A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
High school students and faculty are mostly treated with respect; racially sensitive portrayal of multi-ethnic classrooms; uses humor to illustrate staff insecurity and weaknesses, but doesn't make fun of kids.
Violence & Scariness
Some inconsequential tussling between high school students (teacher has to break up a fight).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Discussion of P.E. teacher's sexual orientation.
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Infrequent, but words include "f--k," "bulls--t," and "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One teacher is shown smoking; teachers drink in a bar after work on one occasion.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this indie film feels much more like a documentary than a typical high school comedy. Teens may find its sophisticated, character-driven humor funny -- and reflective of their actual school experience -- but younger kids probably won't be interested in the staff's trials and traumas. There's some discussion of sexual orientation, specifically with regard to P.E. teachers. The rare cursing (including "f--k") comes from the students, not the teachers. One teacher is shown smoking; others go out for drinks after work. It's worth noting that there's a lot of jerky handheld camera work, which could be difficult for those who are sensitive to the abrupt movements. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to Chalk. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Chalk is earnest and well-intentioned. It has a relevant story, wonderful performances, and hilarious moments that everyone who's ever been a student or a teacher will identify with. Its relatively sophisticated, character-driven humor is derived from good intentions, inadequate preparation, and limitless egos. For viewers who like their high school comedies based on real people in authentic situations, Chalk is a welcome back-to-school treat.
That said, it's not entirely successful -- in their efforts to "keep it real," the filmmakers allow the movie's energy to sag and the pace to slow so much that it occasionally becomes lackluster and lifeless. Though filmed in the mockumentary style used so effectively in other films and even TV shows, Chalk plays much more like an actual documentary than a spoof. But one sequence -- described as a "spelling hornet" -- is as hilarious as any seen in the obvious send-ups.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
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