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Davis Guggenheim's latest socially conscious documentary is a far more effective call to arms than his Oscar-winning Al Gore-stravaganza An Inconvenient Truth, for a number of reasons. This commentary on the sad state of the public education system presents its information and arguments in a far more creative and engrossing manner, not only from a filmmaking standpoint--clever animated sequences to punctuate points beat static Powerpoint presentations delivered by an even more static speaker anytime--but also personality-wise, not only through speaking with figures far more vibrant than Gore (which, it goes without saying, isn't exactly hard to be) but following a number of real, relatable families from different parts of the country as they try to better their children's education. It's corny cliché to say that Guggenheim "puts a human face" on the issue, but that's exactly the film's trump card: for all the solid information and convincing arguments presented throughout the run time, it's the genuine emotional connection to those families that make the climax so suspenseful, heartbreaking, hopeful--and hence the film so powerful.