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The Class

  PG-13 Closed Captioning

Laurent Cantet

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Plot Summary

Realistic story follows a junior high class over the course of a year as it tests its teacher's methods.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

96%
  • Reviews Counted: 149
  • Fresh: 143
  • Rotten: 6
  • Average Rating: 8.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Most impressive, Cantet tracks the racial and ethnic resentments that simmer beneath the classroom discussions but become harder to quell when the parents get involved. – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: By rough estimate, maybe 80 percent of the movie consists of these student-teacher slanging matches, but it's engrossing. – Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: These kids aren't always all right. But they are consistently riveting. – Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The Class, an Oscar-nominated French film about a Paris middle school, should be required viewing for anybody considering a career in teaching. – Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel, May 13, 2009

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Don't miss the Cannes 2008 Winner!

“The Class” is a “documentary” clearly enacted, about modern French identity. These junior high students - non actors like the teacher - look pretty much like the fidgety progeny of Anytown, U.S.A. One difference being that these African, Arab and Asian Parisians live in a country that insists its citizens have only one cultural identity, even if it is an identity— as France’s smoldering suburbs vividly suggest — many of these same young people don’t feel welcome to share. So because of its documentary feel, it might be shocking, surprising for some of the viewers but this movie truly reflects a contemporary facet of French Society that is rarely seen abroad. Nothing like Amelie or The Chorus....

A film for thoughtful people. No easy answers.

It is helpful to have a film in our midst that has a lot of truth to it. It is full of emotional conflict and difficult issues. The diversity of cultures in France, and here in the United States, and around the world are challenging us in ways both old and new. Add to this the vulnerability of children who do not feel they belong in the country they live in, and who are trying to defend themselves and their "difference" and you have dramatic situations. This film captures it all beautifully.

People who teach in these situations are astounding. Just trying to keep up with normally secure kids in a classroom is hard enough. Working with children who are insecure and defensive is like working with a keg of dynamite. The film feels very realistic. Choosing to use real people who can richly recreate these classroom situations is brilliant. I don't know how everyone became so professional for this film. Amazing.

The film sits us right down in the midst of a reality and leaves us there. There is no romantic storyline, no thriller action, no distractions. There is only the reality of people trying to relate, learn and find a path through a web of contradictions and folly. It is a really helpful movie. There are no heroes or villains. There are just people trying to deal with life as best they can. If you are a thoughtful person, you will value the insights and honesty of this film. I only wish there were more of them.

This film is superb.

I saw it some moths ago. I believe this was one of the films of the last year, for sure the best in the Frenc industry and I would find only two or three films that I saw during the last year that I could compare to this one. I have to say that I loved departures, and I believe it's a very good film, but this film is far away of it and I don't understand why it didn't win the Oscar to the best foreign film. Well it's just sad that they put it not for rent.

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The Class
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2009

Customer Ratings

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