Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: When gifted singer-songwriter Charlotte Barnes asks new kid in town Will Burton to manage her fledgling rock band, she appears to have just one goal in mind: go head-to-head against her egotistical musician ex-boyfriend, Ben, at the biggest event of the year, a battle of the bands. Against all odds, their band develops a sound all its own with a real shot at success in the contest. Meanwhile, romance brews between Will and Sa5m, who plays a mean guitar and has a voice to die for. When disaster strikes, it's time for the band to make a choice: Do they admit defeat, or face the music and stand up for what they believe in? (Summit Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Ruth McCann
    the script's earnest intelligence and the actors' charm (Connell, Hudgens and Kudrow are especially fun to watch) make this film an entertaining ode to teenage joie de vivre.
  3. Here’s the surprise: Bandslam may come from synthetic materials, but the characters are a little more complicated than usual.
  4. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    Buoyant, gratifying and, yes, rocking.
  5. Bandslam belongs to Connell. He has the unruly 'fro and endearing shamblingness of a young Daniel Stern, and he ably brings to life that rarest of cinematic qualities: decency.
  6. 63
    Fairly entertaining, if hardly surprising, results.
  7. Lack of sparkling teen chatter prevent this movie from being a slam dunk.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Mar 15, 2012
    One of my favorite films EVER!!! BandSlam is perfect, incredible, funny, have an indie spirit, is a fantastic film, is amazing, and the music OMG, is fantastic, songs like someone to fall back on or everything I own, are amazing and emotive. I love this film. Expand
  2. XavierE.
    Aug 17, 2009
    A funny, emotional and very enjoyable film!
  3. MelodiM.
    Aug 16, 2009
    I thought this move was great!!! A movie every generation will love!!!! I not only thought best kid film of the yea, but easily one of my favorites of the year. Expand
  4. Karen
    Aug 23, 2009
    An amazingly and wonderfully directed movie with great humour and music. The cast have performed so well and fulfilled their characters perfectly. Cannot wait to get to see it again. Truly recommended, you do not want to miss such a great movie. Expand
  5. ChadS.
    Aug 14, 2009
    The fact that "Bandslam" rocks at all is a miracle, but it does, in spite of its need to corner the teen girls market. It's a charming indie that allow itself to be hijacked by a Disney sensibility, culminating in the decidedly unrocking song that Can't Go On, I Will Go On plays at the Bandslam competition. It sounds completely dislocated from the sort of music that Will(Gaelen Connell) would endorse. The movie feels compromised, as if a deal was struck. In exchange for a wider release, the songs had to suck. The songs don't always suck though, and that's the tragedy of it all. If the filmmaker stayed true to his indie roots(he has the cred; he made "Camp"), the Sa5m-led nonet(a 9-piece band) would have tried to top the truly galvanizing indie-rocker which Charlotte(Alyson Michalka), the head cheerleader gone riot grrl, fronts after Will assembles the band in its most indelible incarnation. Musically, that was the film's last hurrah. To win the competition, the band's brainchild tells Charlotte they need to find the right song. What the pom-pom girl comes back to Will with seems straight out of "High School Musical", but he loves it, inexplicably, a song that no respectable David Bowie devotee would ever own up to loving. Although the music stops making sense, "Bandslam" survives the encroaching blandness of market-driven teen pop, because the three principal leads never stop making sense. "Bandslam" plays like a loving tribute to John Hughes' "The Breakfast Club", in which the utopia created in that library, lives on through the next day in the school hallways and beyond. In "Bandslam", the cheerleader and the nerd become friends. (Vanessa Hudgens could be an update of the Ally Sheedy character.) What if Claire(Molly Ringwald) didn't forget about Brian(Anthony Michael Hall)? Like the beloved 1985 film, Charlotte tells Will that their friendship is an experiment, but unlike that classic of the teen movie genre, it never panders. And still, "Bandslam" is an enormously appealing "let's put on a show" sort of movie that actually feels, to quote another Simple Minds song, "alive and kicking". Expand
  6. bobv
    Aug 30, 2009
    Ya the ending song set up should have been stronger but very funny in parts and flowed well into different modes of real life teen feelings. I know that taking my 16 year old who thought it was the summers best movie. Maybe best to not have it in high school but on the street to shed the old mattra. Expand
  7. ChrisJ.
    Aug 19, 2009
    A pleasant surprise? Not too pleasant, of course, it's typical teen fare. At least it's short and it's got a few good tunes.