Waiting for Superman

The director of An Inconvenient Truth provides an “epic assessment” of America’s education system by following the academic path of five black and Hispanic kids from urban, working-class families.

Directed by Davis Guggenheim

(Not Rated)

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A documentary polemic about the failures of America’s education system

“Exhilarating, heartbreaking, and righteous,” Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman provides an “epic assessment” of America’s broken education system, said John Anderson in Variety. The director boldly tackled the climate crisis in 2006’s An Inconvenient Truth, but this time he throws a “bucket of ice in the face” of his liberal fans by calling out the American Federation of Teachers for protecting incompetent teachers. Unfortunately, the film’s at its worst when Guggenheim sticks his nose into policy debates, said Melissa Anderson in The Village Voice. He follows the academic careers of five black and Hispanic kids from urban, working-class families, but somehow never quite finds the time to address socioeconomic issues such as the injustices these children face outside of school. Guggenheim realizes there’s no easy answer to the education crisis, said David Edelstein in New York. But he outlines the challenges facing students, parents, and educators in excruciating detail. In “one of the most galvanizing documentaries I’ve ever seen,” he calls on the American people to help fix their own future.

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