The English Teacher

5.81 h 31 min2013X-Ray13+
Julianne Moore stars as an English teacher who lives vicariously through her novels. But when an unintended tryst with a former student goes public, her simple life is turned upside down. Also starring Greg Kinnear and Nathan Lane.
Craig Zisk
Julianne MooreGreg KinnearMichael Angarano
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Lily CollinsNathan Lane
Naomi DespresAaron Gilbert
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentsubstance useviolence
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3.7 out of 5 stars

196 global ratings

  1. 44% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 21% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 9% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 16% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

MiniReviewed in the United States on May 1, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
A dark comedy AND a charming rom-com? I'm in!
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Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) is a middle-aged high school English teacher who believes in love, longs for love, and has found love — in the pages of her favorite novels. In real life? Not so much. She’s always had her nose in a book, and her romantic sensibilities have kept her from meeting a nice guy. There are no heroes like the ones in novels, and she’s disappointed after meeting some random man on a date. So she projects her passion on to her students as she animatedly talks about Shakespeare and the Brontes. But then one of her former students (Michael Angarano) moves back home and turns her life around. He left NYU’s theatre school and is giving up his dream as a playwright, ready to give in to his father’s (Greg Kinnear) demands of going to law school. Linda is not having it. Jason wrote a gorgeous play, and she convinces her school officials to fund it for production. She’ll even cover any additional costs! That’s how much she believes in Jason’s talent! This brings chaos in her idyllic, quiet life, causing her to lose her squeaky-clean reputation, and possibly her job.

