187 | Chicago Reader

187

Samuel L. Jackson stars as a dedicated teacher in New York who daily faces a very tough room; why he transfers to LA and what happens there—all expressed with thriller tropes—are full of social significance. Yet this hyperbolic fantasy-nightmare (1997) doesn't seem heavy-handed, because its high style meshes well with the extreme gravity of its themes—though the slow pace of the storytelling contrasts rather sharply with the artful excesses. Kevin Reynolds directed former teacher Scott Yagemann's screenplay.

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