Parent reviews for Lean on Me

Common Sense says

Inspirational movie about a controversial teacher.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 10 reviews

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Adult Written byLowe's man April 17, 2015

Insight can be gained.

I wanted to watch this movie because I liked Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader on THE ELECTRIC COMPANY; therefore, I thought that I'd like him here too. He was even better as Principal Joe Clark. Clark's tactics were questionable and sometimes confusing, but his intentions were neither questionable nor confusing. His intentions were good. An excellent time for parents to show their teens the difference between tactics and intentions. Regardless of what one thinks of his tactics, violence at the school went down while test scores went up. Moreover, even when Clark received complaints from parents and got in trouble with the law, others, particularly the students, supported him. An excellent opportunity for parents that even the most controversial behavior is sometimes not without support.
Parent Written byMelissa M. November 9, 2014

Graphic violence in the first few minutes

The first few minutes show a teen girl being forcibly stripped by other girls in a HS bathroom and then running, screaming into a crowded hallway where she's groped in a crowd. Moments later a teacher who intervenes in a fight has his bloody head repeatedly smashed into the floor. This movie has it's strong points, but consider the explicit violence at the beginning when making your choice.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bycolten97 October 10, 2012

Morgan Freeman at his best

Morgan Freeman must be at his highest potential in this drama because he is excellent. He is excellent as Joe Clark, a principal at a high school who is trying to shape up his school and prepare them. He is wonderful as Joe Clark and he fills his character with so much heart that it is unbelieveable. He proved once again that he knows how to act and he should have won an oscar for his role. All of the actors and actresses are awesome in this. The direction and everything else is perfectly brought out.

Overall this movie has minor bits but everything else is perfect.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byakaicchi September 1, 2019

Start a Conversation

If you’re checking reviews on a site like this, your child’s school is likely pretty safe. It takes parent, teacher, and student involvement to foster the right kind of environment to support active learning. This film provides great examples of why the whole community needs to pitch in.

In terms of loose attitudes and teaching/support styles, this can be considered a period piece. The principal uses tough love with young adults who need to learn boundaries.

There is violence and swearing, but they are used to depict the sorry state the school system and area were in at the time. The film can be used to foster a great conversation on how practices have changed over time, an explanation of zero-tolerance policies, and what it means to take responsibility for your own life and decisions. The message that we can all turn out lives around rings just as true today, even though circumstances may vary.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bydansham April 9, 2008