More than a class full of convincing child actors and a genuinely affecting performance by Fellag, Falardeau offers a film as believably wrenching, and finally cathartic, as the grieving process itself.
—John Semley Onion AV Club
Like no other film about middle school life that I can recall Monsieur Lazhar conveys the intensity and the fragility of these classroom bonds and the mutual trust they require.
—Stephen Holden New York Times
Nélisse, with her tough, Courtney Love puss, and Néron's portrayal of a boy's well-defended torment are extraordinary, as is the film's realization of the small, temporary world that surrounds them. Hitting upon that kind of specificity - of a moment and its emotion - makes for strong memories and a really great movie.
—Michelle Orange Village Voice
Like a dedicated teacher, this is a film that stays with you.
—Kyle Smith New York Post
Artfully put together by writer-director Falardeau, Monsieur Lazhar shows us life in the round, illustrating the way humor, compassion and tragedy can all be elements of experience. Its emotional honesty is heartening, a lesson we are never too old to learn.
—Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times
There are wonderful sequences strewn throughout, like the moment when Lazhar, at a school dance, begins to slowly sway to the music as if in a trance.
—Peter Rainer Christian Science Monitor
...quietly intelligent and respectable...
—Boyd Van Hoejj Variety
There's great potential for the kind of issues that are taken on, but nothing is resolved, and the biggest questions, of guilt and shame, the gulf of understanding between the first world and the third, remain unengaged.
—Jesse Cataldo Slant Magazine