Action / Comedy / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 62%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 44%
IMDb Rating 6 10 3453


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June 15, 2015 at 07:27 AM



Morgan Freeman as Lewis
Crispin Glover as Danny
Ralph Macchio as Eddie Pilikian
Nick Nolte as Alex Jurel
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814.09 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 2 / 2
1.65 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 3 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 7 / 10

compelling chaos

Alex Jurel (Nick Nolte) is wearied of his teaching job despite being the teacher of the year a decade ago. His friend Roger Rubell (Judd Hirsch) tries to hold the chaotic system together. Lawyer Lisa Hammond (JoBeth Williams) is deposing the teachers for graduating a student without teaching him to read. Mental patient Herbert Gower is wrongly given a substitute teaching job. Danny (Crispin Glover) bites a teacher. Alex takes an interest in Eddie Pilikian (Ralph Macchio) who is a troubled student from a broken home. A teacher dies without anyone noticing. Diane (Laura Dern) gets pregnant by the gym teacher and Alex drives her to get an abortion.

This is compelling chaos. Some compare it to Paddy Chayefsky's satires while others compare it unfavorably. One may be second to Usain Bolt but that's still damn good. Some others argue about its realism. Certainly, this is hyper realism but that's part of the bargain in a movie. The main drawback I totally agree with is Ralph Macchio. He's never been a good actor but he lucked into a couple of iconic 80s movies. There are some great memorable chaos in this one.

Reviewed by Rodrigo Amaro 8 / 10

Intelligent and relevant comedy, wronged by its too many ambitions

The movie "Teachers" pledges to fight for the cause of education, pointing out what's wrong in a damaged system that awards students who don't even show up in class, mocks the school system and also guarantee some laughs with it. The message is good, it's not anything out of this world, but the intersection of genres and some choices get in the way of making this a greater film.

Despite this being a 1980's flick, "Teachers" is not dated and feels more relevant now than ever. Schools like the one depicted here are quite common, with variations on the same tune: precarious places with uninterested teachers and even worse students, and directors trying to please themselves and the government with false statistics to get more funding, that always gets lost somewhere. It'll open some eyes about the obstacles inside the educational system and the politics behind one of the greatest tragedies of all: present students and future workers have their potential wasted under those circumstances, a present with no knowledge and a future without opportunities. You know the rest of the picture in real life, and it can only turn darker.

A high school is facing a lawsuit from one of their former graduated student who passed all exams but who doesn't even know how to read. This premise, so far, looks dumb cause this kid benefited, in a way, of the institution policies and then got mad he got shunned off by possible employers, then sue them? No judge in their right mind would accept that. Anyway...The prosecutor (JoBeth Williams) goes to the school to find out what really happened and if the teachers knew about this wrongful approval. One of the masters is a former teacher of hers (Nick Nolte), an idealistic man she saw as an example to be followed but at the current moment is deeply involved in the place's mode of conducting business: they need to get more budget and they can only guarantee that with results - which they don't have because they are a low quality school (but the government doesn't know that!). It's a game of pretending but he teaches, he cares about his students, and that's why the woman is convinced he can help her to make her case against the school, after knowing that no one's gonna help her there.

In between the battle of ideologies Nick's character has with the prosecutor (the institution's reality vs. the dreamy cause of education) and the obstacles he faces with the board of directors, he tries to save some conflicted students - a rebel boy (Ralph Macchio) neglected by his divorced parents, who is forced to take reading classes in order to pass since he was already pushed grades after grades by thousands of other teachers - and a girl (Laura Dern) who was knocked-up by a PE teacher, and I guess you can see that this will be the turning point of the story. Luckily, the movie escapes from the worn out clich├ęd of dangerous school filled with robbers, punks and thugs who threat colleagues and masters.

What attracted me the most was the level of reality brought into the story. Absurdity is a norm in that kind of movie, and "Teachers" has plenty of that, but it stays close to the truth in some aspects, with the teachers routine in class and in the meetings with their peers during breaks. Directors putting pressure on teachers to get results favorable to them? Sure, and they do that with students too. I personally seen during my high school years a director assembling the last seniors, explaining to all of us how important the state's exam was, rudely demanding to do our best. You know what everybody did? Boycotted the exam. By that, I mean, the majority flunked those tests on purpose. Why going right if no one's gonna stay there one more year? It's all about providing big budgets to the school.

