187 (One Eighty Seven) (1997): Kevin Reynolds Downbeat Look at Urban Schools

Kevin Reynolds’ 187 presents a despairing, downbeat look at urban schools and the state of teacher-student relationships.

Samuel L. Jackson plays a NYC high-school teacher who, after being stabbed relocates to the San Fernando Valley in L.A., where working conditions are even worse.

The title of this honorable failure refers to the penal code for murder in California.

Despite a significant theme–violence in American school–the movie comes across as pretentious due to the director’s wrong, overly aesthetic approach.

Too bad, because mainstream Hollywood doesn’t make many serious-minded features about relevant issues, and this is a wasted studio effort.

The cast also includes John Heard, Kelly Rowan, Clifton Gonzales, and Jonah Rooney.

Running time: 119 Minutes