Top 38 Teacher Movies of All Time (2021 list)

Top teacher movies is a list I compiled based on ratings from various authority sites such as Amazon Prime Video, Show Times, Ranker, among others (see the list of sources at the bottom of this post).  In this list, you will find the best movies for and/or about teachers. These are some of the most popular teacher movies according to star ratings and reviews on  Amazon Prime Video, among others. I ordered these movies according to these ratings with Good Will Hunting as the number one in the list with the highest number of ratings and reviews.

I spent  over three days and many hours working on this list but I enjoyed the process. I myself discovered several amazing titles in this list and although I did not have time to watch all of them, but I will keep the list for those cuddle-up movie nights.

Teacher movies

Whether you are a teacher, educator, or you simply love teachers (who don’t?), the movies below will entertain, educate, and enlighten you about the central role of teachers in our society. And as a teacher, you will definitely relate to some of these movies.

Top teacher movies features stories of drama, comedy, action, suspense, and romance spanning a timeline that starts with 1967 with movies such as Up the Down Staircase and to Sir with Love until 2019 with the movie Bad Education. The list features the top 38 teacher movies of all time. 

The featured movies cover different thematic areas including: substitute teacher movies, math teacher movies, inspiration teacher movies, Michelle Pfeiffer teacher movies, and many more. 

In compiling this list, I had teachers, parents, students, and young learners in mind which is why I tried to include as much metadata about the movies as possible. Using Amazon Prime Video, I was able to collect important details about the movies including age restriction, director, starring actors, duration of the movie, subtitles service, and many more. I also included links (disclaimer: affiliate links) to Amazon Prime Video where you can watch the movies. 
If you ask me about my personal top teacher movie in this list, I mean the one I watched and rewatched several times without getting sick of it I would say A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe. The movie, which is a biographical drama,  recounts the ordeal of a genius mathematician named John Nash as he strives to untangle himself from the secret network he got himself into when he accepted to work with the government to break Soviet codes. His wife Alicia played a major role in helping Nash regain his psychological and mental balance and regain his acclaimed status as one of the brightest mathematicians and economists of his era, a work that won him the Nobel Prize in economics in 1994.
Here is the list of the top teacher movies I compiled for you. Make sure you bookmark it for future reference. Also, share with us if you have other suggestions to add to this collection. I might have inadvertently skipped good titles, if so please share with the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning community on Twitter and Facebook.
You can also access the infographic version of this list from this link.

Top teacher movies list

1- Good Will Hunting (1997), R

“A math genius denies his gift to hang with his old friends and work as a janitor, finally coming to terms with his past when he meets a quirky psychologist. Oscars for Robin Williams and Best Original Screenplay.”

  • Directors: Gus Van Sant
  • Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 2h 6 min

2- Whiplash (2014) , R

“Winner of 3 Academy Awards®, WHIPLASH tells the story of an ambitious student drummer (Miles Teller) and his ruthless teacher (J.K. Simmons) who will stop at nothing to achieve perfection.

  • Directors: Damien Chazelle
  • Starring: Miles Teller, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1:46

3 – Remember the Titans (2000), 18+

“True story of a newly integrated high school football team.”

  • Director: Boaz Yakin 
  • Starring:Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling & Denzel Washington
  • Genre: Sports, Drama
  • Duration: 1h 53 min

4- Dead Poets Society , (1989),  PG

“For generations, Welton Academy students have been groomed to live lives of conformity and tradition-until a charismatic new professor, John Keating, inspires them to think for themselves, live life to the fullest and “Carpe Diem.”

  • Directors: Peter Weir
  • Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Subtitles: English [CC], Español
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 2h 8 min

teacher movies


5- School of Rock (2003), PG-13

“Jack Black stars as a guitarist with delusions of grandeur. Kicked out of his band and looking for work, he becomes a substitute teacher and turns his class into rock and rollers.”

  • Directors: Richard Linklater
  • Starring: Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages:English
  • Duration: 1h 49 min

6-Gifted (2017), PG- 13

“In this wonderfully moving film, a single man (Chris Evans) strives to give his child prodigy niece (Mckenna Grace) a normal life, despite interference from the girl’s grandmother.”

  • Directors: Marc Webb
  • Starring: Mckenna Grace, Chris Evans, Lindsay Duncan
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English, English [Audio Description]
  • Duration: 1h 41 min

7- McFarland, USA (2014), 13+

“A track coach in a small California town transforms a team of athletes into championship contenders.”

  • Directors: Niki Caro
  • Starring: Maria Bello, Kevin Costner, Mariann Gavelo
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 2 h 8 min

8- A Beautiful Mind (2001), PG-13

“After John Nash – a brilliant but socially-awkward mathematician – accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a nightmarish turn.”

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris
  • Genres: Suspense, Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 2h 15 min

9- Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), R

“A group of Southern California high school students wrestles important subjects: sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.”

  • Directors: Amy Heckerling
  • Starring: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 30 min

10-Easy A (2010), PG-13

“After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl (Emma Stone) sees her reputation tarnished until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.”

  • Directors: Will Gluck
  • Starring: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1 h 32 min

11- Here Comes the Boom (2012), PG

“A high school teacher takes up fighting in mixed martial arts matches in order to raise money for his school.”

  • Director: Frank Coraci
  • Starring: Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler
  • Genre: Comedy, Kids
  • Duration: 1h 44 min

12-Kindergarten Cop (1990), PG-13

“A tough cop (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is given his most difficult assignment: masquerade as a kindergarten teacher in order to find a drug dealer.”

  • Directors: Ivan Reitman
  • Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 51 min

13-Dangerous Minds (1995), R

“HD. Michelle Pfeiffer stars as a white-bread ex-Marine who tackles the tough job of teaching a classroom of troubled inner-city kids.”

  • Directors: John N. Smith
  • Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, George Dzundza
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 38 min

14- Lean on Me (1989), PG-13

“When principal Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman) takes over decaying Eastside High School, he’s faced with students wearing gang colors and graffiti-covered walls.”

  • Directors: John G. Avildsen
  • Starring: Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd, Robert Guillaume
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 48 min

15- Coach Carter (2005), 18+

“A successful businessman returns to his high school basketball team as coach, only to take controversial action to make sure that his players succeed in the classroom as well as on the court. Samuel L. Jackson stars in this inspirational sports drama.”

  • Directors: Thomas Carter
  • Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Ashanti, Rick Gonzalez
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English, English [Audio Description]
  • Duration: 2h 16 min

16- To Sir, with Love (1967), 18+

“A novice high school teacher (Sidney Poitier) transforms an unruly senior class into respectable young adults in this “well-acted, excellent film” (Leonard Maltin). “Sidney Poitier is superb” (New York Daily News)”

  • Directors: James Clavell
  • Starring: Sidney Poitier, Christian Roberts, Judy Geeson
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 45 min

17- Freedom Writers (2006), 16+

“Hilary Swank stars in this story of inner-city kids raised on drive-by shootings and hard-core attitude – and the teacher who gives them the one thing they need most: a voice of their own.”

  • Directors: Richard LaGravenese
  • Starring: Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 2h 2 min

18- Bad Teacher (2011), R

“A foul-mouthed seventh grade teacher who is dumped by her sugar daddy starts to pursue a colleague, which provokes conflict with the school’s model teacher.”

  • Directors: Jake Kasdan
  • Starring: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 31 min

19- Precious (2009), R

“Precious Jones, an inner-city high school girl, is illiterate, overweight, and pregnant…again. Naïve and abused, Precious responds to a glimmer of hope when a door is opened by an alternative-school teacher. She is faced with the choice to follow opportunity and test her own boundaries. Prepare for shock, revelation and celebration.”

  • Directors: Lee Daniels
  • Starring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 49 min

20- Stand and Deliver (1988), PG

“HD. Edward James Olmos received a Best Actor Oscar(R) nod for his performance as a teacher who turns disgruntled teens into academic champs.”

  • Directors: Ramon Menendez
  • Starring: Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rosana de Soto
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 43 min

21- Akeelah and the Bee (2006), 13+

“HD. A bright, but unmotivated, 11-year-old girl from South Los Angeles is encouraged to compete in the National Spelling Bee competition.”

  • Directors: Doug Atchison
  • Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Keke Palmer
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 52 min

22- The Great Debaters (2013), 18+

“A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at historically black Wiley College in Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school’s first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.”

  • Directors: Denzel Washington
  • Starring: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 2h 6 min

23- Finding Forrester (2000), PG-13

“A reclusive novelist and an African-American scholar-athlete develop an unconventional mentorship when the student sneaks into his apartment, leaving behind a backpack full of intriguing writings.”

  • Directors: Gus Van Sant
  • Starring: Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 2h 16 min

24-Bad Education (2019), 18+

“Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney and Ray Romano star in this HBO Films production.”

  • Directors: Cory Finley
  • Starring: Ray Romano, Allison Janney, Geraldine Viswanathan
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 48 min

25-The Miracle Worker (2000), 7+

“Helen Keller comes under the tutelage of an amazing teacher.”

  • Directors: Nadia Tass
  • Starring: Hallie Kate Eisneberg, David Strathairn, Alison Elliott
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, 
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 28 min

26- Mona Lisa Smile (2003), PG-13

“Julia Roberts stars as a novice art history professor with a surprising lesson plan that inspires her students to open their eyes to love and life.”

  • Directors: Mike Newell
  • Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 59

27- The Paper Chase (1973), PG

“A confused but determined first year law student struggles to keep his head above water after he finds out that he is dating the daughter of his brilliant but hard-nosed Harvard professor who he desperately wants to impress.”

  • Directors: James Bridges
  • Starring: Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner, John Houseman
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1 h 51 min

28-The Principal (1987), R

“Tough inner-city high school principal (James Belushi) butts heads with gang members in a crusade which may cost him his career and his life.”

  • Directors: Christopher Cain
  • Starring: Jim Belushi, Louis Gossett Jr., Rae Dawn Chong
  • Genres: Drama 
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 50 min

29- The Substitute (1996), R

“A CIA agent investigating a violent gang goes undercover at a school.”

  • Directors: Robert Mandel
  • Starring: Tom Berenger, Raymond Cruz, William Forsythe
  • Genres:  Action
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 54 min

30- Children of a Lesser God (1986), R

“Based on the hit Broadway play, it’s the uplifting love story of John Leeds (William Hurt), an idealistic special education teacher, and a headstrong deaf girl named Sarah (Marlee Matlin). At first, Leeds sees Sarah as a teaching challenge. But soon their teacher/student relationship blossoms into a love so passionate it shatters the barrier of silence that keeps them apart.”

  • Directors: Randa Haines
  • Starring: William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 58 min

31-Front of the Class (2008), PG

“Based on the true story of Brad Cohen, who, after being challenged by Tourette’s syndrome from a very young age, defies all odds to become a gifted teacher. Stars Jimmy Wolk, Treat Williams, and Patricia Heaton. From the Hallmark Hall of Fame Collection.”

  • Directors: Peter Werner
  • Starring: James Wolk, Treat Williams, Dominic Scott Kay
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 37 min

32- Blackboard Jungle (1955), NR

“Glen Ford is riveting as a dedicated teacher whose idealism fades under the tensions that rip his classroom apart. Anne Francis and Sidney Poitier co-star.”

  • Directors: Richard Brooks
  • Starring: Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 40 min

33- The Emperor’s Club (2002), PG

“A professor (Kevin Kline) clashes with a senator’s troubled son.”

  • Directors: Michael Hoffman
  • Starring: Kevin Kline, Joel Gretsch, Emile Hirsch
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: None available
  • Duration: 1h 49

34- Half Nelson (2006), R

“A powerful, award-winning film about an inner-city junior high school teacher (Ryan Gosling, The Notebook) with a drug habit who forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students (Shareeka Epps) after she discovers his secret.”

  • Directors: Ryan Fleck
  • Starring: Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps, Anthony Mackie
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration 1h 46 min 

35- The English Teacher (2013), 13+

“Julianne Moore stars as an English teacher who lives vicariously through her novels. But when an unintended tryst with a former student goes public, her simple life is turned upside down. Also starring Greg Kinnear and Nathan Lane.”

  • Directors: Craig Zisk
  • Starring: Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, Michael Angarano
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Subtitles: None available
  • Duration: 1h 31 min

36- Up the Down Staircase, (1967), NR

“A young, energetic and idealist teacher starts her first semester in a large metropolitan high school, rudely awakened to the differences between ideals and reality.”

  • Directors: Robert Mulligan
  • Starring: Sandy Dennis, Patrick Bedford, Eileen Heckart
  • Genres: Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration 2h 3 min

37- Chalk (2007), PG-13

“Chalk is a hilarious and spirited portrait of life in the trenches of that most honorable and frustrating profession…teaching.”

  • Directors: Mike Akel
  • Starring: Mike Akel
  • Genres: Comedy, Arthouse
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 25 min


38- Sex Ed (2014), 18+

“First time teacher Eddie Cole turns his detention class into Sex Ed., but he might not be the best teacher since his students seem to have more experience than him.”

  • Directors: Isaac Feder
  • Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Lorenza Izzo, Kevin Hernandez
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Subtitles: English [CC]
  • Audio languages: English
  • Duration: 1h 32 min

Top teacher movies

Sources:

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.