1995 Certificate: 15


Inspirational drama starring Michelle Pfeiffer as the ex-Marine turned teacher who motivates a class of tough, inner city high schoolers with her unorthodox methods. Equal parts Dead Poets Society and Menace II Society, it's based on real-life teacher LouAnne Johnson's memoir My Posse Don't Do Homework and comes with a thumping soundtrack including Coolio's urban anthem 'Gangsta's Paradise'.


  • John N Smith


  • Michelle Pfeiffer

  • George Dzundza

  • Courtney B Vance

  • Robin Bartlett


If not quite in the 'Stand and Deliver' bracket, this true story of the turning-round of a ghetto classroom by an attractive ex-Marine turned teacher strikes the right emotional chords.

A confident leap into the mainstream by Canadian director John N Smith, after numerous well-praised but out-of-the-way films, the film gives Michelle Pfeiffer a showcase role as tough-enough LouAnne, who tames a class of smart but rebellious teenagers and turns them into achievers.

Smith's unobtrusive but persuasive direction and Pfeiffer's laid-back performance underline the futility of violence and crime in such an environment and, in a film that's upbeat without being mawkish, gets us cheering for the good guys.