Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this drama, a school teacher discovers that it takes more than the ABCs to get through to a class of "uneducatable" kids. When Lou Anne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer), a nine-year veteran of the Marine Corps with a degree in education, begins a new job at an inner-city school in California, the principal (George Dzundza) warns her that her class will be the "rejects from Hell" -- kids with severe social problems and no interest in education. While at first her African-American and Latino students scoff at Lou Anne, she ultimately gets them to open up to learning and literature, through a combination of bribery (candy bars) and intimidation (her karate training from the Marines comes in handy), and she's able to reach out to the students who need her the most: Callie (Bruklin Harris), a bright girl who believes she's thrown away her future when she becomes pregnant; Emilio (Wade Dominquez), a macho bully whose violence is stifling his academic potential; and Raul (Renoly Santiago), the brightest kid in the class, who is afraid to show his intelligence. Dangerous Minds was adapted from a memoir by Lou Anne Johnson entitled My Posse Don't Do Homework.
student, bribery, friendship, Marines, martial-arts, school, teacher