School's out, our 25 best school movies are in. Pay attention back there!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
For the third entry in the Potter franchise, director Alfonso Cuarón conjured up a darker, grittier tone, with Harry Potter facing off against the genuinely eerie soul-sucking Dementors.
Harry, Hermione and Ron were less wide-eyed than in the first two films (and why would wizard children be amazed by magic, anyway?), behaving – and dressing – more like ordinary schoolkids.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Robin Williams plays John Keating, an English Teacher at a boys' school whose unorthodox methods include ditching the classroom to seize the day and jumping on top of desks to see the world from a different point of view.
Things go pear-shaped however when the boys get in trouble for resurrecting a secret poetry club. Still, all we ever did was copy off the whiteboard – so fair play to you, Mr Williams.
More after the break...
Entre les murs (The Class) (2008)
An idealistic teacher (François Bégaudeau) tries to motivate a class of pupils in a tough inner-city school – it's a cliche played out in dozens of inspirational Hollywood pics.
In director Laurent Cantet's hands, the stereotype's inverted, as teacher François struggles to find common ground with his pupils – despite, or perhaps because of, his informal, friendly approach.
This blackly comic Gen X staple stars Christian Slater and Winona Ryder as J.D. and Veronica, a pair of high school students who undermine the ruling clique of "Heathers" – by killing them off and faking their suicides.
Soon, suicide becomes a trend at the school, with the unpopular kids attempting to top themselves in a bid to join the popular clique. Darkly hilarious.
Blackboard Jungle (1955)
Glenn Ford attempts to bring order to a classroom full of juvenile delinquents. The story of the sensitive teacher winning over the class of hoodlums had yet to become a hoary old cliché when Blackboard Jungle was made – and it carefully couches its scenes of kids running wild in terms of a social problem (though that didn't stop Teddy Boys rioting when the film was shown in the UK).
It's chiefly known now as the first major film to use rock n' roll music on its soundtrack, helping to catapult the genre to prominence.