A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Ron kisses Marissa even though she has a boyfriend.
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Some cursing, including "bastards," "damn," "hell," "dumbass," and "bitch."
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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