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The Best Movies For and About Teachers, Ranked  

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List Rules Movies featuring teachers only

A list of the best teacher movies. These are films that focus on teachers, teaching, and the conflicts our educators often go through when trying to teach. We believe we've thought of them all, but if your favorite teacher films aren't on here, please feel free to add them to the list of the best teacher films. This teacher movie list includes all genres, although teacher movies tend to always lean toward "inspirational".

All types of schools are also included such as elementary, high school, preparatory, public schools, and colleges/universities. Best of all, a number of these films are based on real teachers. So if you're looking for inspiration and have respect for education, these teacher films are the ones for you.

What are the best teacher movies? Take a look here and see for yourself. There are some great selections on this list like School of Rock, Bad Teacher and Mr. Holland's Opus.
list ordered by
1
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Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle
Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the ...more
2
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Morgan Freeman, Tony Todd, Regina Taylor
Lean on Me is a 1989 dramatized biographical film written by Michael Schiffer, directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Morgan Freeman. Lean on Me is loosely based on the story of Joe Louis ...more
3
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Andy Garcia, Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips
Stand and Deliver is a 1988 American drama film based on the true story of high school math teacher Jaime Escalante. Edward James Olmos portrayed Escalante in the film and received a nomination ...more
4
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Alicia Witt, William H. Macy, Terrence Howard
Mr. Holland's Opus is a 1995 American drama film directed by Stephen Herek, produced by Ted Field, Robert W. Cort, and Michael Nolin, and written by Patrick Sheane Duncan. It stars Richard ...more
5
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AndrewW.Curley added Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, Imelda Staunton
Freedom Writers is a 2007 drama film starring Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton and Patrick Dempsey. It is based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary by teacher Erin Gruwell who wrote ...more
6
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Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove
School of Rock is a 2003 American comedy film directed by Richard Linklater, written by Mike White, and starring Jack Black. The main plot follows struggling rock singer and guitarist, Dewey ...more
7
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Carly Kiel added Sidney Poitier, Lulu, Patricia Routledge
To Sir, with Love is a 1967 British drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, that deals with social and racial issues in an inner-city school. James Clavell directed and wrote the film's screenplay, ...more
8
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Michelle Pfeiffer, Andy Garcia, Paula Garcés
Dangerous Minds is a 1995 American drama film directed by John N. Smith, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. It is based on the autobiography My Posse Don't Do Homework by retired ...more
9
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but chickens double d added Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Barbara Hershey
Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film written by Angelo Pizzo and directed by David Anspaugh. It tells the story of a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that wins the state championship. It ...more
10
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algirdas-preisogolavicius added Matthew Perry, Ernie Hudson, Brandon Mychal Smith
The Ron Clark Story is a 2006 television film starring Matthew Perry, that premiered on TNT on Sunday, August 13, 2006. Based on the real-life educator Ron Clark, it centers on a white teacher ...more
11
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Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti
Coach Carter is a 2005 American biographical sports drama film directed by Thomas Carter. It is based on a true story of Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter portrayed by Samuel L. ...more
12
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Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Sean Connery
Finding Forrester is a 2000 American drama film written by Mike Rich and directed by Gus Van Sant. An African-American teenager, Jamal Wallace, is invited to attend a prestigious private high ...more
13
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Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Jurnee Smollett
The Great Debaters is a 2007 American biopic period drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington and produced by Oprah Winfrey and her production company, Harpo Productions. It is based ...more
14
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Odette Annable, Angela Bassett
Kindergarten Cop is a 1990 American comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as John Kimble, a tough police detective, who must go undercover and pose as a ...more
15
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Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke, Beah Richards
The Miracle Worker is a 1962 American biographical film directed by Arthur Penn. The screenplay by William Gibson is based on his 1959 play of the same title, which originated as a 1957 ...more
16
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but chickens double d added Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita
The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal ...more
17
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Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington
Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. The screenplay, written by Gregory Allen Howard, is based on the true story of ...more
18
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Antonio Banderas, Jenna Dewan, Alfre Woodard
Take the Lead is a 2006 musical drama film starring Antonio Banderas, Rob Brown, Alfre Woodard, Dante Basco, Elijah Kelley, Marcus T. Paulk, Jenna Dewan, Lauren Collins and also features former ...more
19
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Lon Harris added Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton
Released: 2009 Precious is a 2009 American drama film, directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. Precious is an adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourey ...more
20
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Carly Kiel added Ryan Gosling, Denis O'Hare, Anthony Mackie
Half Nelson is a 2006 American drama film directed by Ryan Fleck, written by Fleck and Anna Boden. The film stars Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps and Anthony Mackie. It was scored by Juno ...more
21
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Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lauryn Hill, Maggie Smith
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit is a 1993 American comedy film loosely based on the life of Crenshaw High School choir instructor Iris Stevenson, and starring Whoopi Goldberg. Directed by Bill ...more
22
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Mark Wahlberg, Danny DeVito, Stacey Dash
Released: 1994 Renaissance Man is a 1994 American comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Danny DeVito, Gregory Hines, James Remar, Cliff Robertson and Mark Wahlberg in his film debut. In Australia, ...more
23
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algirdas-preisogolavicius added Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer
Akeelah and the Bee is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Doug Atchison. It tells the story of Akeelah Anderson, an 11-year-old girl who participates in the Scripps National ...more
24
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Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Sevak, Anna Baryshnikov
The Kindergarten Teacher is a 2018 American drama film directed by Sara Colangelo, based on the 2014 Israeli film. A kindergarten teacher (Maggie Gyllenhaal) in New York becomes obsessed with ...more
25
The Principal is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies For and About Teachers, Ranked
Bootsdad added Jim Belushi, Louis Gossett, Jr.
The Principal is a 1987 crime thriller action film starring James Belushi and Louis Gossett, Jr. It was written by Frank Deese and directed by Christopher Cain. It was filmed in Oakland, ...more