Guest / Limited Access /
Waiting for Superman
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(3 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (for some thematic material, mild language and incidental smoking)
Directed By
Davis Guggenheim
Run Time
1 hour 51 minutes
Cast
Charles Adam, Charles Adams, Jonathan Alter, Robert Balfanz
Theatre Release
October 29, 2010 by Paramount Vantage

Short of a heroic rescue by Superman, what will it take to fix America's broken education system? The question seems to motivate documentarian Davis Guggenheim in Waiting for Superman, which tackles one of our most complicated problems: public education. Though he has made films on more controversial subjects (the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth addressed global warming), and on less (the guitar rock documentary It Might Get Loud), writer/director Guggenheim here tackles an indisputably important, bipartisan issue—one that we all have a stake in.

It might seem a tall order to make a succinct, engaging documentary on something like "the problems of education in America today," and indeed it is. But Waiting for Superman manages the task, in part because Guggenheim (who narrates the film) frames the issue in personal terms, by focusing on five individual students and their families. Anthony, Biana, Daisy, Emily and Francisco are the film's protagonists—American public school students ranging in age from kindergarten to eighth grade. What unites these five is that each is trying to win a spot in a public charter school, in hopes of receiving a high quality education instead of (in some cases) an abysmal, small-chance-of-success education at notoriously failing schools. For these students, the lottery that will determine whether they can go to charter school truly will decide their fate. It's the difference between being set on a track where college is expected and one where even a high school diploma is improbable.

Whether or not the disparity and "opportunity gap" between charter and "regular" schools is actually this extreme is an open question, but Guggenheim convincingly, wrenchingly shows us that for these ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue
Subscriber Access Only
Should Your Favorite Ministry Become a ‘Church’?
Why more parachurch groups are telling the US government they’re not like other nonprofits.
Current IssueMy Home Has 'Murder' in Its Name
Subscriber Access Only
My Home Has 'Murder' in Its Name
How Russell Jeung met Jesus among the Southeast Asian gangs of Oakland.
RecommendedThe Broken Hands of Doctor Strange
The Broken Hands of Doctor Strange
What Marvel’s latest hero movie teaches us about engaging suffering.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickRealizing My Addiction Had Chosen Me Began My Road to Recovery
Realizing My Addiction Had Chosen Me Began My Road to Recovery
Framing addiction as a chronic disease gives a broader framework for understanding.
Christianity Today
Waiting for Superman
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.