Watch Detachment

  • NR
  • 2012
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.7  (98,699)
  • 52

Detachment is a 2011 drama film that portrays the harsh reality of public education in America through the experiences of a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes, played by Adrien Brody. The movie presents the theme of detachment in various facets of society, including education, family and society as a whole. Fundamental issues like poverty, broken families, and a lack of guidance exposed in the film's characters sheds light on the crippling nature of a society driven by flawed systems.

Henry Barthes is a substitute teacher who has worked in many schools across the New York City area, making him a lone wolf in every situation. He is a reluctant but compassionate mentor to his mostly underprivileged and unruly students, many of whom treat him with disrespect and hostility. Throughout the film, Henry struggles to tackle his own demons while also becoming attached to several students.

The students Henry meets in detention include a young artist named Meredith (Betty Kaye) who uses her art as a form of self-exploration, Mathew (Bryan Cranston), a disillusioned and aggressive security guard with sadistic tendencies, and Erica (Sami Gayle), a precocious and obnoxious teenage girl which adds a unique perspective to the flaws of the education system for those who are gifted. Additionally, there's Rachel (Christina Hendricks), a beautiful and empathetic teacher who tries to connect with Henry, and Ms. Madison (Marcia Gay Harden), the principal of the school who wants to make sure that the curriculum aligns with institutional requirements.

Detachment is a touching exploration of the struggles of the human experience, a kaleidoscope of emotions that doesn't hold back in showing the darkest corners of isolation and detachment. The movie examines the concept of attachment, loss, and the irrepressible need for meaningful connections amid a world where everyone seems to be alone.

One of the most significant aspects of Detachment is its portrayal of the effects of broken homes and abandonment upon young minds. From a child who identifies as a blanket to another that withdraws from reality, the film probes the inner workings of disenfranchised youth. It also addresses the harsh realities of a bureaucratic system that undermines the teacher's ability to connect with students on a personal level. This depersonalization of education is a prevalent issue in the schools of America, which is a sector struggling to keep up with the changing times.

The film's emphasis on the lack of care and attention passing from the hands of parents towards the children in society is one of the most striking representations of the movie. It highlights the need for education, psychiatric and disciplinary measures to ensure that students get the attention and care they deserve from both family and outsiders. A society that lacks empathy and humanity can be stressful for anyone, but it proposes extreme consequences to those at worst standing in society. In such a world, the notion of love and care isn't just a luxury; it's a necessity that needs to be protected at all costs.

Detachment is filled with detailed performances and motifs, enhancing the storytelling experience. Henry's narration reveals fragments of his psyche that make him a guarded, single man while his experiences with the students challenge this façade. Other characters, like Ms. Madison, provide a metaphorical representation of gatekeepers who ensnare education from empathetic and compassionate individuals.

Overall, Detachment, though not a feel-good movie, is a beautifully crafted visual, a raw cinematic experience for audiences who want to delve deeper into the realities of contemporary educational systems. While many of the scenes can be challenging to watch due to their highly emotional content, they evoke an empathy in viewers, one that may galvanize them to act for change, regardless of their immediate environment. Detachment brings us closer to immersing ourselves in a list of societal issues than any other movie simply because of the emotional cords it strikes. The film- simple in its entirety, offers a subtle take on the nature of the human soul and the desperate need for love and care, elements that are entrenched in the very nature of our existence.

Detachment is a 2012 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 52.

Where to Watch Detachment
Detachment is available to watch free on Peacock, Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Peacock Premium, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Detachment for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (98,699)
  • Metascore