Lean on Me
Lean on Me (1989)

After earning rave notices for powerful supporting turns as a pimp in Street Smart (1987) and an alcohol abuse counselor in Clean and Sober (1988), actor Morgan Freeman began his ascent to stardom with this, his first lead role in a major… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: March 3, 1989
DVD Release Date: October 20, 1998
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Critic Score: 65% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jane Galbraith

Avildsen's enthusiastic direction gives Lean on Me a heartwarming, feel-good tone that is accessible beyond the environs of its subject.

Full review…
Polly M. Robertus
Common Sense Media

Inspirational movie about a controversial teacher.

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

Freeman goes for the gusto and pulls it off...

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Lean on Me is not a documentary about the real Joe Clark. It is a fiction film about a character who is so troubled, obsessed and angry that the film is never able to say quite what it thinks of him. After the movie, neither are we.

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Luke Y. Thompson
New Times

Is a baseball bat the best way to organize a school? In the movie, sure. In real life, maybe not.

Eugene Novikov
Film Blather

Watchable but formulaic tough-love-teacher movie, made perhaps before Morgan Freeman could get himself better roles.

Cate Young
Thirty, Flirty + Film

Joe Clark's tough love philosophy plays into the pernicious respectability that plagues so many black communities- that discipline and assimilation will guarantee safety and success.

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Nick Davis
Nick's Flick Picks

Freeman, as usual, infuses a standard-issue plot with extraordinary emotional conviction.

James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette

calculated to get you cheering -- and it does

More reviews for Lean on Me

Flixster Audience Score: 85% Flixster User Reviews
Raymond Wieser
Morgan Freeman is great in this role, but Lean on Me is a bit cheesy and predictable.
Jason Spencer
A teacher inspires his students to do better. Good flick.
Jim Careter
A good movie. A bit dated but Freeman was great none the less.
Bradley Wright
A good movie. A bit dated but Freeman was great none the less.
Dean McKenna
Great courage and true story of a high school principal who is saving the school from the troublemakers. Morgan Freeman electrifies his fiction character in an… More
Joseph Eastmond
This film is like all true stories in which they are inspired by fact. "Lean on Me", However is different because it is inspired by fact and a great… More

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