Pressure Cooker
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Philadelphia's Frankford High School isn't exactly the kind of place one would expect to find the world's next great culinary talent, but in this documentary from filmmakers Mark Becker and Jennifer Grausman, food enthusiasts discover why that concept may not be so far fetched after all. Their lives complicated by financial woes, broken homes, and abusive pasts, three Frankford High seniors find an unlikely ally in the form of culinary arts teacher Wilma Stephenson. Stephenson's kitchen isn't a place for the faint of heart, but for those who can take the heat she's the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The movie's sense of inspiration is realistic. It never implies a future of glamour, only hard-won success."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"If the filmmakers do little to expand the vocabulary of the genre, they enhance our appreciation of that most undervalued sector of the American workforce, the city schoolteacher."
‑ Jan Stuart, Washington Post
"Inspiring cooking-themed docu is great for teens."
‑ Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
"These stories move and inspire as tales of youth in need cooking up opportunity from scratch."
‑ Matt Pais,
"Neither the filmmakers nor the students-nor, for that matter, Stephenson-are fishing for sympathy. What they really want most is to give back-to provide nourishment, literal and figurative, to those who have so generously helped nourish them."
‑ Wade Major, Boxoffice Magazine
"An earnest crowd-pleaser that could have used an extra helping of dramatic tension -- but it succeeds by placing us in an interesting world with characters who are impossible not to root for."
‑ David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
"Pressure Cooker is not about pressure so much as clarity of purpose. It's about a unique teacher's way of building confidence and pride, with results that joyously speak for themselves."
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"By the end, you won't need to slice onions to get the tear ducts working."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
"High school teacher Wilma Stephenson nourishes her culinary arts students in their hungry bids for better lives. An inspiration, 'Pressure Cooker' is a welcome antithesis to slice and dice."
‑ Jennifer Merin,
"An engaging, uplifting, well-edited and occasionally suspenseful documentary that leaves you hungry for more insight into the lives of the culinary arts students and their Judge Judy-like teacher."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"Wilma Stephenson...definitely deserves a subtler cinematic testament than this lazily inspirational documentary."
‑ Cliff Doerksen, Chicago Reader
"A heart-grabbing, awe-inspiring work that needs no embellishment."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"I grew a deep hunger while watching Pressure Cooker, not just from the students' mouthwatering dishes, but from the fact that teacher/chef Wilma Stephenson could uniformly inspire such success."
‑ Matthew Sorrento, Film Threat
"It's convincing because of the force of Wilma Stephenson's personality and the fierce love she bestows on her culinary arts students at Philadelphia's Frankford High School."
‑ Robert Levin, Critic's Notebook
"A fitting tribute to a selfless role model with an big heart and an indomitable spirit. Let's face it, they don't make 'em like Wilma Stephenson anymore."
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
More reviews for Pressure Cooker on Rotten Tomatoes

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