January 29, 2009

Favorite Teacher Movies (With Clips!)

Most teacher/school/student movies are totally formulaic and bland, but there are some good ones. Here are my current favorites:

Charlie Bartlett
This is a hilarious movie about a high school student who appoints himself the head psychiatrist and doles out advice to all of his classmates, using a bathroom stall as his office. Very entertaining and a good laugh. This movie would be nothing without Anton Yelchin, whose superb acting has impressed me in other movies as well. I'm really looking forward to his role as the young Chekov in the upcoming Star Trek movie.

Charlie Bartlett at the Internet Movie Database

Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray star in this story about a high school overachiever on academic probation. Also there's a love triangle. Another Wes Anderson movie. Quite similar to his others.

Rushmore at the Internet Movie Database

This movie does for teachers what The Breakfast Club did for students. Students have their own groups: the jocks, the nerds, the preps, and the Goths; it turns out that teachers do too. The movie brings out the inner demons of teachers. The evolution of the characters is to watch.

Chalk at the Internet Movie Database

Dead Poets Society
This one really is a classic. It's inspirational and uplifting without being trite. Robin Williams carries the role of the teacher superbly, as expected. Carpe Diem!

Dead Poets Society at the Internet Movie Database

The Man Without A Face
Another classic. Stereotypes are easier to see than reality. This movie goes past the stereotypes and knee-jerk reactions and shows the truth. The book is also wonderful, although it has a slightly different focus. The movie was changed to be less controversial and more digestible for mass audiences.

The Man Without A Face at the Internet Movie Database

A Beautiful Mind
My fascination with economics and John Nash's theories is a reason I enjoy this movie. Honestly, game theory is a compelling field to study. This movie offers a glimpse into the world of academia from the perspective of both professors and students.

A Beautiful Mind at the Internet Movie Database

The Emperor's Club
We used to play this trick on our math teacher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws5is2gjuW4. Kevin Kline gives an outstanding performance.
The Emperor's Club at the Internet Movie Database

Not a teacher movie. But it's the best movie ever made, so I have to include it.

Airplane! at the Internet Movie Database

What are your favorite teacher movies?

P.S. I'd like to specifically point out that Dangerous Minds is not on this list. I didn't like that one. It's a great example of how to make another formulaic inspirational teacher movie.

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