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Dead Poets Society (1989)

A movie truly is what it is when it has the same effect on you no matter how many times you see it, or how long it has been since you have seen it. That is how you can tell a film is truly great (or not). I watched “Dead Poets Society” for the first time in a few years (and the first time since the tragic death of Robin Williams) and it is still as effective as it was when I first saw it as a child.

For those who (sadly) have not yet seen it, the movie focuses on a group of students at Welton Academy for Boys. It is a strict school, but the one class that is different is their poetry class, taught by new teacher Mr. John Keating (Robin Williams). He is the teacher we all want: one who teaches but one who connects. He knows what it means to be in their shoes (he attended the school as a child). Still, the movie is not about him, but about the kids.

We meet students such as Neil (Robert Sean Leonard, from the TV show “House”), who has a rough (to put it mildly) relationship with his father (Kurtwood Smith). There is Knox Overstreet (Josh Charles), the hopeless romantic. A young Ethan Hawke is Todd Anderson, the very nice but painfully shy student who is always returning to his shell when asked to come out of it.

I don’t want to give anything away (although if you have not seen this by now, I would say just stop reading it and SEE IT), but this is a wonderful piece of film. Parents, there is only one scene to fast forward through (the first meeting of the DPS has one student read from a playboy page). Aside from that, it is a film perfect for anyone in Middle School or older.

As a person who does not cry much, this movie’s ending not only has me reaching for Kleenex, but proudly announcing I need the Kleenex. I am proud to cry at the end of this movie.

Overall: 5 Stars *****

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