Teaching Mrs. Tingle

  • Review Date: June 25, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Misguided teen thriller -- don't bother.
  • Review Date: June 25, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Numerous near-lethal fires of a crossbow. Teens gag and bind Mrs. Tingle to a bed and talk of A person who seems dead suddenly grabs another person. There's suspense when Leigh Ann discovers Mrs. Tingle has escaped.

Sex

References to spanking and a "three-some." Mrs. Tingle has an ongoing affair with the married Coach Wenchell. We see foreplay between Leigh Ann and Luke, then see them naked but covered after sex. The captors take "dirty" blackmail pictures of Mrs. Tingle and the coach. A substitute teacher describes history in sexually explicit terms.

Language

Frequent profanity, ranging from mild to extreme.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A character drinks to the point of passing out.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that a person who seems dead suddenly grabs another person. There's suspense when Leigh Ann discovers Mrs. Tingle has escaped. Frequent profanity, ranging from mild to extreme.The teen characters abduct a teacher and tie her to a bed, copy a final exam with the intent to cheat, blackmail, lie, and change grades in a grade book. A character drinks to the point of passing out. References to spanking and a "three-some." Mrs. Tingle has an ongoing affair with the married Coach Wenchell. We see foreplay between Leigh Ann and Luke, then see them naked but covered after sex. The captors take "dirty" blackmail pictures of Mrs. Tingle and the coach. A substitute teacher describes history in sexually explicit terms. Numerous near-lethal fires of a crossbow. Teens gag and bind Mrs. Tingle to a bed and talk of "finishing her off." Mrs. Tingle tries to strangle Jo Lynn. She also chases Leigh Ann and throws her into a wall.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In this dark comedy, dedicated high school student Leigh Ann (Katie Holmes) becomes increasingly frustrated that, after all her hard work and excellent grades, she isn't going to be chosen as class valedictorian. Leigh Ann is pushed over the edge when her mean teacher, Mrs. Tingle (Helen Mirren), trashes her final class project and accuses her of cheating. Leigh Ann gathers her friends Jo Lynn (Marisa Coughlan) and Luke (Barry Watson), and they head over to Mrs. Tingle's house in an attempt to persuade her not to turn Lee Ann in to school officials. But the plan takes a dark turn when the teens kidnap their teacher.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

You can't help but wonder why the acclaimed British thespian Helen Mirren would agree to be a part of this misguided teen thriller. She seems to enjoy portraying a Disney-like villainess, playing mind games with her inept captors. Yet, her efforts are mostly wasted, as the movie has too many implausible events and unanswered questions--apparently Mrs. Tingle never has to go to the bathroom, and why wouldn't she go to the police when she escaped?

Dawson's Creek star Katie Holmes and Seventh Heaven's heartthrob Barry Watson give decent performances. Molly Ringwald, former star of John Hughes high school flicks, gives a noteworthy performance as the school secretary/substitute teacher with a peculiar historical perspective.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this is a realistic portrayal of high school students and teachers, as well as the real pressures felt by kids to get good grades and get accepted into college. Would a teacher as evil as Mrs. Tingle, who routinely insults students and faculty alike, remain in the classroom? What real-life situations do you think the movie is exaggerating? What message, if any, is it trying to give viewers?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 10, 2002
DVD release date:April 10, 2002
Cast:Helen Mirren, Jeffrey Tambor, Katie Holmes
Director:Kevin Williamson
Studio:Miramax
Genre:Thriller
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:thematic content, violence, sexuality, language and some teen drinking

This review of Teaching Mrs. Tingle was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bygreenactress August 3, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
it was stupid and boring, not scary, not funny, not sexy, nothing. It just plain sucked.
Adult Written byJoe100 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Parent of a 7 and 15 year old Written byParentReviewz July 16, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

PG-13 Thriller Has a Bit of Sexual Content.

This Movie has a lot of Sexual Content for a PG-13. Once they tie-up the teacher, they try to blackmail her by taking "dirty" pictures of her. There's a Sex Scene and tons of Innuendo/references. This Movie is a twist on the average teen thriller but isn't very good.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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