Dead Poets Society Reviews | RateItAll

Dead Poets Society

1989 American drama film directed by Peter Weir, written by Tom Schulman, and starring Robin Williams Website

Approval Rate: 80%

80%Approval ratio

Reviews 47

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    Sun Feb 07 2010

    One of the best dramas of all time. Robin Williams gives maybe the best performance of his career. Launched the career of Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard gives an oscar worthy performance as well. Kurtwood Smith (Red on That 70's show) makes for one evil father.

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    Tue Nov 10 2009

    Won't stand the test of time, or at least didn't make the fifteen-year cut

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    Fri Jun 19 2009

    Dead Poets, absolutely. Dead notions, absolutely not! Dead Poets Society addresses critical issues for students, teachers and most importantly, for parents. I was barely out of high school when the film was originally released. My experience as a student was fresh enough to recall the pressure to academically succeed, for myself, my siblings and my peers. Like anyone else I have witnessed the strain scholastic pressure can put on a family. Throughout the film students experience trouble and triumph with family, authority, love, and anxiety. Their stories are classic and tragic all at once. Robin Williams superbly acts the part of John Keating, an English teacher who inspires his charges at Welton Academy to think independently and to "seize the day." Following in his footsteps a group from his poetry class resurrects the Dead Poets Society, a group that Keating initiated as a student at Welton. Via their newly organized secret society the students discover the wonder of poet... Read more

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    Fri May 15 2009

    I had recently watched The Dead Poets Society in my Powerful Vocabulary class, and had many emotions toward this astounding movie. My class also enjoyed this movie and my teacher, Mr. Flanagan, brought up an important debate over the plot of it. Here are my thoughts: Was it Keating's lesson plan or Mr. Perry's overbearing pressure that caused Neil Perry's death? That's one topic that will always be debated in this movie. To most, it's clear that Mr. Perry's dictatorial rules pushed Neil over the edge. However, without Keating's romanticized lessons, Neil would have never strayed out from his organized life. Any one person can equally debate thus. What cannot be doubted is the quality and provocative plot behind this movie. It was great way to reveal the truth behind boarding's schools and reveal the actual pressure from parents. I bet for every couple of schools there's one Mr. Nolan, one Mr. Keating, and only one Nwanada (Charlie Dalton). There needs to be more Mr. Keating out t... Read more

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    Fri May 15 2009

    These simple words are the catalyst in Dead Poets Society that changes the lives of a group of boys forever. This movie takes place in 1959 at an all boys private school that teaches its students in a traditional manner. It is seeped with long standing traditions and therefore isn't perceptive to change. Consequentially when a new contemporary person, Mr. Keating, replaces an English teacher who retired, things are bound to get interesting. John Keating is an English teacher who has no regard for restrictions against expression and so called "mathematical equations" that define a poem's greatness. He throws this all away in favor of independent thought and nonconformist ways. Mr. Keating has a passion for life that he tries to pass on to his students using radical teaching methods to teach important life lessons such as carpe diem. Carpe diem, or seize the day, is a major theme in Dead Poets Society, and some may call it the cause of most of the conflicts that arise. It encou... Read more

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    Fri May 15 2009

    This movie was very scrupulous in showing that non conformity was the way to go. I thought that Mr. Keening was correct in teaching the students to seize the day (Carpe Diem) and also he didn't want them to live terrible lives so he taught that you should follow your dreams. To be unfettered or free from restrictions in reaching their goals. Neil, one of the students in Keenings class wanted to act very badly, but his father was choleric or easily angered at the idea and always shut Neil down. Finally Neil couldn't take it anymore and he off'ed himself which was very macabre and tragic. I believe that these students became better because Keening was their teacher, they were supernumerary meaning that these kids were more than expected from them, they didn't just do what they were told just because other people thought it was the right thing, but they used their minds and there own opinions to decide there fait. ... Read more

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    Fri Apr 10 2009

    Robin Williams made it worth watching, but I thought it was kind of boring. It was rather overrated. It was overrated enough that for some reason we got to watch it in Lit class in high school.

