7.5/10
10,395
103 user 114 critic

Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)

Trailer
2:35 | Trailer
An examination of the current state of education in America today.

Director:

Davis Guggenheim
16 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

GasLand (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An exploration of the fracking petroleum extraction industry and the serious environmental consequences involved.

Director: Josh Fox
Stars: Josh Fox, Dick Cheney, Pete Seeger
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the terrain of rock bands, implosion or explosion is seemingly inevitable. U2 has defied the gravitational pull towards destruction; this band has endured and thrived. This documentary asks the question why.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton
Documentary | Biography | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Pat Tillman never thought of himself as a hero. His choice to leave a multimillion-dollar football contract and join the military wasn't done for any reason other than he felt it was the ... See full summary »

Director: Amir Bar-Lev
Stars: Pat Tillman, Josh Brolin, Mary Tillman
Documentary | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America's 'number one domestic terrorist threat.'

Directors: Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman
Stars: Daniel McGowan, Lisa McGowan, Tim Lewis
Documentary | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of an 84 year-old Kenyan villager and ex Mau Mau veteran who fights for his right to go to school for the first time to get the education he could never afford.

Director: Justin Chadwick
Stars: Naomie Harris, Oliver Litondo, Tony Kgoroge
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary on the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jack White
Freakonomics (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A collection of documentaries that explores the hidden side of human nature through the use of the science of economics.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Alex Gibney, and 4 more credits »
Stars: James Ransone, Tempestt Bledsoe, Morgan Spurlock
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.

Directors: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott
Stars: Mikela Jay, Rob Beckwermert, Christopher Gora
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis.

Director: Lauren Greenfield
Stars: Jaqueline Siegel, David Siegel, Lorraine Barrett
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A look at the events leading up to the Taliban's attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls' education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A comprehensive look at the Bush Administration's conduct of the Iraq war and its occupation of the country.

Director: Charles Ferguson
Stars: Campbell Scott, Gerald Burke, Ali Fadhil
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Charles Adam Charles Adam ... Himself
Charles Adams Charles Adams ... Himself
Jonathan Alter ... Himself
Robert Balfanz Robert Balfanz ... Himself
Harriet Ball Harriet Ball ... Herself
Steve Barr Steve Barr ... Himself
Ms. Celeste Bell Ms. Celeste Bell ... Herself
The Black & McGee Family The Black & McGee Family ... Themselves
Geoffrey Canada ... Himself
James Carter III James Carter III ... Himself
Todd Dickson Todd Dickson ... Himself
The Esparza Family The Esparza Family ... Themselves
Mike Feinberg Mike Feinberg ... Himself
Adrian M. Fenty Adrian M. Fenty ... Himself (as Adrian Fenty)
Howard Fuller Howard Fuller ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying "drop-out factories" and "academic sinkholes," methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The fate of our country won't be decided on a battlefield, it will be determined in a classroom.

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic material, mild language and incidental smoking | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Waiting for 'Superman' See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$139,033, 26 September 2010

Gross USA:

$6,417,135

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,426,457
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a scene in which Bianca, one of the little girls, is reading from a book about someone taking apples and bringing them into the city to sell. The book she is reading is called "The Giving Tree" and was written by Shel Silverstein. See more »

Quotes

Geoffrey Canada: I was like what do you mean he's not real. And she thought I was crying because it's like Santa Claus is not real and I was crying because there was no one coming with enough power to save us.
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Simpsons: Waverly Hills, 9021-D'Oh (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Wake Up Everybody
Written by Victor Carstarphen, Gene McFadden and John Whitehead
Performed by John Legend & The Roots (feat. Melanie Fiona)
Courtesy of Getting Out Our Dreams and Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
The Roots appear courtesy of Def Jam Records
Melanie Fiona appears courtesy of SRC/Universal Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Not perfect, but it's informative and emotionally-resonating
19 October 2010 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

Director Davis Guggenheim waited for Superman as a child, because children like the hope that somebody will come and rescue them and the world. I knocked the U.S. Education system documentary "Waiting for Superman" down two stars for two reasons. One is that they just didn't give me enough hope.

The other main failing of this film, as other reviewers have pointed out, is that he didn't cover all of the many, many reasons for an under-performing education system. Well, he kind of did, but not very clearly. He spent more time on poor teachers and the unions, and many people seem to have come out of thinking that's all he talked about. Contrary to popular reviews, he did make other points. They were just too subtle. I will agree though that he was too heavy-handed with the American Federation of Teachers.

The primary focus of the film is five children each from different parts of the country and each desperate to get into a better school. I think he padded the documentary a bit too much with their situations, and a few too many tear-jerking moments. But when Guggenheim presented me with facts, knowledge and history, "Waiting for Superman" became both informative and emotionally-resonating. And yes, that's what a good documentary is, and that's why it gets 8 stars.

Perhaps "Waiting for Superman" should have been more well-rounded, but I don't think you can present more sides in just a two-hour film. And most important, the sides he did present are accurate, informative, entertaining and well presented. I wish I saw Superman at the end instead of just tears, but I still recommend it.


15 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 103 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed