Adrien Brody plays a substitute teacher struggling to bond with his class

While Tony Kaye’s incendiary debut American History X wasn’t without its moments of heavy-handed moralising, it skirted the indulgent miserablism into which his scathing latest descends.

A vicious deconstruction of the American school system,Detachment stars Adrien Brody (the best he’s been in years) as a broken-down supply teacher, a one-time idealist browbeaten into submission by his failing profession.

Strong central turn aside, James Caan’s guidance counsellor and newcomer Sami Gayle’s young prostitute both help elevate the script, whose bludgeoning clichés makeDead Poets Society look subtle.

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