The movie's a delight, humored, serious when needed but it's overloaded with baggage. It deals with problematic schools (avoiding some clich├ęs though), some romance, the lawsuit, troubled kids (but never dangerous as portrayed in many existing realities and films out there), disenchanted masters vs. idealist types, and more. It's like Mr. Hiller wanted all and wouldn't want to settle for less, but in the end he accomplishes half way with everything he wanted because it's just too much to cover. By the time a murder takes place, it all falls out of place and the upcoming moment is an hilarious scene where the true nature of Richard Mulligan's character is revealed, cutting off any possible moment of sadness for the dead student. I think the writer and the director should settle with something: or invest in a real drama like "Lean on Me"; or be somewhat satirical; or an anarchic comedy like any other of its kind.

The final message provided here isn't all that easy to accomplish, and I'm not sure if it is even possible. Teachers challenging the system is a good cause but it can only work if students, parents and the community get involved, and the administration (governments included) be willing to fight for the best cause for all. Education is the fundamental right that paves the way to all the other rights. 8/10

Reviewed by popcorninhell 9 / 10

A Film Before It's Time

I caught Teachers (1984) one night while channel surfing through Showtime. It was already five minutes in but imagine my surprise when I saw the image of a dignified educator lunging at an old man by a ditto machine, blue ink spraying all over both and the astonished crowd. When the woman is finally retrained and thrown out of the office, vice principal Rubell (Judd Hirsch) smarmily remarks "she's the school psychologist".

Thus the precipitating events of this corrosively funny satire begin. We're introduced to Mr. Jurel (Nick Nolte), a cynical yet avuncular history teacher who goes through the motions at work if he manages to show up at all. He has the respect of the kids and the administration (who is under scrutiny for graduating an illiterate student) tolerates him. When asked to fill in for the burnt out psychologist, Jurel slowly starts to reveal his idealism, hidden underneath so much snark and sour. His main sources of inspiration are student and spirited troublemaker Eddie Pilikian (Ralph Macchio) and Lisa Hammond (JoBeth Williams), a lawyer/former student who leads the legal charge against the school district.

Director Arthur Hiller wanted to repeat the critical and box office success of the Oscar nominated The Hospital (1971) with Teachers. Both movies focus on highly regarded institutions who have been atrophying and deserved a good kick in the pants. Additionally both are incredibly dark and feature some promising drama from their leads. Unfortunately Teachers wasn't such a hit critically as the sudden shifts in plotting and mood made it too hard to gage. For a drama these issues could be glossed over but in a comedy, specifically a black comedy, such crimes are unforgivable.

I love this movie because it presents some of the most systemic problems that exist in an urban public school, albeit exaggerated and askew. There are dreadful teachers whose crimes in this film range from being unable to control their pupils to instigating sexual relations with them. The principal is an no-nothing nitwit who's ignorance about the day-to-day operations of the school may be his saving grace and the competent educators are actively trying to obfuscate the truth behind the school's low performance.

Out of the many loose treads that the story weaves, the story of Herbert (Robert Mulligan) is by far the most entertaining. Jurel provides dimensions, Rubell caters the lunacy, but Herbert provides the pure joy and inspiration of being a teacher. He's also certifiable; an outpatient from the local mental hospital who likes to play dress-up in his history class. Even so, his classroom becomes one of the few bright spots in the darkened corridors of the school. Educators should be so lucky to have the gravitas and temerity of Herbert aka Mr. Van Ark.

Teachers isn't the movie that convinced me to become an educator and life long learner. There is no such movie. But Teachers is the movie that convinced me that you have to be a little crazy to be an educationalist. There is a quiet dignity to dedicate your life to children and young adults. Not everyone is cut out to raise and instruct one child let alone a classroom full of pupils. It is for this reason, and the very real issues partially exposed in Teachers that our educators are to be treated with respect. After all, they're nuts!


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