• 15
  • Tony Kaye (2011)
  • US
  • 93 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Adrien Brody is the quiet centre of a ferocious storm in this drama from provocative British director Tony Kaye (American History X). He plays a disillusioned supply teacher who copes with the everyday grind by remaining emotionally detached from it. But he's surrounded by chaos and rage, powerfully expressed here in confrontational close-ups and in the scathing sarcasm of school counsellor James Caan and his pressurised colleague Lucy Liu. Still, the loudest voice belongs to Kaye, whose head-on approach is sure to ruffle feathers. That vitriol feels justified as Brody's noncommittal sub finally reaches out to a talented but troubled pupil (played by Kaye's daughter, Betty), only to be admonished for being too touchy-feely. His character's attempts to rehabilitate a young hooker seems incongruous and clichéd by comparison, but newcomer Sami Gayle looks like a potential star in that role. Admittedly, the film is heavy-handed in places, but it still makes you sit up and take notice.

Plot Summary

A substitute teacher drifts from school to school, actively trying to avoid making emotional connections with either colleagues or pupils. When he takes a placement at a school with an apathetic student body and a frustrated administration, he finds himself becoming an unlikely role model. Drama, starring Adrien Brody, Marcia Gay Harden and James Caan.

Cast and crew


Henry Barthes
Adrien Brody
Ms Sarah Madison
Christina Hendricks
Principal Carol Dearden
Marcia Gay Harden
Mr Charles Seaboldt
James Caan
Ms Perkins
Blythe Danner
Dr Doris Parker
Lucy Liu
Mr Wiatt
Tim Blake Nelson
Mr Dearden
Bryan Cranston
Mr Sarge Kepler
William L Petersen
Sami Gayle
Betty Kaye
Louis Zorich
Mr Mathias
Isiah Whitlock Jr


Tony Kaye

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
G2 Pictures
Swearing, sex scenes, suicide theme.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 13 Jul 2012
Certificate 15