Monsieur Lazhar
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In Montreal, an elementary school teacher dies abruptly. Having learned of the incident in the newspaper, Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, goes to the school to offer his services as a substitute teacher. Quickly hired to replace the deceased, he finds himself in an establishment in crisis, while going through his own personal tragedy. The cultural gap between Bachir and his class is made immediately apparent when he gives them a dictation exercise that is beyond their reach. Little by little, Bachir learns to better know this group of shaken but endearing… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Although it raises timeless questions about life and loss, and timely ones about mentorship and multiculturalism, "Monsieur Lazhar" would rather teach than preach."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"You could almost describe 'Monsieur Lazhar' as a morality tale, but it's more thought-provoking than debate-provoking."
‑ Cath Clarke, Time Out
"Guaranteed to have you reaching for the Kleenex."
‑ Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger
"Philippe Falardeau's direction is a model of the notion that less is more, and this film is a treat well worth savoring."
‑ Mark Deming, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"While "Monsieur Lazhar" is a decent film, I wish it would have done more to stand out from other similar films."
‑ Jeff Beck,
"A gentle film can still be searing in its effect on an audience, something that "Monsieur Lazhar" proves emphatically."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"A sad, reflective study of the possibilities, and the impossibilities, inherent in the teacher-student relationship."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Falardeau had the good fortune to work with a powerfully effective ensemble cast, and Martin Léon's minimalist ambient score helps set the mood for a satisfying story about the healing effect brief encounters can have on emotional scars."
‑ Matt Kelemen, Las Vegas CityLife
"This is cinema at its most impactful."
‑ Liam Maguren,
"The film understands the complex bond between teachers and students, and how the classroom is a sacred space they share for a short time before moving on."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"With a few folds, this story could have made a script for John Barrymore, like Topaze, or for Chaplin."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
""Monsieur Lazhar" is good. Really good."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"While it may not stand out from similar movies, Monsieur Lazhar is a sweet film with a simple story and remains engaging thanks in large part to Mohamed Fellag's charming performance."
‑ Jeff Beck, We Got This Covered
"By the time you realise how invested you are in this tale it is too late: Monsieur Lazhar has you. I consider myself a cinematic Chuck Norris, but this film had me blubbering like a baby."
‑ Adam Ross, The Aristocrat
"Thankfully, the impressive cast of child actors actually behave like children, not like miniature adults."
‑ Jim Schembri, 3AW
More reviews for Monsieur Lazhar on Rotten Tomatoes