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    Tue Feb 03 2009

    I didn't especially like this movie initially. Over time I have come to love the performances of Robin Williams and his crew of YAWPERS!! I show it occasionally to my students and we all go outside and YAWP!! The lesson is straightforward, the teen-age angst is well done, and the tragedy is devastating. An excellent film.

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    Fri Jul 20 2007

    Over-rated, simple, simplistic and predictable. Profoundly moving, if you get moved by Hallmark greeting cards.

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    Tue Oct 24 2006

    Robin Williams turns in one of his best performances as a Professor who actually gets his students EXCITED about literature.

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    Sun Jan 01 2006

    I know its pathetic of me...but it made me feel smart. I liked it.

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    Sun Jan 01 2006

    A movie that can mix the comedic and dramatic elements of storytelling as effectively is not dumb at all. This one is a feather in Robin William's cap. I enjoyed this film every time I've had chance to watch. Laugh about life and all its seriousness in one place, and then remember what matters most in the next. Simply brilliant.

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    Thu Oct 20 2005

    How this maudlin tripe could get so far up the list is a wonder. This was a misfire from start to finish.

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    Mon Jul 11 2005

    Good if somewhat overrated. . .the Top Gun for literature nerds.

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    Fri Mar 18 2005

    I fell asleep!

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    Thu Jun 03 2004

    Robin Williams has put in some great turns but he should stay away from over-sentimental dreck like this, a sort of modern update on 'Goodbye Mr Chips'. At my school there were teachers who tried to ingratiate themselves with certain pupils, but were generally laughing stocks and not heroic figures. The plot doesn't ring true for me.

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    Tue Aug 05 2003

    This is an idioc, boring movie about going against conformity through the use of poetry! Not even Robin Williams could save this one.

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    Tue Jun 17 2003

    It was ok. But I have seen better

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    Sat Apr 05 2003

    I really liked this movie. How many of us have been taught by wonderful mentors using unorthodox teaching methods and showed us not just to appreciate ourselves, but life and the people around us? "Seize the Moment". The messges in this movie are clear: individualism, appreciation and most of all finding our passion. Standing for what we truly believe in and holding these principals with us for the rest of our lives stemmed from somewhere and any teacher that can teach that is more than a mentor, but a true gift.

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    Sat Mar 08 2003

    Great. Robin Williams was great as always

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    Wed Jan 22 2003

    Normally a fan of action movies, I was skeptical about watching Dead Poets Society. After I did, however, I found it to be an amazing movie with a great plot and many lessons to be learned. It hits close to home with alot of people on points of opression, peer pressure, and just plain being yourself. Robin Williams did a stellar job of portraying the very enthusiastic and very individual Mr. Keating, who's teachings lead a group of restless and discontented teens to reinstate the "Dead Poets Society," where they read literature from the past few centuries. The lessons taught in this film are based upon the Transcendentalist views of famous writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. It urges viewers to be free from the constraints of society and from the opression of worrying what others think. This movie is perhaps the best-written and acted movie I have ever seen. If you have not yet seen this movie, I strongly urge you to do so.

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    Fri Jul 27 2001

    It was good. I stayed awake. It can't be great though, because once it was over, it was over.

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    Fri Jul 06 2001

    really really really good

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    Fri Mar 30 2001

    The Dead Poets Society, in my opinion, is one of the best movies ever made and slightly underrated. Beneath the pure entertainment value of its interesting story and incredibly brilliant performance by Robin Williams, this film tells much about the soul's desire in choice of vocation versus just trying to do what's expected of us by authority figures such as parents and heads of prestigious schools. On another level I think it encourages the passion of books, poetry and reading. Besides Williams, all the other roles in the film were also well acted, and the students all seemed very real.