THE ENGLISH TEACHER is a dark comedy that is both charming and romantic. Love Julianne Moore and Greg Kinnear and, while they’re hardly together in the film, it was a treat nevertheless. They have an Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Darcy type of love/hate acquaintance, and that’s what makes it so appealing. This also has an impressive cast. (Nathan Lane, Lily Collins, Jessica Hecht, just to name a few.) The character Jason is egotistical and immature, making him the least likable in the movie. You’d want to watch this from beginning to end. Downsides? Everyone is super hard on Linda. Yes, she made her fair share of mistakes, but the others behaved as though they were free of fault. The other characters are self-absorbed and obnoxious, but I know it’s done on purpose. I give THE ENGLISH TEACHER four out of five Vanilla Bean iced coffees!
9 people found this helpful
Miss Josh EmmettReviewed in the United States on October 10, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
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"No I'm not a writer, I'm a reader." Seriously? I have been reading since I was 3 and writing my stories down since I was 9. Many teachers have become famous writers. Many famous writers have gone back to their schools and taught. Also, ask a writer and he/she will tell you that they are voracious readers.
Writer attacks teacher in her own classroom. Suddenly, as she is affronted and backs away, she decides 'to heck with it' and encourages him. From the way the movie has been going, she is a virgin. No blood, no pain, no nothing.
Writer makes out with minor in dressing room and not even the principle cares.
After being caught by the teacher, they have a fight in the parking lot, he says, "Do you want it on your desk again?' in a childish display of petulance, it is captured on film (dang phones these days) and she is a slut, whore, etc. and fired. At least the minor gets a week's detention.
And teacher changes the end of the play and tricks him into signing an agreement to it.
Oh, and...SPOILER ALERT...father forgives teacher for having sex with his grown son and they start dating. you don't have to waste an hour and a half being bored and outraged and questioning everyone's intelligence.
And they could have left God out of it, too.
7 people found this helpful
Discerning consumerReviewed in the United States on December 14, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
A relatable but spineless heroine well acted by Julianne Moore
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I won’t recap the plot as that has been done elsewhere but just add a couple of observations.
First, Julianne Moore’s character quite literally pays for her mistakes way out of proportion to the other, equally flawed characters. She keeps her promise to pick up the over budget costs of the production which accumulate to over $4000 dollars coming out of her high school teacher’s salary, which she will soon lose when she is fired for not rewriting the ending of the play. Her equally culpable drama teacher colleague, played by Nathan Lane, allows her to take the full blame and social censure, while continuing to run up the bill she must pay. While he takes no responsibility for the financial or moral costs, he takes full credit for the play’s success, which she wound up directing and rewriting. He shared the spotlight only with the immature, former student playwright, who also resisted her entreaties to rewrite but then basked in the applause without acknowledging her. For a comedy, the film honestly showed the double standards women still face, although it’s protagonist made no effort to protest or question those standards.
While the play was considerably improved by her rewrite of its’ original ending, and her life as well benefitted from the implied departure from society’s expectations for her, I do not think that wisdom extends to her invitation to her class to rewrite the classics. Sidney Carton’s sacrifice inspired because it stood for something, as did the spirited heroines of the classics she admired, such as Jane Eyre or Jo March. I would rewrite the ending of The English Teacher to have the teacher stand up for her rights and against her treatment. Again, I also think of the spunky heroines played by Katherine Hepburn or Barbara Stanwyck in the much more cinematically screwball comedies of classic Hollywood.
4 people found this helpful
byrondesignReviewed in the United States on November 1, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Smart And Charming
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The English Teacher is a smart and charming film boasting a stellar cast in a visually appealing package. This is not a film that pretends to answer the big questions about "why we are here" or "how to save the world" nor does the film pass judgment on choices made. Instead, The English Teacher focuses on the small realities of how we create and contend with the messes in our individual lives as we careen along dealing with relationships and work, and how those choices we make effect everyone from those we have little interaction with to the people we care about the most. The English Teacher references a few pieces of great literature and many of the great writers of modern times while never forgetting that a 90 minute romantic comedy could be easily sank with such weighty themes. The film bounces along perhaps a bit predictably through a few mud and muck filled pot holes to an ending that we all wish we could arrive at after committing mistakes both small and catastrophic. The wonderful cast of staggeringly talented actors teeter on the brink of the absurd but in the end it is their collective giving in to the premise while playing right to the limit of believability that makes it all work, The English Teacher is a beautiful drive down a favorite country road, one we look forward to taking again.
9 people found this helpful
anaReviewed in the United States on August 28, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
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I was FURIOUS with how this film contributes to blaming women for sleeping with a man. Everyone blamed her, mistreated her, coursed at her and she just took it, seriously??? both of them were consensual "ADULTS". And I hated they called her a and all those stereotypical words that continue putting all the blame on women. I can't believe Julia Moore even accepted to play in such a role... what about the Jason guy, he was the one who lied, jumped on her and then screamed at her in the parking lot and that is why everyone found out... and yet, she was the one to blame for everything and humiliated.. yes she made some mistakes but they made this immature, brat of a kid Jason the poor victim. He was no longer her student and was an adult even though he was younger than her. And they made all the students call her a sl.....t!!!! why no one called him a lair and s....t as well for also fooling around with a student, a MINOR??? in real life he would have gone to Jail.. but in this film he is the victim.. this is so INFURIATING to me that films continue to perpetrate this world where is ok for men to get away with all this sexual behavior, and is ok for them to have flings but God forbid a woman has a fling with a younger man... who had already graduated years ago from high school and had already graduated from college.. again they were both consensual adults, why put all the blame on the woman... HATED THIS FILM FOR THIS REASON !!! I used to love Julia Moore and now I have lost so much respect for her for playing such a weak role allowing women to be portrayed in such a powerless, diminishing and double standard way.
6 people found this helpful
AlyssaReviewed in the United States on December 19, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
slut shaming. and lots of it.
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I kind of forgot what slut shaming was and hadn't thought of it nor came across obvious evidence of it in so long. But this movie definitely showed evidence of it.. a whole lot.
I quite enjoyed the movie for the most part until (SPOILER) the English Teacher's and former student's altercation in the parking lot, itself. But my liking of the movie surely went way down hill after (SPOILER) a current student was shown recording the argument and everyone at the school saw it. Ugh. It went kind of cliched and the writers made anyone who could be a jerk into a real jerk.. From then on, the movie was difficult to get through. I watched most of it hoping that it would get better and (SPOILER) the teacher wouldn't go back to the school and wouldn't give a crap about the play, nor talk to anyone from work nor the former student again (because I wouldn't). But (SPOILER) she did...
Before the altercation in the parking lot, I hoped that different characters' flaws would be brought up and reflected on, including the English Teacher's. And people would learn something about themselves and their judgments, and reflected on how they treat and perceive other people, and etc. But I couldn't get through the teacher's distress from being continuously slut shamed, losing the job and life she loved, and then scorned into going back to work on a play that has nothing to do with her anymore at a school she no longer works at, that's filled with horrible people. I bet I didn't miss much else in this movie from there on out.. Besides her having a hard time and being blamed for everything, including things that weren't her responsibility, like making sure someone read a contract that's laying right in front of them before they signed it.
I just wonder how the movie would have went if the whole school didn't find out about those two sleeping together. I think it could have been a lot better. Maybe the writers thought it needed more distress????
It also could have been better if the English Teacher had stood her ground more and recognized that she shouldn't have received such treatment from other people, and didn't let so many people treat her so harshly and blame her for everything (even after she was fired!!). I think it was leading up to that way UNTIL she was scorned into agreeing to work on the play again.
I didn't finish the movie. I should have skipped it and picked something that didn't feature so much harassment. If only I knew...
Sorry, not a well written review.
2 people found this helpful
Austin Patterson IIIReviewed in the United States on October 6, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Surprisingly real life
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The reviews were nearly as good as the movie. So many Shameful one star ratings. It is painfully obvious the most of the writers of 1 And 2 star reviews are hiding something. 👀 (I see you) maybe in your life Lady you didn’t do the deed on the teachers desk after school hours, or maybe you did ——-> the janitors closet). I am confident you had that Shameful experience in a most sneaky, cheating and dishonest way somewhere in your travels, and you are having a rough time having it rubbed in your face. And who knows? you might have had multiple sessions over the years. As others have expressed, the movie was not what I expected but it was brilliant in the way it presented what is easily a real life experience. Maybe it is actually the story on a grammar teacher’s life. Ms. Somebody. Loved it... I’m going to watch it again...
PJReviewed in the United States on June 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Pleasant, Enjoyable, and Far From "Filth"
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I rarely write a review, but I feel I must contradict the implications from the 1 stars that that the "racy" aspects in this movie are filth. I think that for most, this movie would prove to be rather tame. Anything racy in it is simply human and pointedly expressed as imperfection. Maybe it is not the best movie I have ever seen, but there is humor and charm here, some great acting, themes touching on theater, acting, literature, the simple life, etc. I enjoyed it.
3 people found this helpful
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