Lean on Me

1989

Lean on Me

Critics Consensus

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69%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 16

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 41,434
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Movie Info

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 motion picture. Freeman is real-life high school principal Joe Clark, a tough, harsh educator and administrator who in 1987 is given a nearly impossible task by his old friend, school superintendent Dr. Frank Napier (Robert Guillaume). Clark is asked to reform inner city Eastside High School in Paterson, NJ, a hotbed of delinquent kids and drug dealers. Considered the worst school in New Jersey, the state is threatening to take control of Eastside away from the local school board. If Clark can straighten out Eastside in time to get the school's basic-skills test scores up, he can have the job permanently. Although Clark's tyrannical approach and hard-line policies alienate many members of the staff and the community, his uncompromising campaign gets results and even makes him famous, much to the chagrin of his powerful enemies. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Cast

Morgan Freeman
as Joe Clark
Beverly Todd
as Ms. Levias
Robert Guillaume
as Dr. Frank Napier
Alan North
as Mayor Don Bottman
Lynne Thigpen
as Leona Barrett
Robin Bartlett
as Mrs. Elliott
Jermaine Hopkins
as Thomas Sams
Karen Malina White
as Kaneesha Carter
Ethan Phillips
as Rosenberg
Sloane Shelton
as Mrs. Hamilton
Regina Taylor
as Mrs. Carter
Ivonne Coll
as Mrs. Santos
Michael P. Moran
as Mr. O'Malley
John Ring
as Fire Chief Gaines
Tony Todd
as Mr. Wright
Mike Starr
as Mr. Zirella
Yvette Hawkins
as Mrs. Arthur
Michael Joseph
as Brian Banes
Richard Grusin
as Mr. Danley
Jim Moody
as Mr. Lott
Marcella Lowery
as Mrs. Richards
Harry Madsen
as Teacher in Cafeteria
Bruce Malmuth
as Burger Joint Manager
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News & Interviews for Lean on Me

Critic Reviews for Lean on Me

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Lean on Me

  • Jan 26, 2012
    Morgan Freeman is great in this role, but Lean on Me is a bit cheesy and predictable.
    Raymond W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    A good movie. A bit dated but Freeman was great none the less.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2011
    A good movie. A bit dated but Freeman was great none the less.
    Jim C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2008
    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 story of a man who cherished his community and for those who wanted tto become someone good.
    Joseph E Super Reviewer

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