the U.S. educational system that we're generally too illiterate or lazy to read.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
John Hanlon
Big Hollywood
January 6, 2013
Intelligent and thought-provoking, this documentary may not be one of the best movies of the year but it's surely one of the most important ones.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Dan Gear
May 5, 2011
Like all topical documentaries with a worthy approach, it encourages awareness and debate about yet another inconvenient truth.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Simon Miraudo
March 23, 2011
I wish Guggenheim had - as he did in The First Year - stepped back, followed these families, and let their stories speak for themselves...Still ... the raw materials are there, and it would take a heart of stone to not sympathise with the subjects.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Linda Shaw
Seattle Times
September 30, 2010
Guggenheim succeeds in asking tough questions. At the end of the film, after he's made us root for these kids and worry about the state of our schools, he asks: "Did we do the right thing? Did we do enough?"
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Matthew Toomey
ABC Radio Brisbane
March 24, 2011
I'm sure some will disagree with the points that Davis Guggenheim is making. That's to be expected but it will help generate a badly needed debate on this subject matter.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Fiona Williams
March 30, 2011
The superhero metaphor enables some synergistic retro TV series footage but it doesn't quite suit the argument.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Alison Gang
San Diego Union-Tribune
October 8, 2010
Guggenheim knows how to hit that sweet spot, where the head and heart meet, and where great ideas begin to transform into action.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Brent Simon
Shared Darkness
May 15, 2012
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