Teaching Mrs. Tingle

Movie review by
Beth Pratt, Common Sense Media
Teaching Mrs. Tingle Movie Poster Image
Misguided teen thriller -- don't bother.
  • PG-13
  • 2002
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
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
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A character drinks to the point of passing out.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 15 year old Written byParentReviewz July 16, 2012

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... Continue reading
Adult Written byBobbyC23 August 17, 2017
Kid, 10 years old December 18, 2014

Horrible and also...

How is this movie a 5/5 violence? It's not that violent and I've seen 2/5 violence movies more violent than this. Language should be a 2/5!!!!!
Teen, 13 years old Written bygreenactress August 3, 2009
it was stupid and boring, not scary, not funny, not sexy, nothing. It just plain sucked.

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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