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Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)

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An examination of the current state of education in America today.

Director:

Davis Guggenheim
16 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Charles Adam Charles Adam ... Himself
Charles Adams Charles Adams ... Himself
Jonathan Alter ... Himself
Robert Balfanz Robert Balfanz ... Himself
Harriet Ball Harriet Ball ... Herself
Steve Barr Steve Barr ... Himself
Ms. Celeste Bell Ms. Celeste Bell ... Herself
The Black & McGee Family The Black & McGee Family ... Themselves
Geoffrey Canada ... Himself
James Carter III James Carter III ... Himself
Todd Dickson Todd Dickson ... Himself
The Esparza Family The Esparza Family ... Themselves
Mike Feinberg Mike Feinberg ... Himself
Adrian M. Fenty Adrian M. Fenty ... Himself (as Adrian Fenty)
Howard Fuller Howard Fuller ... Himself
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Storyline

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying "drop-out factories" and "academic sinkholes," methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The fate of our country won't be decided on a battlefield, it will be determined in a classroom.

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic material, mild language and incidental smoking | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esperando a Superman See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$139,033, 26 September 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,410,257, 19 December 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a scene in which Bianca, one of the little girls, is reading from a book about someone taking apples and bringing them into the city to sell. The book she is reading is called "The Giving Tree" and was written by Shel Silverstein. See more »

Quotes

Bill Strickland: No matter who we are, or what neighbourhood we belong in, each morning, wanting to believe in our schools.
See more »

Connections

Features The Right Stuff (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Shimmer
Written and Performed by Michael Brook
Courtesy of Canadian Rational
Under license from The Bicycle Music Company
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User Reviews

 
Repetitious and not that shocking at points, but the build up of the film's five case studies is powerful.
6 February 2011 | by Ryan_MYeahSee all my reviews

Waiting for 'Superman' is a documentary from Davis Guggenheim, the director of 2006's An Inconvenient Truth, that examines the faults and labyrinthine bureaucratics of America's educational government, a government more interested in protecting the jobs and pay salaries of lazy educators in public schools, rather than properly educating the average child.

The film isn't all that shocking. I admire the format, and the presentation of the film, but problems with the education of American children have been a highly publicized matter, especially a few of the points of which Guggenheim presents. At times it even feels like he's stating the obvious, and even repetitious in regards to sub-par school houses he points fingers at.

But the film's strongest impact comes from the case studies of five children, who show strong potential, but their parents struggle to set them up with the necessary education, placing them at the mercy of lotteries that determines the lucky few who get to attend successful charter schools. Their build-up is near impeccable, leading up to the film's emotionally powerful third act. A third act that, afterwards, is complimented perfectly by "Shine", a beautiful end credits song by John Legend, and overall one of the film year's very best original songs.

It isn't perfect, but I'm gonna give Waiting for 'Superman' *** out of ****


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