Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Drumline 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.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    If it's conventional, it's also competent. Thanks to director Charles Stone III (of the famed "Whassuup?!" Budweiser spots), the clichés at least have a good beat.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Entertaining for what it does, and admirable for what it doesn't do. It gets us involved in band politics and strategy, gives us a lot of entertaining halftime music, and provides a portrait of a gifted young man who slowly learns to discipline himself and think of others. That's what it does. What it doesn't do is recycle all the tired old cliches.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Mark Caro

    That it's got a positive message may strike some as decidedly not "edgy" -- but they should be too busy stomping their feet to notice.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Does more than capture the excitement of marching bands; it gets their clockwork beauty as well.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Drumline reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Outstanding cast, great message, strong language.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's some very strong language ("s--t" and more), mild references to drinking, and moderate references to sex, particularly comparing playing an instrument to making love. A character is "accused" of being a virgin. Nevertheless, the behavior of the characters is admirable. Laila makes it clear that she is interested in a boyfriend, not a brief encounter. Parents should also know that the movie addresses some racial discrimination concerns, as the one white student in the band is at first looked at with suspicion, but later accepted warmly.

  • Families can talk about the conflict Dr. Lee faces as he tries to do what is best for the band. What does he decide is most important, and when, and why? Why was it important to show Devon's confrontation with his father? How did that relationship affect his relationships with strong characters like Sean and Dr. Lee? What is it about Devon that Laila is drawn to? Why? What can you tell from the scene where each of the section leaders explains why that instrument is the most important? What does "one band, one sound" mean? Why does Dr. Lee think that honor and discipline are more important than talent?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Lessons in hard work, teamwork, and watching out for your friends and not just yourself.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The main character fights against the discipline of the marching band and is all about himself; he does a major turnaround during the course of the film. Characters at first suspicious of the only white student, then supportive.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Tense confrontations

  • sex false3

    Sex: Sexual references

  • language false3

    Language: Some strong language ("s--t," "ass," "crap," etc.).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking