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The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time

Everyone who watches a teacher movie can gain great inspiration. Who doesn’t love the story of the teacher who believes in their students so much as to make a difference in their lives!

Every single teacher hopes to make an impact in some way in the lives of our students. At the end of the day, isn’t this why we teach?

This is a definitive list of the top teacher movies of all time categorized by their ratings. You will find some of the teachers inspiring, some struggling, and some truly exceptional. All of them are worthy of your attention.

The plot summaries were taken from IMDb, whereas the audience scores and comments from Rotten Tomatoes. We are looking forward to hearing your feedback at the comments section below.

1. Like Stars on Earth (2007)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 1
Like Stars on Earth

165 min | Drama, Family

An eight-year-old boy is thought to be a lazy trouble-maker, until the new art teacher has the patience and compassion to discover the real problem behind his struggles in school.

Directors: Aamir Khan, Amole
Gupte | Stars: Darsheel Safary, Aamir Khan

“An inspirational story that is as emotive as it is entertaining.”

Audience Score: 96%

2. The Browning Version (1951)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 2
The Browning Version

90 min | Drama

Forced to retire from an English public school, an unpopular professor must confront his failure as a teacher and husband.

Director: Anthony Asquith | Stars: Michael Redgrave, Jean Kent, Nigel Patrick

powerful, exceptionally well-acted and not without its tearful moments of
reexamination and redemption…The Browning Version is a…masterwork of a

Audience Score: 95%

3. Remember the Titans (2000)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 3
Remember the Titans

113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel
Washington, Will Patton

“The emphasis on the
players’ developing mutual trust, is absorbing to watch and cleanly directed.”

Audience Score: 93%

4. Dead Poets Society (1989)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 4
Dead Poets Society

128 min | Comedy, Drama

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke

sentimental and contrived, this valentine to charismatic, dedicated teachers is
extremely well acted and it does make you feel good about loving literature and

Audience Score: 92%

5. The Chorus (2004)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 5
The Chorus

97 min | Drama, Music

The new teacher at a severely administered boys’ boarding
school works to positively affect the students’ lives through music.

Director: Christophe
Barratier | Stars: Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand

“So infused with
nostalgia, optimism and authenticity, it will prove irresistible to the older
art-house demographic.”

Audience Score: 92%

6. To Be and to Have (2002)

Teacher movies - To Be and to Have
To Be and to Have

104 min | Documentary, Family

A documentary portrait of a one-room school in rural France, where the students (ranging in age from 4 to 11) are educated by a single dedicated teacher.

Director: Nicolas
Philibert | Stars: Georges Lopez

“A movie every
teacher should see, and every parent, too.”

Audience Score: 92%

7. Chak de! India (2007)

Chak de! India
Chak de! India

153 min | Drama, Family, Sport

Kabir Khan is the coach of the Indian Women’s National
Hockey Team and his dream is to make his all girls team emerge victorious
against all odds.

Director: Shimit
Amin | Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Malvade

“The plot contains no
surprises, but the matches are deftly shot and the film is a buoyant expression
of girl power.”

Audience Score: 92%

8. Not One Less (1999)

Not One Less
Not One Less

106 min | Drama

In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each day and promises her an extra 10 yuan if there’s not one less student when he returns. Within days, poverty forces the class troublemaker, Zhang Huike, to leave for the city to work. Minzhi, possessed of a stubborn streak, determines to bring him back. She enlists the 26 remaining pupils in earning money for her trip. She hitches to Jiangjiakou City and begins her search.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Minzhi Wei, Huike Zhang

“This is the kind of intelligent, probing
picture where you get the chance to absorb every detail of the girl’s
experience, and the director’s reserved approach exerts a strong, hypnotic

Audience Score: 90%

9. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Goodbye, Mr. Chips

114 min | Drama, Romance

An aged teacher and
former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life
over the decades.

Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin | Stars: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn

basic heart behind “Goodbye Mr. Chips” really resonates. We need
teachers who care about their students and care about the institution of

Audience Score: 88%

10. Song for a Raggy Boy (2003)

Song for a Raggy Boy
Song for a Raggy Boy

94 min | Drama, History

The true story of a single teacher’s courage to stand up against an untouchable prefect’s sadistic disciplinary regime and other abuse in a Catholic Reformatory and Industrial School in 1939 Ireland.

Director: Aisling Walsh | Stars: Aidan Quinn, Iain Glen

“Based on a true
story this is not for the faint of heart. Strong, powerful and emotional tale
which will undoubtedly make you wince and squirm in your armchair.”

Audience Score: 88%

11. To Sir, with Love (1967)

To Sir, with Love
To Sir, with Love

105 min | Drama

An idealistic
engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white
high school students from the slums of London’s East End.

Director: James Clavell | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson, Christian Roberts, Suzy Kendall

“It beat Dead Poets Society to the punch by
over two decades.”

Audience Score: 88%

12. The Miracle Worker (1962)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 6
The Miracle Worker

106 min | Biography, Drama

The story of Anne Sullivan’s struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke

“Beautiful black-and-white cinematography, startling performances, and
harrowing physicality… the cathartic final scene is nothing short of

Audience Score: 88%

13. McFarland USA (2015)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 7
McFarland USA

129 min | Drama

Jim White moves his family after losing his
last job as a football coach. He sees that some of the students are worth
starting a cross-country team and turns seven students with no hope into one of
the best cross-country teams.

Director: Niki Caro | Stars: Kevin Kostner, Maria

its by-the-bootstraps story so winningly that, predictable though it may be,
it’s still hard not to find it thoroughly rousing.”

Audience Score: 88%

 14. Freedom Writers (2007)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 8
Freedom Writers

123 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to
learn tolerance, apply themselves and pursue education beyond high school.

Director: Richard
LaGravenese | Stars: Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick

“Worthwhile because
of its honesty, because it tells a true story that’s worth telling, and because
Hilary Swank and company have done it so well.”

Audience Score: 87%

15. The Great Debaters (2007)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 9
The Great Debaters

126 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school’s first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.

Director: Denzel
Washington | Stars: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker

“An old fashioned
feel-good movie, well acted and solidly crafted – the kind of which there will
always be room for.”

Audience Score: 86%

16. Monsieur Lazhar (2011)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 10
Monsieur Lazhar

94 min | Comedy, Drama

At a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is
hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom.
While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is

Director: Philippe
Falardeau | Stars: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse

“A surprisingly
charming, but sad, story of the sort of special mentor we’re all lucky if we
meet once in a lifetime.”

Audience Score: 86%

17. The Ron Clark Story (2006)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 11
The Ron Clark Story

90 min | Biography, Drama

A small-town teacher relocates to one of the toughest
classrooms in the country.

Director: Randa
Haines | Stars: Matthew Perry

“Strength, courage,
and a determination to make a change.”

Audience Score: 85%

18. Lean on Me (1989)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 12
Lean on Me

108 min | Drama

The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the
principal of a decaying inner-city school and he is determined to improve by
any and all means.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Morgan Freeman

“Inspirational movie
about a controversial teacher.”

Audience Score: 85%

19. Coach Carter (2005)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 13
Coach Carter

136 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

Controversy surrounds high school basketball coach Ken
Carter after he benches his entire team for breaking their academic contract
with him.

Director: Thomas
Carter | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson

L. Jackson shouts, yells, bellows, and screams his way through the fact-inspired

Audience Score: 85%

20. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 14
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

116 min | Drama, Romance

A headstrong young
teacher in a private school in 1930s Edinburgh ignores the curriculum and
influences her impressionable 12 year old charges with her over-romanticized
world view.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Maggie Smith

Smith in one of those technically stunning, emotionally distant performances
that the British are so damn good at.”

Audience Score: 84%

21. Half Nelson (2006)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 15
Half Nelson

106 min | Drama

An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit
forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his

Director: Ryan Fleck | Stars: Ryan

“It’s a thoughtful
character study with Gosling simply tremendous as the functioning addict, who
seems to use crack to anaesthetize him from his inability to form adult

Audience Score: 83%

22. Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 16
Mr. Holland’s Opus

143 min | Drama, Music

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Director: Stephen Herek | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss

touching, uplifting and life-affirming winner that makes it hard to avoid
leaving the theater teary-eyed, with a lump in your throat.”

Audience Score: 83%

23. The Teacher (2016)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 17
The Teacher

102 min | Drama

Since the arrival of the new teacher, Maria Drazdechova, to a Bratislava suburban school in the year of 1983, life has turned upside down for students and parents. The teacher’s corrupted behavior and one of the students’ suicide attempt that could be related to that matter, makes the school Principal call the students’ parents for an urgent meeting that will suddenly put the future of all the families at stake.

Director: Jan Hrebejk | Stars: Zuzana Maurery, Zuzana

flecked with dark humor, the film is a chilling reminder of what people can get
away with, and what can become normal, if one consents to an oppressive

Audience Score: 82%

24. The Class (2008)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 18
The Class

128 min | Drama

Teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau plays a version of
himself as he negotiates a year with his racially mixed students from a tough
Parisian neighborhood.

Director: Laurent
Cantet | Stars: François Bégaudeau, Agame Malembo-Emene,

“The film raises
important questions about learning, authority and discipline, and is honest
enough to admit that it doesn’t really have any answers.”

Audience Score: 82%

25. Precious (2009)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 19

110 min | Drama

In New York City’s Harlem circa 1987, an overweight,
abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to
enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new

Director: Lee
Daniels | Stars: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique

“A film full of life
and love, well-meaning and a genuine and important phenomenon that says act –
don’t dwell – on your dreams.”

Audience Score: 81%

26. Beyond the Blackboard (2011)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 20
Beyond the Blackboard

95 min | Drama

A 24-year-old first-time teacher overcomes
her initial fears and prejudices and makes a difference in the lives of the
homeless children she teaches in a shelter’s makeshift classroom.

Director: Jeff
Bleckner | Stars: Emily VanCamp, Steve Talley

and inspiring Hallmark Channel movie.”

Audience Score: 81%

27. The Wave (2008)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 21
The Wave

107 min | Drama

A high school teacher’s experiment to demonstrate to his
students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control
when he forms a social unit with a life of its own.

Director: Dennis
Gansel | Stars: Jürgen Vogel, Frederick Lau

“Seductive and
horrifying at the same time…The film opens with a rush of energy and doesn’t
let up.”

Audience Score: 80%

28. Finding Forrester (2000)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 22
Finding Forrester

136 min | Drama

A young writing prodigy finds a mentor in a reclusive author.

Director: Gus Van
Sant | Stars: Sean Connery, Rob Brown

“An intelligent, subtle, in short remarkable take on growing up, being true to yourself and fighting the odds.”

Audience Score: 79%

29. Stand and Deliver (1988)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 23
Stand and Deliver

103 min | Biography, Drama

The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus.

Director: Ramón Menéndez | Stars: Edward James Olmos

inspirational, laden with tough love, and on occasion a tad hokey. It’s the
“Coach Carter” of H.S. Math class.”

Audience Score: 79%

30. Election (1999)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 24

103 min | Comedy

A high school teacher’s personal life
becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections,
particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body

Director:  Alexander Payne | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon

at first has the feel of a simple work. But don’t let that fool you; it’s a
complex, deep tale.”

Audience Score: 79%

31. Conrack (1974)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 25

106 min | Drama

A young, white teacher is assigned to an
isolated island off the coast of South Carolina populated mostly by poor black
families. He finds that the basically illiterate, neglected children there know
so little of the world outside their island that they have virtually developed
their own language (“Conrack” is their way of saying his name,
Conroy) and, in fact, don’t have much interest in learning about anything
outside the island. He has to find a way to get through to these kids and teach
them what they need to know and also to keep on the good side of the school
superintendent, who doesn’t want him there.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Jon Voight

unusually human movie that ought to be talked about by everyone concerned with
the real meaning of education, communication, and a full rich vision of life”

Audience Score: 78%

32. Blackboard Jungle (1955)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 26
Blackboard Jungle

101 min | Crime, Drama

A new English teacher
at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite
resistance from both students and faculty.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Glenn Ford, Anne Francis

gives a blood-curdling, nightmarish picture or monstrous disorder in a public
school. And it leaves one wondering wildly whether such out-of-hand horrors can

Audience Score: 77%

33. Pay It Forward (2000)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 27
Pay It Forward

123 min | Drama

A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

Director: Mimi
Leder | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen

“A movie that
actually promotes doing nice things for others instead of always receiving!”

Audience Score: 77%

34. Blackboards (2000)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 28

88 min | Drama

Itinerant Kurdish
teachers, carrying blackboards on their backs, look for students in the hills
and villages of Iran, near the Iraqi border during the Iran-Iraq war.

Director: Samira Makhmalbaf |Stars: Said Mohamadi, Behnaz Jafari

“There’s no denying the strength of these simple images, and the bleak
message of earning to sort out your real priorities in times of strife.”

Audience Score: 76%

35. The Corn Is Green (1945)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 29
The Corn Is Green

115 min | Drama

A schoolteacher becomes the mentor of a talented young
miner and seeks to get him into a university.

Director: Irving Rapper |Stars: Bette Davis, John Dall

“Irving Rapper’s
screen version of Emlyn Williams semi-autobiographical play is well acted by
Bette Davis as the spinster-teacher, but is too theatrical, sentimental and

Audience Score: 75%

36. Detachment (2011)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 30

98 min | Drama

A substitute teacher who drifts from
classroom to classroom finds a connection to the students and teachers during
his latest assignment.

Director: Tony
Kaye | Stars: Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks

gripping drama, Detachment offers a gut-wrenching look at the school system, as
told by the unsung heroes–the teachers.”

Audience Score: 74%

37. Matilda (1996)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 31

102 min | Comedy, Family

Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.

Director: Danny
DeVito | Stars: Danny DeVito, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidtz

“Dark, beautiful adaptation of Roald Dahl story is uncompromising, entertaining and    moving.”

Audience Score: 73%

38. Music of the Heart (1999)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 32
Music of the Heart 

124 min | Drama, Music

of a schoolteacher’s struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Meryl Streep

woman at the end of her rope after she is deserted by her husband finds a path
of the heart that enables her to share her gift with the world.”

Audience Score: 72%

39. The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 33
The Man Who Knew Infinity

108 min | Biography

The story of the life and academic career
of the pioneer Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and his friendship
with his mentor, Professor G.H. Hardy.

Director: Matt Brown | Stars: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons

is something almost spiritual about this film that makes it more than just a
maths biopic.”

Audience Score: 71%

40. Skirt Day (2008)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 34
Skirt Day

87 min | Drama

Skirt Day is a fascinating psychological study, a
socio-critical investigation – and Isabelle Adhani’s first film in five years.

Director: Jean-Paul
Lilienfeld | Stars: Isabelle Adjani

“A stark political
satire, exposing all the divisions and frictions – social, sexual, racial,
cultural and religious – of a modern multi-cultural France whose fragile sense
of identity remains locked in a state of turbulent adolescence.”

Audience Score: 70%

41. Phoebe in Wonderland (2008)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 35
Phoebe in Wonderland

96 min | Drama

Confounded by her clashes with the seemingly rule-obsessed
world, a troubled young girl seeks enlightenment from her unconventional drama

Director: Daniel
Barnz | Stars: Elle Fanning, Patricia
Clarkson, Felicity Huffman

“An interesting look
at a little girl’s struggle to control her disease.”

Audience Score: 70%

42. The History Boys (2006)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 36
The History Boys

109 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An unruly class of gifted and charming teenage boys are
taught by two eccentric and innovative teachers, as their headmaster pushes for
them all to get accepted into Oxford or Cambridge.

Director: Nicholas
Hytner | Stars: Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour

“The History Boys is
a movie that asks questions like ‘What is education really for anyway?’ and
asks them in an altogether witty, brainy way. It turns history into what it
really is, the story of our lives.”

Audience Score: 70%

43. School of Life (2005)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 37
School of Life

111 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

A new teacher squares off against his crusty competitor for
a teacher of the year award.

Director: William
Dear | Stars: David Paymer, Ryan Reynolds

“This movie leaves
you with a ray of hope that there are some teachers that are not disillusioned.”

Audience Score: 70%

44. The Emperor’s Club (2002)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 38
The Emperor’s Club

109 min | Drama

An idealistic prep school teacher attempts to redeem an incorrigible student.

Director: Michael Hoffman | Stars: Kevin Kline, Emile Hirsch, Joel Gretsch

“The movie may not be worthy of an Oscar, but Kline’s highly nuanced performance is   certainly worthy of our attention.”

Audience Score: 68%

45. Up the Down Staircase (1967)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 39
Up the Down Staircase

124 min | Drama

The experiences of a
young female English teacher in an inner-city New York high school.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Patrick Bedford, Sandy Dennis

of Hollywood’s earnest efforts about highschool education, sort of a female
version of Blackboard Jungle and To Sir With Love, with Sandy Dennis in the

Audience Score: 67%

46. The Kindergarten Teacher (2018)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 40
The Kindergarten Teacher

96 min | Drama

A kindergarten teacher in New York becomes obsessed with one of her students whom she believes is a child prodigy.

Director: Sara Colangelo | Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gael García Bernal

non-judgmental, this is one of those little films that restores your faith in
indie cinema.”

Audience Score: 67%

47. School of Rock (2003)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 41
School of Rock

109 min | Comedy, Music

After being kicked out of his rock band, Dewey Finn becomes a substitute teacher of an uptight elementary private school, only to try and turn them into a rock band.

Director: Richard
Linklater | Stars: Jack Black, Mike White, Joan Cusack

“Jack Black is a
one-man rock ‘n roll powerhouse in this infectious musical comedy.”

Audience Score: 64%

48. The Man Without a Face (1993)

The Man Without a Face teacher movie
The Man Without a Face

115 min | Drama 

Chuck wants to leave home but can’t make the grade for boarding school. Then he finds out the disfigured recluse living nearby is an ex-teacher.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Nick Stahl

“Offers a glimpse of
grace as two individuals restore each other’s souls with gifts of trust and

Audience Score: 64%

49. Dangerous Minds (1995)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 42
Dangerous Minds

99 min | Biography, Drama

An ex-Marine turned teacher struggles to connect with her students in an inner city school.

Director: John N. Smith | Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer

portrait of an inner city teacher who discovers that making students feel good
about themselves brings learning alive in the classroom.”

Audience Score: 64%

50. Chalk (2006)

The Top 50 Teacher Movies Of All Time 43

85 min | Comedy

improvisational take on the high school experience, told from the educators’

Director: Mike Akel |Stars: Troy Schremmer

“The movie offers some modest, amusing and true lessons about an
honorable profession.”

Audience Score: 61%

If you have any other suggestions, we would love to hear them in the comments section!

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