Review: Bad Education

Who's the real sociopath here?

Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) is a popular superintendent at a high school in Long Island, New York. He helped get them "all the way up to #4" as he states at one point. He finds himself in an awkward position when his friend a colleague Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney) is caught embezzling thousands of tax payer dollars from the school after an eager junior, Rachel Bhargava (Geraldine Viswanathan) starts writing a story for the school paper on a new construction project. Frank isn't exactly innocent in all of this either..

The reviews for this film at festivals were strong, and I was excited when HBO picked it up because I knew I'd for sure be able to watch it as soon as it came out. It didn't disappoint. Jackman gives easily one of his best performances in this, along with Janney who is wonderful in this role. I imagine this is going to rack up a ton of Emmy nominations.

I wasn't familiar with the real case this was based on and I didn't look into it prior to watching the film either, so I was fascinated as we get deeper into the hole that Frank and Pam dug themselves in. It's a very dark comedy and I'll probably never be able to hear the word "accelerated" without laughing in the future. I almost felt like the film could've been longer, I was expecting more scenes of Rachel investigating and there's really not a lot of that at all. I was expecting her to feature more heavily, though I did have a hard time buying Geraldine Viswanathan as a sixteen year old so maybe it was for the better there wasn't more. She's very good, don't get me wrong, but that's just something that sticks out to me more the older I get. 

If you have an HBO subscription, definitely give this film your time.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "Don't worry, Frank will fix this." - Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney) 


  1. Oooo that score makes me want to give it a shot. Jackman and Janney was enough to get my attention. I may not to sign up for a month and give it a look.

    1. HBO has always been worth the price for me, but I know you don't watch a lot of TV series and that's how I justify keeping it.

  2. I do want to see this as I hope to do so as soon as I can though there's so many other films on my DVR that I need to watch.

  3. I wish they kinda told us more about this whole thing, how Jackman went from stealing a bit to so much and how no one questioned those people having all those houses etc. I also found it weird that Allison Janney's character just took it and didn't instantely sell him out, I kept waiting for a scene with her confronting him but that never happened. Other than the script issues I really liked the direction, it was very good. And I'm still shocked Jackman agreed to play a gay man

    1. That's another good point. I expected a huge confrontation too, but I assumed she didn't do it because Jackman knew she stole more than the 250k they originally accused her of. I would've been fine if it had been a bit longer.

      I am a little to considering all the beard rumors Jackson always faces.

  4. It's in my list. Just waiting for the right mood. :D

  5. Great review! I didn't know about this case either, and I ended up liking this movie way more than I thought I would. I agree it'll be a strong Emmy contender for sure.

    1. But now after watching I Know This Much Is True, Mark Ruffalo about to give him a run for his money lol


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