Speech & Debate

Speech & Debate is a 2017 American film directed by Dan Harris. The film is an adaptation of the play of the same name and was released on April 7, 2017, by Vertical Entertainment.

Speech & Debate
Speech & Debate poster.jpg
Directed byDan Harris
Written byStephen Karam
Based onSpeech & Debate
by Stephen Karam
Music byDeborah Lurie
CinematographyDavid Hennings
Edited byRobert Hoffman
Distributed byVertical Entertainment
Release date
  • April 7, 2017 (2017-04-07)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States


The film features three misfit students in high school who are frustrated with the hypocrisy they see in their parents and school staff. Together, they try to revive an extinct school debate club to face the situation they are in.



Principal photography started in August 8, 2015 in Jackson, Mississippi, United States.[1]

Karam said that "he specifically aimed to create characters who 'push through their pain'".[2]

The song "Losers Are Winners", which was written by Karam, is played over the credits performed by Kristin Chenoweth.

Release and receptionEdit

The film was released on April 7, 2017, by Vertical Entertainment.[3]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 55% based on 11 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10.[4] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 46 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[5]


  1. ^ Jeremy Gerard (9 July 2015). "Liam James & Sarah Steele Topline 'Speech & Debate' For Sycamore Pictures; Dan Harris Directing". deadline.com. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Smith, Matt. "When Stephen Karam Couldn't Get Cast, He Found 'Speech & Debate'" Playbill, February 4, 2017
  3. ^ "Speech and Debate". The Numbers. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "Speech & Debate (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  5. ^ "Speech & Debate Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 5, 2020.

External linksEdit