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Bandslam Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Dear David Bowie... Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Misfit teens in the process of forming a high school band learn life lessons and raise their goblets of rock. But there's enough of a strong filmmaking backbeat in Bandslam to carry the movie's light tune.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This isn’t a breakthrough movie, but for what it is, it’s charming, and not any more innocuous than it has to be.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Here’s the surprise: Bandslam may come from synthetic materials, but the characters are a little more complicated than usual.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Had Cameron Crowe and the late John Hughes collaborated on a movie populated by Disney Channel superstars, the result might have looked and sounded a lot like Todd Graff's Bandslam. And that's meant as a compliment.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Music-driven teen flick is feel-good fun for parents, too.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this music-filled high school flick stars tween favorites Vanessa Hudgens and Aly Michalka,so expect interest from kids familiar with their Disney projects.Although it's rated PG and doesn't have any drinking/smoking, violence, or strong language, the movie deals with a few mature themes-- like bullying, an absentee father, a chronically ill parent, and theongoing quest for high school status. Be prepared for a few kisses, too (although nothing gratuitous), and product placement from the likes of Apple/iPod and Coke.

  • Families can talk about the bullying and social jockeying that occurs in high school. Does this movie offer an honest, accurate depiction of that? Kids: How do you deal with bullying and cliques?
  • Dealing with the absence and/or loss of a parent is a heavy issue. How does the movie depict these themes?
  • Whatmusical genres are mentioned in the movie? Kids: One of the main characters mentions how punk influencedlater generations of musicians. Who influenced your favorite musicians?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The band learns to put aside personal preferences to work together as a group, rehearsing day after day to meet Will's goals for them. Charlotte espouses her philosophy about doing what scares you most in order to confront your fears, and Will does just that, overcoming his shyness to meet new people.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Will is a good model of commitment -- to both goals and friends. He's true to his mother, Sa5m, and the band. The relationship between Will and his mom is sweet and realistic. Charlotte, although at one point a pretty negative role model, redeems herself in the movie's final scenes.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Not applicable

  • sex false2

    Sex: Ongoing flirting between a few characters leads to a "practice kiss" between Will and a friend -- and later between Will and the girl he wants to date. A high school senior thinks Will's mom is "hot" and eventually plants a surprise kiss on her. A couple of kisses among the Bandslam crowd.

  • language false2

    Language: Mild language includes "idiots," "oh my God," "morons," "nerds," etc.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Brands visible include Apple (Mac notebook and iPod), Twizzler, California Pizza Kitchen, Coke, Wikipedia, MTV, CBGB, and several other NYC tourist stops. Many musical acts are mentioned or played prominently throughout the film.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable