The Kindergarten Teacher

    The Kindergarten Teacher


    Lisa Spinelli is a Staten Island teacher who is unusually devoted to her students. When she discovers one of her five-year-olds is a prodigy, she becomes fascinated with the boy, ultimately risking her family and freedom to nurture his talent.

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    • Maggie GyllenhaalLisa Spinelli
    • Parker SevakJimmy Roy
    • Gael García BernalSimon
    • Michael ChernusGrant Spinelli
    • Rosa SalazarBecca
    • Ajay NaiduNikhil Roy
    • Anna BaryshnikovMeghan
    • Daisy TahanLainie Spinelli
    • Sam JulesJosh Spinelli
    • Samrat ChakrabartiSanjay Roy


    • 100

      The Guardian

      The Kindergarten Teacher is probably the only movie about poetry with an ending as tense as any thriller.
    • 83


      Gyllenhaal has been too good too often to label any one of her performances as her best, but she’s certainly never been better than she is here.
    • 80

      The Hollywood Reporter

      Rippling with psychological complexity and sneaky humor, this is a rich character study that takes constantly surprising turns.
    • 80

      New York Magazine (Vulture)

      Lisa’s drive is more than biological; it’s intellectual and emotional, and that’s what keeps what often risks becoming camp madness in an identifiably human place — almost all the way to the end.
    • 80

      Screen Daily

      Writer-director Sara Colangelo’s intimate, slender drama withholds much about its main character, which allows Gyllenhaal to sketch the outline of a fractured soul.
    • 75

      The Playlist

      Colangelo’s adaptation continually feels like it’s missing something.... Luckily though, Collangelo has Gyllenhaal, who is exceptional at times here, to carry it through.
    • 75

      Entertainment Weekly

      Gyllenhaal, bright-eyed and brittle, brings her signature intensity to the role, though Lisa’s true inner world remains murky; it’s never quite clear if she’s just deeply unhappy or certifiably ill. Instead, the movie remains an intriguing but ambiguous portrait of a flawed, fascinating woman who knows herself either too well or not at all
    • 70


      Colangelo (whose underrated 2014 first feature “Little Accidents” was about the aftermath of a fatal mining accident) has created a consistently interesting if slow-moving drama that works very well as a showcase for its lead performer.

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    • Chatdimuse