Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Still shot from the movie: The First Grader.

The First Grader

In this biographical drama, 84-year-old Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge (Oliver Litondo) intends to prove it is never too late to learn. So he takes advantage of the Kenyan government's offer to provide free education. However, the authorities only intended to teach children and the old man's presence in the classroom causes controversy. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: A-
Violence: C-
Sexual Content: B-
Language: B-
Drugs/Alcohol: B
Run Time: 104
Theater Release: 16 Jun 2011
Video Release:
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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How We Determine Our Grades

After watching a movie with your children or students, we encourage parents and teachers to look for education opportunities to teach with movies. Here are a few discussion topics that can help with lesson plans or teaching in the home.

Do you agree with Maruge’s desire to go to school? Was the primary institution the best place for him to attend? Did his presence help or hinder the other students?

How do tribal differences continue to haunt Kenyan society? Why is it difficult to leave prejudice behind? How do those who did not side with the British view those who did?

In September 2005, Maruge addressed the United Nations. Do you think this kind of publicity helps make others aware of needs or is it simply a good photo op for politicians? What efforts are being made to fight illiteracy? How can you be involved in your own community? Learn about some projects that are underway at Literacy.org.

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About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

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