A Teacher 2013

Critics score:
33 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Ms. Fidell ... has a fine eye but not the makings of a feature-length movie here and, it quickly becomes clear, isn't interested in this relationship or the moral, ethical and legal issues it raises. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: An evocative but ultimately hollow indie drama. Read more

Matthew Kassel, New York Observer: If the title is vague, so is the script, which, at times seems to mistake ambiguity for complexity. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: Fidell's use of choppy, Wong Kar Wai-style slow motion seems incongruous at first, but eventually becomes an effective expression of Burdge's mental state-time sputtering like a bad motor. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: The movie is lifeless for its first hour, and the last-minute outpourings are too little, too late. Read more

William Goss, Film.com: Burdge's performance boasts a remarkable emotional precision throughout - if ever there's a reason to seek this one out, it would be for her. Read more

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: A short, sharp burst of concentrated character-based storytelling that builds considerable emotional intensity. Read more

Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times: Glimpses of the relationship's dynamics can't overcome the missing sense of how these two first connected, an increasingly problematic void at the movie's core. Read more

Richard Brody, New Yorker: The script offers neither verbal illuminations nor practical insights, neither psychology nor morality, and the plot is little more than the reportorial backstory to a tabloid headline. Read more

Tomas Hachard, NPR: The diminishing returns in part are due to Burdge's performance, which too often settles for the same look of fraught anxiety. But they also result from Fidell's decision to pare her film down to the barest elements. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Fidell's mature style and Burdge's lack of guile are engaging. As the film's emotions grow darker, a lack of ideas comes through. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: The movie plays out in a depressingly obvious way, and you have to laugh at the finale's big cry, set to Lee Moses's "If Loving You Is a Crime (I'll Always Be Guilty)." Really? Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: As first features go, A Teacher demonstrates a willingness to provoke, but doesn't seem to understand the minimum expectations most audiences place on films in terms of both incident and characterization. Read more

Andrew Schenker, Village Voice: Fidell seems ill-prepared to steer the film into strictly psychological territory, resulting in a project that loses its fraught sense of control at the same moment as its embattled protagonist. Read more