A vicious high school student is dead. A gang hit? An act of sudden rage? Or did a once-idealistic teacher finally snap? The issues and the tension hit home when Samuel L. Jackson stars in a gritty urban-school thriller... more » that's "gripping, high-octane entertainment" (Newhouse News Service).« less
Michael L. from SPOKANE, WA Reviewed on 2/10/2015...
Moderately exciting for a crime-drama
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Great Movie About Teaching!
Shogun Len | Arizona | 08/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been very fortunate to have a great job as a teacher. I have been lucky enough to see all different types of schools: rural, suburban, and urban. My three years in a Bronx high school were some of the most challenging, frustrating, rewarding, scary, funny, heartwarming, and gutwrenching of my life. Inner-city teaching is truly one of the toughest jobs in the world.There have been many movies about inner-city teachers: Dangerous Minds, The Substitute, Teachers, The Principal just to name a few. While none of those movies are terrible and some were fun to watch, none of them really showed what it is like to be a teacher. 187 is the only teaching movie I have seen that captures the emotions a teacher goes through teaching in that environment.Now parts of 187 get carried away. I won't deny that. But the basic theme of what can happen if a teacher takes a situation to the level of the students is universal. No teacher is going to hunt down his/her students like in the film but again the basic idea of how to handle a threat or violence in a school is universal.I also like how the film discussed how Samuel Jackson's character is trying to regain his desire to teach and playing that off the young idealistic teacher and the burned out teacher. These are real characters and I felt the comparisson and outcomes was extremely credible.Bottom line is this, I do not think non-teachers will love this movie they might like it. But this is a teachers movie. Again, its goes over the top at times but the basic themes and emotions are extremely accurate.This is a powerful and realistic film."
Rare glipse into latino gangster life with powerful ending.
Kevin Tillery | 03/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Other than its obvious telling from a teachers point of view, it gives you a rare glipse into latino ganster life in southern california(something not seen much in non-underground films.) It gets a bit unbelievable with the idea of a teacher going after his students outside of school when they push him over the edge, but that may be how some teachers really feel in that same situation. The ending is powerful because of how Samuel L. Jacksons character gets a hardcore latino gangster to break down and admit a sincere reason why he lives the type of life he does, also because of what Samuel L. Jackson is willing to do to himself for the life this gangster has had to lead and to prove a point in how unnessary it was to live that type of life. This movie really relates to me because I am someone who use to hang around latino gangs but gave it up realizing it was the wrong way to go."
LIKE THE READER FROM NEW YORK SAID
Kevin Tillery | 07/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez really does bring out a dramatic and interesting character in this story and i personally think this movie is two times better than Dangerous Minds. That movie doesn't have anything on this one. Samuel L. Jackson put forth a great effort and he came out on top an even better actor after I saw this. I really don't think he got enough credit for this movie and I don't think enough people have seen it, but everyone should. This movie has alot of emotion and the end is surprising and heartfelt. See it."
R U DUN?
Jason | Backwater, Alabama | 06/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many teachers in today's school systems must feel helpless. Years ago there was the threat of corporal punishment, if not the actual fear of parent retaliation. Now, however, children are spoiled, often without strong male-role models (particularly in the more urban areas), there is simply no respect for authority or desire to contribute meaningfully to society, all parents think their child is a perfect little snowflake, and the outlook for a teacher in a troubled area is particularly bleak and hopeless.
Trevor Garfield (Samuel L. Jackson) is a high school teacher who has recently been reassigned as a substitute in a rough, dilapidated LA school district after suffering a shank attack at the hands of one of his former students. Realizing the corrupt, bereaucratic school administration will never help him when the misbehavior and student intimidation begins anew, Garfield is handcuffed by not only rules, but also fear, and the depressing reality that his values and morals are not shared by many of his students, particularly the local gang leaders Benny (Lobo Sebastian) and Cesar (Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez). In no time at all, Garfield - who is immediately immersed in the gang culture when students begin to call him Mr. G, where G is for Gangster - breaks down psychologically and flips from gentle, timid, caring teacher to possessed madman intent on retaliation.
Samuel L. Jackson turns in a powerhouse performance in this movie, showing ghetto schools from a teacher's perspective. The attitude flip is classic Samuel L. Jackson, just as quick as Michael Douglas in Falling Down, but a bit more angry, and the retaliation used on the punk thugs throughout the movie, while over the top, is ingenious.
A teacher until the end, Mr. G proves that Cesar's way of life is meaningless, and instructs that he's willing to quite literally risk everything, to die, if it will provide one last lesson, one last Pyrrhic victory."
A Must Get!
Jason | 09/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would like to start off with saying that 187 is a must-see for all people who would like to see how real urban life can be. I can claim to this, since I am a sophomore in a school thats exactly like the one shown in this film. I have taken part in events that take place in the movie. For instance, I have been to juvenile hall and been arrested twice. Anyways, when I saw this movie, I was in awe. Because films like this usaully over-exaddrate this type of life. If you appreciate and understand this movie, I would like to recommend American History X."