Waiting for Superman Reviews

  • The movie goes right to the heart in focusing on the fates of some irresistibly real kids and the loving, frustrated parents and grandparents who care for them.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • A powerful and alarming documentary about America's failing public school system.

    Stephen Holden — New York Times

  • As divisive as the issue has become, it's hard to deny the power of Guggenheim's lingering shots on these children, waiting on a superhero who isn't going to come.

    Scott Bowles — USA Today

  • Waiting for 'Superman,' filmmaker Davis Guggenheim's scathing, moving critique of American public education, makes you actually want to do something after you dry your eyes.

    Michael O'Sullivan — Washington Post

  • It's meant to infuriate you and break your heart enough that you feel compelled to do something. There's a great deal of agit with very little prop.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • 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 naive.

    Melissa Anderson — Village Voice

  • This is a time when urgent issues are often explored in polemic documentaries, as well as a fateful moment when the future of public education is being debated with unprecedented intensity. Waiting for 'Superman' makes an invaluable addition to the debate

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • Waiting for 'Superman' won't satisfy anyone looking for a five-point plan. (It won't win many fans among teachers' unions, either.) On the other hand, if it's effective filmmaking you're after, look no further.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • ... emotionally engaging, as hopeful and honest as it is wrenching and moving.

    James Rocchi — MSN Movies

  • We need another movie, one that shows us why some charter schools work and others dont.

    David Denby — New Yorker

  • The film demonstrates (1) that quality education is possible for even the most disadvantaged students; (2) the cost is low, considering that high school dropouts often turn to crime when they can't find good jobs.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • An admirable exercise in straight talk, especially in its tough assessment of the mediocrity-enforcing teachers' unions.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • As Guggenheim's camera gives us a close-up of the Educational Lotto, the implication is clear: Why gamble on the future of America's children? Instead of helping some kids beat the odds, how do we change the odds for all kids?

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • The fact that most charters fare no better than regular public schools, or do worse, is only glancingly mentioned.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Davis easily ties a sick education system to a sick society. But when it comes down to it, in the end he has no clear cure for what ails us. At the very least, though, he has exposed the disease for all to see.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • Exhilarating, heartbreaking and righteous, Waiting for Superman is also a kind of high-minded thriller: Can the American education system be cured?

    John Anderson — Variety

  • Reform is not that hard, Guggenheim concludes. We know what makes for a good school: quality teachers. All we need is to bring in strong teachers to replace the weakest.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

  • There is no question that this is compelling viewing, especially considering the largely abstract and policy-driven nature of the crisis.

    Geoff Pevere — Toronto Star

  • The heartbreak among children denied a proper education is irrefutable.

    Guy Dixon — Globe and Mail

  • 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.

    Andrew O'Hehir — Salon.com

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