13 Best Student-Teacher Relationship Movies on Netflix (March 2024)

Young minds and souls undoubtedly need a guiding hand to help them through troubled times. Inexperience is the greatest stumbling block one has to pass through in life, and the people who are dedicated to making us understand and experience the complexities of the world we see around us deserve more respect than anyone else. They have influenced our lives and helped us understand our true potential. Thus, we can safely say that the relationship students share with their teachers is one of the most treasured relationships in life.

Below, we have listed certain movies that depict the relationship between students and teachers, which you can watch on Netflix. Some of these movies depict instances where the sanctity of this relationship has been transgressed by the carnal instinct of man, while others are about teachers who have really been inspirational figures.

13. Sir (2023)

‘Sir,’ also known as ‘Vaathi,’ is an Indian period drama directed by Venky Atluri. It follows a young professor named Balamurugan ‘Bala’ (Dhanush) who is assigned to a government school as a part of shrewd private colleges association president Srinivas’s plan to adopt the government colleges in the aftermath of them being shut down due to lack of lecturers. Bala decides to give the impoverished kids a chance to learn and have a brighter future. However, he faces various obstacles, which range from prejudice to political. He is even tortured by the police. If he is forced to give up or does he manage to fulfill his objective of making even one student understand the significance of education is what we find out in this drama. You can stream ‘Sir’ here.

12. Music Teacher (2019)

The plot follows Beni, a musician with aspirations of making it big, who remains ensnared in the hills, haunted by bitterness and financial hardships. Despite his efforts to scrape by teaching music and performing in local clubs, success eludes him. Adding a poignant twist to his story is Jyotsna, once his estranged student and now a flourishing Bollywood singer who departed the hills eight years prior. The small town is buzzing with anticipation as news spreads of Jyotsna’s return for a highly-anticipated music concert. As the narrative unfolds, Beni must confront the echoes of the past and the harsh realities of the present, navigating the complexities of Jyotsna’s reappearance in both the hills and his life. You can watch it here.

11. Crazy Awesome Teachers (2020)

‘Crazy Awesome Teachers,’ directed by Sammaria Simanjuntak, stands as a touching Indonesian comedy-drama that delves into the enriching dynamics of teacher-student relationships. With a talented cast including Gading Marten, Boris Bokir, and Kevin Ardilova, the film follows a reluctant new teacher who sets out to recover stolen staff salaries. Through this mission, he discovers the profound joys of teaching, showcasing how the teacher-student bond can be transformative. The movie highlights personal growth, resilience, and the genuine connections that can be forged in the pursuit of education. You can stream ‘Crazy Awesome Teachers’ here.

10. Private Lesson (2022)

Private Lesson,’ directed by Kivanç Baruönü and featuring Bensu Soral in the lead role, is a delightful Turkish comedy-romance film that skillfully portrays teacher-student dynamics. The plot revolves around Azra, who disguises herself as a private tutor to guide students in navigating life and love, all while facing amusing challenges along the way. Through Azra’s interactions with her students, the film showcases the evolving relationships and personal growth that can occur within the teacher-student dynamic, making it an engaging exploration of mentorship and life’s unexpected lessons. You may watch the film here.

9. Black Island (2021)

Black Island,’ directed by Miguel Alexandre, features an ensemble cast, including German actors Ken Duken, Kostja Ullmann, and Claudia Michelsen. This film centers around themes of redemption, friendship, and mentorship. The plot follows a young teacher, Max, who takes a position at a juvenile detention center on an isolated island. There, he encounters a group of troubled teenage boys who have lost their way in life. Through patience and dedication, Max forms a unique bond with his students, guiding them toward personal growth and redemption. ‘Black Island’ is a compelling teacher-student movie because it beautifully illustrates the transformative power of mentorship and the potential for positive change even in the most challenging circumstances. You can watch ‘Black Island’ here.

8. Outside In (2018)

Directed by Lynn Shelton, ‘Outside In’ is a moving American drama that explores the complicated relationship between 38-year-old Chris, who is released from prison after serving 20 years for a murder he didn’t commit, and his high school teacher Carol, who fought for his release, who is now married with a kid. While Chris makes it clear that he loves her, she knows that they can only be friends because she has a family. However, she cannot deny her own feelings for him even though she can hide them. But for how long? The way the movie balances two aspects- patience and passion, makes it an authentic take on one of life’s inexplicable yet beautiful complexities: love. The cast includes Jay Duplass as Chris and Edie Falco as Carol, along with Alycia Delmore, Charles Leggett, Ben Schwartz, Kaitlyn Dever, and Pamela Reed. You can check out the film here.

