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Chalk Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… not consistently funny … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    The problem with the movie is that all this improvisational verisimilitude never finds its way into fully developed stories.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    More a series of loose-limbed vignettes than a sculpted narrative, Chalk lacks a compelling dramatic drive. But the cast creates a fine, improvisatory interplay, captured with verite-style camerawork, and the unforced humor and insights go a long way.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Mockumentary shines light on high school teachers.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this indie film feels much more like a documentary than a typical high school comedy. Teens may find its sophisticated, character-driven humor funny -- and reflective of their actual school experience -- but younger kids probably won't be interested in the staff's trials and traumas. There's some discussion of sexual orientation, specifically with regard to P.E. teachers. The rare cursing (including "f--k") comes from the students, not the teachers. One teacher is shown smoking; others go out for drinks after work. It's worth noting that there's a lot of jerky handheld camera work, which could be difficult for those who are sensitive to the abrupt movements.

  • Families can talk about how Harrison High is similar to and different from their own experience. How realistic are the teachers and the students? How can you tell that this is a fake documentary, rather than a real one? What tools did the filmmakers use to make this feel like a true story? What do you think a real documentary about an average high school would be like? Does the movie successfully explain why so many teachers leave the classroom after such a short time? If you were Mr. Lowery, would you come back, and, if so, what would you do differently?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: High school students and faculty are mostly treated with respect; racially sensitive portrayal of multi-ethnic classrooms; uses humor to illustrate staff insecurity and weaknesses, but doesn't make fun of kids.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Some inconsequential tussling between high school students (teacher has to break up a fight).

  • sex false0

    Sex: Discussion of P.E. teacher's sexual orientation.

  • language false3

    Language: Infrequent, but words include "f--k," "bulls--t," and "ass."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One teacher is shown smoking; teachers drink in a bar after work on one occasion.