Bad Education

Movie review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Bad Education Movie Poster Image
Excellent performances make tepid subject exciting.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 108 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Sticking to your guns to find justice in a corrupt situation is the main theme. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The school and administration have a pretty homogenous student body and faculty for a city in New York, though that's at least part of the film's point. Main characters are criminals, but driving force of the action is a high school student who diligently sticks to her ideals.


No violence is depicted, though some nonviolent verbal threats are made.


Romantic relationships. Shows a couple making out. 


Profanity is used frequently: "f--k," "s--t," "damn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke and drink, often to excess. Drug use is implied but not shown. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bad Education is an HBO movie about corrupt school administrators who steal money from educational funds for their personal use. Characters frequently drink and occasionally smoke, and there are a few club scenes where drug use is implied but not shown. Simple romantic relationships are depicted, but only kissing is shown -- no nudity or simulated sex. Profanity is used frequently, especially "f--k."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDarya1111111 June 9, 2020

Worth watching

Great actors, love the plot. Based on a true story, the film shows that everything has its price and no matter what you have to play your role till the end.
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byNatalia K. June 9, 2020

Totally worth the time

I reckon this movie will really help your kid with their critical thinking skills. It's sort of like a detective story (you are supposed to notice all the... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byClorox bleach June 4, 2020

If 10 year olds understand what the movie let them watch

If 10 year olds understand what the movie is about let them watch it

What's the story?

In BAD EDUCATION, Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) is a popular superintendent in an up-and-coming Long Island school system. When student reporter Rachel (Geraldine Viswanathan) conducts a routine interview about a massive construction project at the high school, Tassone encourages her to take herself seriously as a journalist, not knowing it will lead her to dig deeper than he could have imagined.

Is it any good?

As far as crime stories go, embezzlement isn't always the most thrilling subject. But Bad Education turns a relatively simple story about an administrator caught stealing money into a compelling drama, thanks to a nimble script and spot-on performances by Allison Janney, Geraldine Viswanathan, Ray Romano, and especially Hugh Jackman as central character Frank Tassone. Teens might not be riveted by the storyline, but parents who have dealt with schools on any level will be intrigued to explore this world. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the school system. Is it unusual to see this kind of corruption? 

  • What are Frank's character flaws? What are the unethical things he does as superintendent? What clues do we have about Frank's motivations? What drives him? Do you think he wants to get caught? Why or why not?

  • Do you think that Bad Education has something to say about the U.S. educational system or this community in particular? What is it trying to say? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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