Lean on Me
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After earning rave notices for powerful supporting turns as a pimp in Street Smart (1987) and an alcohol abuse counselor in Clean and Sober (1988), actor Morgan Freeman began his ascent to stardom with this, his first lead role in a major motion picture. Freeman is real-life high school principal Joe Clark, a tough, harsh educator and administrator who in 1987 is given a nearly impossible task by his old friend, school superintendent Dr. Frank Napier (Robert Guillaume). Clark is asked to reform inner city Eastside High School in Paterson, NJ, a hotbed of delinquent kids and drug dealers.… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Avildsen's enthusiastic direction gives Lean on Me a heartwarming, feel-good tone that is accessible beyond the environs of its subject."
‑ Jane Galbraith, Variety
"Freeman, as usual, infuses a standard-issue plot with extraordinary emotional conviction."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"calculated to get you cheering -- and it does"
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"Inspirational movie about a controversial teacher."
‑ Polly M. Robertus, Common Sense Media
"Freeman goes for the gusto and pulls it off..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Is a baseball bat the best way to organize a school? In the movie, sure. In real life, maybe not."
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"Watchable but formulaic tough-love-teacher movie, made perhaps before Morgan Freeman could get himself better roles."
‑ Eugene Novikov, Film Blather
More reviews for Lean on Me on Rotten Tomatoes

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