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    Sat Jan 13 2001

    One of my favorite movies of all times. I can still remember that almost dizzy/stunned (in a positive way) feeling I felt after going out of the movie theater the first time I saw it. Robin Williams' best role so far and a performance he will hardly ever surpass. Let's not forget that Peter Weir (director) is THE MAN behind this masterpiece. Many young actors went on to become well-known names after this movie. +The ending, which, as someone else has also written, is one of the best in film history (the only one that perhaps surpasses it is in "Citizen Kane").

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    Tue Jan 09 2001

    Classic coming of age movie. Robin Williams is great as the inspirational and unconventional teacher. Beautiful scenery of the East Coast. Good acting. A moving film.

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    Tue Jan 09 2001

    My favorite. Excellent message. Teaches about the power of knowledge and individualism.

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    Mon Jan 08 2001

    I like the whole plot of this movie. Besides, it has all the current stars in maybe one of their first movies.

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    Fri Dec 15 2000

    This movie makes me wonder if rich kids are lucky at all. They have very good young actors and Robin Williams' character was fantastic. Although it seemed the plot was very common (ie movies involving poor rich kids), it was touching.

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    Thu Nov 23 2000

    I have recently see "Dead Poets Society" and I believe it was a very meaningful movie. It has all the qualities for a acadamy award or something.

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    Mon Nov 20 2000

    The life of a seer. That is my life. Through poetry Will shall find meaning. Let us sit in caves and lick the past. Want of tradition? No longer. Let us create and not be created! We are poets! We are not slaves! We live our own lives! Open mindness is the key to life.

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    Mon Nov 06 2000

    Awesome movie cast. Good editing and cinematography. Very realistic.

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    Mon Oct 30 2000

    I don't usually like Robin Williams, but this was an amazingly powerful film. Very well written and acted!

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    Tue Oct 24 2000

    Another great Robin Williams flick. I love this movie because Poetry to me is the best stuff on earth. The combination of the great actors and story made me fall in love with the movie.

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    Wed Sep 13 2000

    My favorite movie of all time!

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    Mon Aug 21 2000

    Seize the Day

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    Thu Jul 13 2000

    Robin Williams, as always, leads the way.

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    Thu Jun 22 2000

    Terribly over-rated and convaluted. It strikes me as one of those manipulative movies that makes obvious points while painting everyone else in the movie outside the main characters as mean-spirited. Or maybe it was just that I don't like Robin Williams.

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    Tue Jun 20 2000

    They should have let the boy be a sissy stage actor. But seriously, a good but not great movie about the drama involved in being a teenager. Seize the day, go after that girl you like, pursue your unorthodox career goals, live your life - and god forbid if your parents are not supportive. It is also the story of what can happen to the adult who fights the power and sides with the kids versus the adults. Definitely worth seeing, but definitely not one of the all-time classics.

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    Fri Feb 25 2000

    An inspiring movie that makes you think about taking advantage of every moment of life.

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    Fri Jan 21 2000

    If it's got Robin Williams in it especially when it's dramatic it must be great, obviously I'm a Robin Williams fan.

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    Sat Dec 11 1999

    One of the best movies of all time

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    Tue Dec 07 1999

    Robin Williams was great in this, but I think it is generall overrated.

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    Fri Nov 19 1999

    I enjoyed this movie when I first saw it, but now it kind of makes me queasy. Not because of the movie itself, but because of the people who think that if they talk in a hushed voice about what a powerful movie this is, it somehow makes them 'deep.' You know what? You're not deep - you're an idiot, and appreciating a movie's message doesn't change anything.

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    Thu Nov 18 1999

    One of my all-time favorites. Superb

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    Tue Nov 16 1999

    This is a great movie with one of the most powerful final scenes ever in a movie. This movie really defined Robin Williams as a dramatic actor. Captain, My Captain.

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    Sat Nov 13 1999

    Dead Poets Society is a great movie with a great cast.