Higher Learning (1995)


“One’s primary purpose at university level is to learn how to think.” – Professor Phipps

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Video in the 90’s and 16 Jun 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A group of Freshmen at a prominent university quickly learn about the various racial, culture and sexual differences between students that affect them throughout their quest for knowledge.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing not long after it came out but didn’t remember much of what it was all about.

The premise of this film is actually a very bold and courageous one but it fails in its presentation and execution of things which makes it lose all of its initial promise.

They try much too hard here to be different and cutting edge, yet in the end rush through things which takes away from any kind of real impact.

They set up the various story lines really well and then in order to try and get to the climax more quickly, they rush things forwrad without a care as to whether the story lines are completed and thins end up making it all feel too raw.

The cast of this film is great and is filled with some very talented actors but they end up being wasted since the final act of the film destroys everything they try to achieve beforehand.

This is really a huge shame since they give us a great idea that fails to be as poignant or impactful as this kind of story should be.

This is especially apparent when they leave too many of the plot lines feeling incomplete due to them feeling open ended without proper closure or explanations.

Perhaps there is a Directors Cut out there that helps tie up all of the loose ends here…

Bottom Line – Excellent idea that tries too hard to be powerful and in the end losses much of its promise. The storylines shown are all set up really well, but the story rushes to a climax without making sure things are completed beforehand which leaves things feeling a bit too raw.  The cast is great and this film features some very talented actors but they are wasted because the final act destroys everything that they built up beforehand. It’;s such a shame that such a great idea doesn’t manage to be poignant or impactful as it should be especially when certain plot lines are left too open-ended without proper closure or explanations.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Originally John Singleton wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to play Remy, while Michael Rapaport was originally going to play Scott Moss. DiCaprio was cast, but unable to be in the film because of a scheduling conflict with The Quick and the Dead (1995). So Singleton had Rappaport play Remy once Cole Hauser was cast. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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2 thoughts on “Higher Learning (1995)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1995 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | Director’s Chair: John Singleton

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