American Teacher
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American Teacher is the feature-length documentary created and produced by Vanessa Roth, Nínive Calegari, Dave Eggers, and Brian McGinn. The film includes a musical score by Thao Nguyen and is narrated by Matt Damon. The film chronicles the stories of four teachers living and working in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. Their stories are told through a mixture of footage and interviews with students, families, and colleagues, as well as the teachers themselves. By following these teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers, our film tells the deeper story of the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This heartbreaking and essential look into the lives of those who put so much into educating other people's children ought to be seen by anyone concerned about the fate of the public school system, and the nation as a whole."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"Featuring a tedious procession of statistics, graphs and talking heads, American Teacher undercuts the forcefulness of its arguments with its underwhelming presentation."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"Vanessa Roth's documentary American Teacher positions itself as a rebuttal to those who make political points maligning American teachers."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"Terrific, uplifting and heartbreaking study of what it's like to teach in America today should inspire intense admiration and even more intense anger over what is revealed."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"In the sense that it perpetuates a compartmentalized view of education, American Teacher does more harm than good."
‑ Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine
"A heartfelt, bittersweet portrait of several teachers as they make the difficult decision of whether to stick with the profession."
‑ Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
"The film is relentlessly one-sided enough to become tiring, but it's impossible not to feel for the main characters, who all love what they do while continually being forced to question how feasible it is."
‑ Alison Willmore, AV Club
"[S]upplements lots of stats with teachers' true tales. . . [E]ffective portraits poignantly personalize the multitude of charts and testimony from many education experts."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"An inoffensive but hardly essential piece of occupational boosterism."
‑ Brent Simon,
"A staid documentary about teaching below the college level marred by incessant, unnecessary music in the soundtrack and by conventional direction."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"As we watch the individuals in "American Teacher" struggle with the burdens the system places on them, it's hard not to feel like crying, both for them specifically and for our national culture."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"What's made powerfully clear is that we've reached a dire point of crisis that, while largely rooted in economics, is about so much more than dollars and cents."
‑ Ernest Hardy, Village Voice
"Convincing docu highlights underappreciated teachers."
‑ S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
"A provocative documentary that sheds light on the reasons why teachers deserve higher salaries so they can flourish in the classroom doing what they love to do best."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"There is a passionate, combative and riveting documentary to be made about the plight of the American schoolteacher, but unfortunately the well-meaning, unfailingly decent and overly slack American Teacher isn't it."
‑ Ray Greene, Boxoffice Magazine
More reviews for American Teacher on Rotten Tomatoes