Movie Review: Dismissed (2017)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2017 thriller starring Dylan Sprouse and Randall Park.

Synopsis: A high school English teacher, Mr. Sheldon, is excited when a new student, Lucas Ward, joins his class and shows above-average intelligence and an eagerness to be the very best student. However, he quickly learns Lucas is more dangerous than he seems when the teen begins to sabotage his career and his marriage after receiving a B+ on one of his papers.

Review

I had never even heard of this movie until a couple days ago, when I received a automatically-generated e-mail from Netflix recommending it. 

At first, I thought the movie sounded a little predictable. However, I decided to add it to my list anyway and my wife and I ended up watching it yesterday evening. As it turns out, it was better than expected.

As I pretty much figured, some aspects of this film were a little predictable. Lucas (Sprouse), for example, was a little too perfect as a student and it was pretty evident it wouldn't take much to set him off. Plus, the movie made sure to show a glimpse of how he would react to taking second place when he didn't end up immediately being top dog on the chess club.

That being said, I did find I was very impressed with how he approached his blackmailing of Mr. Sheldon (Park). He didn't just sabotage his teacher, Lucas made sure to keep him so off balanced, nobody would believe him when he tried to find help. Heck, the principal (Thurston) was so determined not to believe Mr. Sheldon, I began to wonder if maybe he had some dirt on her too.

Also, to be fair, I don't think Mr. Sheldon was all that innocent in all of this either. His argument for giving Lucas the B+ was weak to begin with and, when he decided to be a real jerk and give Lucas an F (despite having no justification), it only supported Lucas' claim he was purposely trying to sabotage his student. To tell you the truth, if I didn't see Lucas' actions for myself, I probably would have a hard time believing him too, especially since his arrogant announcement about applying for a college professor spot didn't exactly endear him to his students.

That lack of innocence from Lucas' victim also helped keep the movie a little more interesting than I was expecting it to be. It was as simple as proving Lucas was lying. He had to overcome his own omissions and mistakes as well. That, ultimately, kept the ending from being as predictable as the movie had a chance to be.

Final Opinion

There's nothing overly special about the plot. But, the movie was well executed and enjoyable to watch as a result of that. 

My Grade: B

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Updated: 02/21/2018, StevenHelmer
 
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