A 1997 American crime thriller directed by Kevin Reynolds that has a LA teacher (Samuel L. Jackson) who is caught up with gang problems in a troubled school.
The movie also stars John Heard, Kelly Rowan, Clifton Collins Jr., Tony Plana, Karina Arroyave, Demetrius Navarro, and Jack Kehler.
It was released on July 30, 1997.
Tropes for the Film:
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The movie is written by a real life teacher, as it is based on his experiences while working at a LA school as a substitute.
- Russian Roulette: The climax features this. Trevor gets into a dangerous feud with Cesar Sanchez. At their final confrontation the gang forces him to play of game of Russian Roulette, referencing the famous The Deer Hunter scene. They're unnerved when Jackson begins taking multiple turns without flinching, even giving them a "The Reason You Suck" Speech as he does. At one point Cesar beings cracking under the weight of the speech and hesitates to pick up the gun when it's his turn, so Trevor volunteers to take the gangster's turn... and promptly blows his head off. Since Trevor took his turn and the bullet that would have killed him, Cesar decides he has to take one more turn now...and promptly blows his head off.
- Tagline: "When schools become war zones and both sides start taking casualties, what then?".
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: David Childress expresses admiration for Trevor Garfield and the vigilante targeting student gangbangers, unaware that they are one and the same and also unaware that Garfield thinks he's scum. When the penny drops - at which point Childress realizes that he's actually not that impressed - Garfield tells him "you probably think we're alike; we're not". Whether Garfield is still a good man is for the viewer to decide, but Childress never was; this is a guy who unashamedly volunteers the fact he had sex with an emotionally vulnerable female student whose sexual advances Garfield explicitly rejected earlier.