Parents' Guide to

Stand and Deliver

By Ellen MacKay, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Math teacher inspires in powerful fact-based drama.

Movie PG 1988 99 minutes
Stand and Deliver Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

My honest review.

It is a great movie. I saw it the first time two years ago. The bad language is brief and minimal. The violence is gang related, and minimal. There are a few bad jokes in with sexual content in the movie that only adults would get, kids wouldn't pick up on it . That's why I think the youngest should be 13. My point is that the good outweighs the bad in this movie
age 12+

This movie stands and delivers.

James Escalante shows how a good teacher can inspire his or her students and how rewarding it is to be challenged, as well as how eager students are to be challenged. He tells his students, the faculty at his school- and all of us, really- to always believe in ourselves and in others. While some may question Escalante's seemingly callous disregard for medical advice when he sneaks out of his hospital bed, there's no doubt that he was there for his students. It was because of him that these students were willing to take the AP test again after they were accused of a cheating scandal, even though the accusation was unjust.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (7 ):

This is a rare Hollywood feature that brings depth and dignity to its exploration of high school life. It's gritty and free of saccharine sentiment and Hollywood glitz. What makes it even more unusual is that much of their dialogue is delivered in Spanish (with meanings made clear for those who don't speak the language).

Stand and Deliver is anchored by Olmos' near-perfect Oscar-nominated performance. It's not easy to make calculus interesting and, as Escalante, Olmos lights a fire under his students. The greatest pleasure lies in watching his unlikely crew turn into a group of confident achievers. The film never falls into the trap of making these characters too good to be true. Escalante, while driven, neglects his family. His behavior in the classroom verges on sexist. He loses his temper and even makes academic mistakes. He is, in other words, completely human. His students, too, are all complex, realistic characters, with great stories to tell.

Movie Details

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