Eppler: 'Bad Education' a smart, twisty crime story - FOX34 Lubbock

Eppler: 'Bad Education' a smart, twisty crime story

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The HBO movie "Bad Education" is a darkly funny and consistently surprising telling of a huge embezzlement scheme that enveloped a wealthy school district in the early 2000s - all uncovered by a high school newspaper journalist who asked the right questions.

Hugh Jackman delivers one of the best performances of his career as a hugely popular superintendent faced with tough decisions when money goes missing: go to the law right away and sink the school district's standing with Ivy League colleges, or cover it up.  Allison Janney is equally good as a highly-placed administrator caught red-handed. 
 
The tightly-written screenplay by Mike Mackowsky unravels its surprises in ways that never feel cheap. The movie also feels timely considering the recent scandal involving wealthy parents and higher education - the big risks the privileged feel at liberty to take to stay ahead.

"Bad Education" may be a TV movie, but make no mistake: released in theaters at the right time of year, Jackman and Janney would be Oscar contenders. It's a killer-good movie with a satisfying payoff that, unlike payoffs certain characters take, is well-earned. 
 
Streaming now on HBO.
 
EPPLER'S RATING: * * * * 
 

RATING SCALE

* * * * * Incredible - One of the best of the year
* * * * Excellent - Touches greatness with only minor quibbles
* * * Good - Plenty to like, definitely worth seeing
* * Mediocre - You can do better
* Awful - The worst, an insult to movies

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