Cheaters (2000)

TV Movie   |  R   |    |  Drama


Cheaters (2000) Poster

Eleven students conspire with their teacher to cheat on an academic competition.


6.7/10
3,556

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24 May 2000 | Bill N.
10
| Brilliant - Seek Out This Movie!
I was so stunned by the power of this movie that I had to watch it a second time to give it a more objective assessment. I came away from the second viewing every bit as impressed.

We learn from the opening scene of the movie that things will turn out badly for the cheaters, the kids who made up the 1994-95 Academic Decathlon team for Chicago's working-class Steinmetz High, and that their downfall was of their own making. But this movie refuses to be a simple morality play. It looks at the scandal from the viewpoint of the participants, and examines why they cheated and how they came to justify their actions. It's a refreshingly honest look at how effectively the mind can blur the distinction between right and wrong. Each character's moment of decision is captured so effectively that the viewer may very well find himself rooting for the teacher and his students as they exult in their short-lived triumph.

The whole story plays out in a realistically-portrayed inner city school, and succinctly presents the values that flourish in such an environment, where ideas of what's fair are colored by the feeling that life hasn't been very fair to these kids from the very beginning. One comes to realize that the central characters' greatest triumph came not in their ill-gotten victory, but in simply wanting to overachieve against all odds in such an environment.

The acting in this movie is top-notch across the board, from Paul Sorvino, Jeff Daniels, and each of the seven kids. But special mention has to go to Jena Malone for her memorable portrayal of Jolie, the brilliant and sharp-tongued inspirational leader of the team who remains defiant to the very end.

I give this movie a 10!

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