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How She Move Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… isn't nearly as stupid … 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.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    How She Move doesn't exactly break any new ground. But the terrific dance numbers on display should please its teenage target audience.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    How She Move has two key assets: powerful dance sequences and an emphasis on education.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Rutina Wesley glowers with just the right touch of sweetness as a brainy student (and stellar after-school stepper).

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Mainly it’s a very solid dance picture, which is the point.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Urban dance drama is formulaic yet entertaining.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this film depicts a hard-knock inner-city life in Toronto, its redemptive, inspirational themes -- that no matter who you are, you can and should dare to dream -- apply to everyone. There are hints of trouble (crime, drug issues) in the neighborhood, but they're fairly subtle, and although the main character's sister dies of an overdose, it's not shown, and the only drug shown on screen is marijuana. Some angry words are exchanged, but this is the type of film where characters settle their differences in "step offs" rather than with violence. There's some language, but -- other than one use of "f--k" -- it's not excessive.

  • Families can talk about the appeal of dance movies. Why do so many portray dance as a way of getting in touch with your true identity? What is it about dance that taps into someone's sense of self? Families can also discuss Raya's situation. What fueled her decisions? If you were in her shoes, would you have made the same choices (and mistakes)? Why does she feel so much pressure to achieve? How is she similar to and different from characters in other urban, dance-themed movies?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Raya misleads her parents about how she's spending her free time. Boys wager on a dance match, a crew leader hints at drug dealing, and there are a few fights, but otherwise the story is redemptive and the characters are good-hearted; Raya is also academically ambitious and takes her studies really seriously. Some characters assume that girls can't step as well as the guys can and are reluctant to let Raya into the guys' crew.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Mild fight involving some shoving and yelling. Violence hinted at when two rival "crews" face off. A criminal is shown being arrested by cops.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Some "bumping and grinding" on the dance floor, and one lingering kiss. Song lyrics played during the step competitions allude to sex. Some scantily/suggestively clad women. A woman is shown straddling a man who's not wearing his shirt; they're in bed, and it seems like the prelude to sex.

  • language false3

    Language: A few uses of the word "bitch," and one "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Lots of mentions of the Step Monster, a dance competition.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A man is shown toking on a joint. Some discussions of heavier drug use, but nothing overt. The main character's sister died of an overdose (discussed, but not shown). The drug trade casts a shadow over Raya's neighborhood.