7. Critical Thinking (2020)

Directed by John Leguizamo, this is a biographical drama that showcases the events that led to the Miami Jackson High School chess team becoming the first inner-city team to win the U.S. National Chess Championship in 1998. We follow Mario Martinez, aka Mr. T (John Leguizamo), a teacher at the Miami Jackson High School, under whose tutelage a group of boys undergo personal struggle and overcome drugs and street culture to ace the chess championship. The experiences of these boys, along with the tournament, are what we get to see in this well-crafted drama. Alongside Leguizamo, the cast also includes Michael K. Williams, Rachel Bay Jones, Corwin Tuggles, Corwin Tuggles, and Angel Bismark Curiel. You can watch ‘Critical Thinking’ here.

6. Where the Tracks End (2023)

Directed by Ernesto Contreras, ‘Where the Tracks End’ follows an elderly teacher, Georgina, who teaches a group of kids inside a railcar in rural Mexico. Despite the impoverished circumstances, she ensures that the kids get to learn. However, the railcar school faces a threat from a Ministry of Education inspector who has come to shut down the school. But he finds himself conflicted when he comes across a kid named Ikal, one of Georgina’s students, who reminds him of the importance of learning and the fun and excitement it can bring. A brilliant film, ‘Where the Tracks End’ is a love letter to teachers and their significance in changing lives. It can be streamed here.

5. Silenced (2011)

‘Silenced,’ directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, is a gripping South Korean drama based on real events and adapted from the novel ‘The Crucible’ by Gong Ji-young. The film features stellar performances by Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi. It delves into harrowing themes of child abuse and institutional corruption. The story revolves around a teacher, Kang In-ho, who uncovers the horrifying abuse of hearing-impaired children at a school. Despite facing immense opposition and danger, Kang In-ho, a human rights activist played by Jung Yu-mi, seeks justice for the victims. ‘Silenced’ is a powerful teacher-student film as it exposes the importance of protecting the vulnerable and the role of educators in advocating for their students’ well-being. Feel free to check out the movie here.

4. The Kindergarten Teacher (2018)

Directed by Sara Colangelo, ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ takes a teacher’s obsession with a student’s talent to a whole new level in an overwhelmingly thrilling way. Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as kindergarten teacher Lisa Spinelli and Parker Sevak as one of Lisa’s students, 5-year-old Jimmy Roy, the film shows Lisa finding out that Jimmy has a talent for poetry. However, Jimmy’s parents want him to have a more practical life rather than have him do poetry. How Lisa tries to nurture Jimmy’s talent, even if it means compromising her life as well as Jimmy’s, is what we see in the film. Based on the 2014 Israeli film of the same name written and directed by Nadav Lapid, ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ offers one of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s best performances. You can watch it here.

3. Whiplash (2014)

college movie

Starring Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, and Melissa Benoist, the Academy Award-winning film explores a teacher-student relationship that is underscored by passion and abuse. Teller stars as Andrew Neiman, a first-year student and jazz drummer at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory, under the tutelage of strict and abusive conductor Terence Fletcher, played by Simmons (a performance that earned him the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice award for Best Supporting Actor). A single mistake by any student rains down hellfire, and Neiman himself is almost hit with a chair. However, all this only adds to Neiman’s determination to prove that he can do what Fletcher wants him to do and, in the process, goes beyond his limits. To see the result that is perhaps one of the best climaxes ever, you can watch the film here.

2. Hard Lessons (1986)

Directed by Eric Laneuville, ‘Hard Lessons,’ also known as ‘The George McKenna Story,’ is a biographical drama based on the life of George McKenna, an American politician and the former principal of Washington Preparatory High School. He is responsible for re-forming the school by bringing an end to its gang culture and violence that was taking a huge toll on the students and their parents. A recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Chairman’s Award and a National Alliance of Black School Educators’ Hall of Fame inductee, McKenna is portrayed by Denzel Washington in the film. You can stream it here.

1. Like Stars on Earth (2007)

‘Like Stars on Earth’ (Hindi-‘Taare Zameen Par’), directed by Aamir Khan, is a heartwarming Indian Hindi-language drama film that explores the struggles of a dyslexic child named Ishaan (played by Darsheel Safary) and his transformative journey under the guidance of his art teacher, Ram Shankar Nikumbh (played by Aamir Khan). The film delves into themes of understanding, empathy, and the power of unconventional teaching methods. As Nikumbh recognizes Ishaan’s artistic talent and dyslexia, he provides personalized attention and encouragement, fostering a nurturing environment that allows Ishaan to flourish academically and emotionally.

Through its powerful portrayal of the teacher-student relationship, the film underscores the significance of individualized education, compassion, and a caring teacher’s impact on a struggling student. ‘Like Stars on Earth’ stands as a poignant and inspiring testament to the transformative influence teachers can exert on their students’ lives. To feel the impact that this movie has had, you can watch it here.

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