The Ron Clark Story Movie Poster Image

The Ron Clark Story



Teacher's true story is uplifting but predicable.
  • Review Date: February 5, 2007
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The kids disobey Mr. Clark, vandalize his classroom, bully other kids, gamble, and bet on when Clark will quit. But the students eventually learn to treat Clark and themselves differently. They learn to believe in their academic abilities and to dream big.

Positive role models

Ron Clark is inspiring, if not a little too sappy for his own good. It's Dangerous Minds without the grit, but all the do-gooder intentions.


Tay gets into two fistfights and is beaten by his foster father. Tay's foster father also speaks abusively about him. Mr. Clark shakes a student's desk with the student in it.


Ron kisses Marissa even though she has a boyfriend.


Some cursing, including "bastards," "damn," "hell," "dumbass," and "bitch."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that in this made-for-TV movie, Clark's students have difficult family lives. One child is in foster care and gets abused by his foster parent. Another child is the de-facto mom to her younger siblings, as her mother works two jobs. The children have bigger problems than not knowing grammar, and their problems may disturb more sensitive kids or kids who have been in similar situations. Clark also has a crush on a woman who has a boyfriend and kisses her.

What's the story?

Matthew Perry plays a young, idealistic teacher determined to go where he can make the biggest difference. So he moves from rural Virginia to New York City. There, he waits tables while he searches for a school that will have him. He finds one in Inner Harlem Elementary School, where the remedial students have driven away six teachers in one year with their sheer rudeness and bullying. But Clark is determined to stay and raise these low-achieving students' test scores above grade level. Can he gain the students' trust enough to get them to listen? Can he weather their brutal hazing? And can he remain true to himself and his students in the process?

Is it any good?


Like a truly great teacher, THE RON CLARK STORY is geeky. It's earnest. It's an unabashed do-gooder. Most especially, The Ron Clark Story is not cool. It's the cinematic equivalent of a dorky middle-aged guy rapping about the U.S. presidents to a too-cool-for-school group of inner city tweens. And because it's so pure in its motivations, it's also a sweetly moving film.

While the story is affecting, it's also completely predictable. Viewers get the hayseed-in-the-big-city montage, where Clark innocently smiles and says hi to jaded New Yorkers. We get the one-dimensionally bad-boy and bad-girl students who must be won over, and we get the amusing and inspiring stunts Clark pulls to win his students' trust and get them to, finally, learn. It's nothing you haven't seen before… But that certainly doesn't mean it isn't an enjoyable film. Like good teachers, we can always use movies about effective education.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Clark's rules and whether or not they follow them at home.

  • Do you treat each other with respect?

  • Do you speak to each other in kind ways?

  • The movie may also inspire kids and parents to talk about their favorite teachers and what they liked about them.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 6, 2006
DVD release date:December 5, 2006
Cast:Ernie Hudson, Hannah Hodson, Matthew Perry
Director:Randa Haines
Studio:Platinum Disc
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:not rated

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byreviewlifee June 21, 2014

Really good (watched in school)

This is a really good movie, showing how a dedicated, spunky, country teacher becomes a life-changing person, for students in Harlem. This movie has a bit of violence, so if you're sensitive to violence/blood, I would suggest to not watch.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byMissLicia September 21, 2009

Good Example of Good Teacher

I thought the movie had very positive messages. The lessons Mr. Clark taught the children; for example, "to dream big", really motivated the viewers as well. Mr. Clarks energy and devotion really produce a wondrous outcome. He changed the students’ lives for the better, he gives them a desire to continue learning.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Educator Written bykodiak11 January 6, 2014

Worth watching

Some language, but there is a positive message and positive role models.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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