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Stomp the Yard Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… let's all think of it as a documentary. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Stepping is everything in Stomp the Yard, and, dare I say it, a stepping stone to DJ's redemption. The movie itself is redeemed -- slightly -- by its almost touching devotion to the hoary Hollywood traditions of college movies with battling frats, as well as its earnest endorsement of education.

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Given its predictable story, the only reason to see Stomp is for the rhythmic step dancing.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    As the central character in this musical melodrama about step dancing in black fraternities, Short displays an uncanny dramatic sensibility to go with the eye-catching athleticism of his dance moves.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The shallow frat-on-frat rivalry and the poor-boy-loves-rich-girl subplot don't mean a thing. But the stepping does got that swing.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The results are corny beyond measure. Yet there's something sweet about them, in part because there's something sweet about hearing the line "Congratulations! Why didn't you tell me you pledged?" outside the realm of comedy.

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  • See all Stomp the Yard reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 12+

Well-intentioned film steps up the melodrama.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film's second scene is violent, then sad: A fight between groups of boys (featuring hectic editing and aggressive camerawork) ends when the main character's brother is shot and killed (bloody wound is visible). Characters discuss sex (one young man shows his selection of condoms) and use sex-infused slang. Aggressive language includes "bitch," "s--t," "hell," "asshole," and derogatory terms; a couple of African-American characters use the "N" word to show hostility. R&B singer Ne-Yo is one of the film's stars.

  • Families can talk about black fraternities' role in preserving and teaching about African-American history. How does DJ's exposure to Heritage Hall show him the "value" of fraternities? What audience is the film trying to reach and what is it trying to tell them?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Protagonist is initially aggressive, then both chastened and frustrated by his brother's murder; aggressive competition between fraternity steppers; very positive and welcome affirmation of African-American historical legacies; doing the "right thing" by his girl wins honor for the hero in the end.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Early scene shows the murder of the protagonist's brother by gunshot (bloody, upsetting); stepping routines are aggressive (one team uses a live snake to show "potency," another wears wolf masks and costumes).

  • sex false0

    Sex: Several scenes feature college-age students dancing provocatively (in clubs and in competitions) with girls wearing midriff/cleavage-baring outfits; sexual connection between characters; romantic slow dance leads to a kiss on the dance floor; DJ makes fun of his own flirting with April by making kissy noises in the library; start of their sexual relationship is signaled by her entering his dorm room and him shutting the door on the camera; handsome, well-toned step team goes jogging in slow motion, sweaty and shirtless; couple does homework in underwear and T-shirts.

  • language false3

    Language: A couple of uses of the "N" word (by African-American characters); other language includes "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "hell," and "damn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Coca Cola logos (film is set in Atlanta); MTV News (Sway "covers" and narrates the final competition).

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking (beer, shots, other liquor) in clubs; background characters smoke cigarettes.