Dedicated teachers (Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Stephen Campbell Moore) at a British grammar school prepare their gifted and unruly charges for entrance exams to Oxford and Cambridge universities.
" ... offers a sharp critique of the means and measures of education. "
" ...It's a rare pleasure to see a film that assumes literacy on the part of its audience. "
" [An] exuberantly free-spirited but faithful movie version of Alan Bennett's masterful hit play about education, class, sex, love, death, memory and that often equally fantastical thing we call history. "
" Full of energy, ideas and fine acting. "
" If you take The History Boys as a filmed record of a somewhat unexpected stage phenom foremost, chances are you'll relax into and let some performers take it from there. "
" It's been quite a while since movies have offered such a nice night out at the theater. "
" 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. "
" The History Boys is best when it crackles with the passion of ideas about the function and importance of ... ideas. "
" The movie was made while the actors were still performing the stage version, and they modulate their performances for the screen admirably, even if the film is not quite as engaging as the play. "
" This is achingly perceptive writing that director Nicholas Hytner, working with the same superb cast that performed in London and on Broadway, brings to life. "
" ...History Boys manages a neat combination: It has both literacy and spunk. "
" A funny thing happened to The History Boys on the way to the screen. The players are the same, the dialogue is pretty much identical, but the vibrancy of the play -- its exhilarating immediacy -- has been muted. "
" Although grounded in the fact-based world of academia, The History Boys offers little of substance. "
" It gave me the creeps. "
" Taking a production pretty much intact from stage to screen robs it of its surprises. The cast seems to know what's coming, and so do we. There's not a single moment where you sense 'discovery' taking place. "
" The film becomes a sermonette on tolerance. But with its one-sidedness, it fails to practice what it preaches. "
" There are no spontaneous moments on screen: The characters aren't reacting to each other; they're waiting for the cut to deliver a line they've had memorized since [the play] played the London National. "
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