Higher Learning

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Higher Learning
Higher Learning (movie).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Singleton
Produced by John Singleton
Paul Hall
Written by John Singleton
Starring Omar Epps
Kristy Swanson
Ice Cube
Jennifer Connelly
Laurence Fishburne
Michael Rapaport
Cole Hauser
Music by Stanley Clarke
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • January 11, 1995 (1995-01-11)
Running time
127 minutes
Box office $38,290,723

Higher Learning is a 1995 American romantic drama film, directed by John Singleton, and starring an ensemble cast. The film follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional Columbus University: Malik Williams (Omar Epps), a black track star who struggles with academics; Kristen Connor (Kristy Swanson), a shy and naive girl; and Remy (Michael Rapaport), a lonely and confused man seemingly out of place in his new environment.[1]

The film also featured Tyra Banks' first performance in a theatrical film. Laurence Fishburne won an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture"; Ice Cube was also nominated for the award. This was the last film appearance of Dedrick D. Gobert, who was shot dead in 1994 prior to the film's release.

The exterior shots and outdoor scenes were shot on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) while the interiors were shot at Sony Pictures Studios.

Plot[edit]

Cast[edit]

Reception [edit]

According to Box Office Mojo, Higher Learning grossed $38,290,723 in the United States, with $20,200,000 in rentals.[citation needed] It ranked #17 amongst highest grossing R-rated movies in 1995.[citation needed]

Laurence Fishburne won an Image Award, and Ice Cube was nominated an Image Award in 1996.

Critical response [edit]

The film received mixed reviews. Roger Ebert commented about John Singleton's direction of the film: "He sees with a clear eye and a strong will, and is not persuaded by fashionable ideologies. His movies are thought-provoking because he uses familiar kinds of characters and then asks hard questions about them." He awarded the film 3 out of 4 stars.[2] TimeOut Magazine wrote: "a stylish, intelligent film-maker, Singleton interweaves the threads of his demographic tapestry with assurance, passion and a welcome awareness of the complexities of the college community's contradictory impulses towards integration and separatism."[3]

Reel Film Reviews wrote, "...Higher Learning is consistently entertaining and well-acted all around. While it's not a perfect movie – Cube's character disappears for a 30-minute stretch and Singleton's approach often veers into heavy-handedness – it is nevertheless an intriguing look at the differences between races and how such differences can clash." (3.5 stars out of 4)[4]

Higher Learning currently holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews.

Soundtrack [edit]

The soundtrack, containing hip hop, R&B, rock and jazz music was released on January 3, 1995 by Epic Records. It peaked at #39 on the Billboard 200 and #9 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.[citation needed] In addition to "Higher", performed by Ice Cube, the soundtrack includes original music by OutKast, Liz Phair, Tori Amos and Rage Against the Machine.

References[edit]

External links[edit]