Documentary ‘Ivory Tower’ Examines Higher Ed

The documentary film Ivory Tower comes out today, and it tackles the standard complaint about today’s institutions of higher education: That college costs ever more money as the years go on, but doesn’t enable graduates to get jobs that will cover their debts.

The New York Times isn’t crazy about the movie, saying, “There are suggestions that colleges do a poor job of actually educating students, and that the cost issue is a result of bloated administrative salaries and a rush to build showpiece campuses. All of it is treated in scattershot fashion, with the film never alighting long on any one topic.”

The AV Club is a little more generous in its assessment of the film, saying, “Rossi’s scathing (yet seemingly fair) documentary doesn’t just illustrate the institutional ironies of modern education. It also strives to understand why tuition is at an all-time high when knowledge is practically free.”

The Dissolve splits the difference, concluding, “Ivory Tower asks a lot of provocative, important questions, but it’s decidedly short on answers, and even shorter on satisfying or convincing answers.”