It was a true-life lesson in corruption. Dr. Frank Tassone was a smooth, charismatic Superintendent whose leadership guided Roslyn High School to the highest levels of education. He also happened to be part of an $11 million embezzling scheme that rocked the upscale Long Island town. Hugh Jackman stars as Tassone with Allison Janney as his business manager and colleague in crime as they coordinated the biggest public-school embezzlement in American history–which would be uncovered by a tenacious young reporter with the high-school newspaper. Co-starring Ray Romano and Geraldine Viswanathan. Directed by Cory Finley; written by Mike Makowsky who was a student at Roslyn during the scandal; based on the New York magazine article “The Bad Superintendent” by Robert Kolker.

Studio: HBO
Year: 2020
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Run time: 103 minutes
Rating: NR

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Disc Spec: 1 DVD
Region: A

The premise of the film is based of the true story that documents the largest public school embezzlement in US history. Main Character Hugh Jackman plays the lead here and he is fantastic here, honestly one of the best performances I have seen so far this year. He is the right mix of nice and charming and intense when he needs to be. His character is really interesting and the film even does a good job in making you care about him even though he does some questionable things here. Supporting Characters Allison Janney plays the main supporting character and she also does a good job. She is a larger part of the first act of the film and is kind of relegated later on but her performance is really good. Ray Romano plays Jackman’s boss and I thought he did a good job, he is just very Ray Romano here and he fit the role very well. Though there are some performances I didn’t much care for, Geraldine Viswanathan who funnily enough I recently watched in Miracle Workers plays a crucial part here, but I never found myself invested in her as a character or what she was doing. It felt like her arc was dragged out a bit which hurt the film, also there were some other lesser performances that weren’t as strong as they could have been. The story is interesting, seeing this act occur and how these people got away with it is a pretty fascinating watch.
Movie Quality: 9/10

Special Features

  • Based on a True Story
  • The Perception of Perfection
  • Hugh Jackman & Allison Janney: Virtual Conversation

Special Features: 6/10

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is a good film, with an interesting story also with a great lead performance. It is held back by some things but it is worth a watch if you are a fan of interesting real life stories.
Overall Rating: 8/10