After surviving a brutal attack in a high school, teacher Trevor
Garfield (Samuel L. Jackson) finally returns to teaching, fifteen months
later. In an attempt to start again, Garfield moves to Los Angeles where
he begins his teaching career as a substitute teacher. Ironically,
Garfield saw all the signs to his attempted murder fifteen months ago
with the number 187 violently scribbled into a students text book who is
expelled. The number 187 is used by the police to indicate a homicide.
However in this new school, Garfield once again faces the dangers of the
previous school but this time he decides to take matters into his own
hand. When a student ends up dead three months later, a group of
troubled students believe that Garfield is involved, however there is no
proof pointing to this substitute teacher. This is the clever twist of
187 as director Roger Michell carefully lays clues throughout the movie
and whether they are real or false, it is up to the viewer to decipher.
Joining Jackson in this film is Kelly Rowan as Ellen Henry, a teacher
who finds the survival of Garfield comforting and John Heard as Dave
Childress, a corrupt and violent teacher who also sexually abused one of
Garfield's students, Rita Martinez. Garfield also finds solace in Rita,
hoping that he can point her in the direction of redemption and a break
the vicious circle that many of these students are caught in. Education
is the key.
movie that is 16-years old, 187 is still a very well written and
powerful film about the problems faced by socioeconomically challenged
schools in the United States. Jackson plays Garfield perfectly and
director Michell creates enough twists and turns to truly keep you
guessing in this powerful drama which was actually written by a teach.
don't get any better than this and the ending is one of the best twists
that I've seen in a long-time!