Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
Watch On
  1. A candy-colored never-never land that Peter Pan might envy.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    50
    The result unfortunately has the blandness of a mediocre TV sitcom.
  3. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    75
    What it lacks in narrative ambition, it makes up for in dazzling choreography.
  4. For the most part, the film's musical numbers are dynamic, propelling the story forward. The same cannot be said about Peter Barsocchini's colorless screenplay.
  5. Reviewed by: Perry Seibert
    75
    It's a well-produced yearbook that will one day bring back sweet memories for the cast and fans, but probably won't be of interest to anyone who wasn't part of the scene.
  6. Reviewed by: Catherine Dawson March
    75
    Disney raised the stakes by turning its hit TV-movie franchise into a feature film – and the bet has paid off.
  7. A sweet, innocent look at an impossibly idealized high school world.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Even if the refreshing gust doesn't stay with you long, it's fun while it lasts.
  9. Unfortunately, the writing has become so bad that it becomes impossible to keep your head in the game - even as your toes continue to tap to the beat.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    For all its unforgivable blandness, "High School Musical" opens young audiences to the charms of this most transporting of movie genres.
  11. 50
    High School Musical 3 wore me out, but I'm not the target audience. My favorite high school musical was "Hamlet 2."
  12. 38
    There is also something surgically sterile. The movie sounds as though it was recorded in a padded chamber instead of a bustling school, and it looks like it came from some alternate world, one that basks in the eternal sunshine of the spotless skin.
  13. 25
    If you're gay and/or eight years old, HSM3 is the movie event of the year.
  14. It's hard to complain about a pop culture phenomenon built on unabashed innocence. And anyway, we might as well get used to it: Neither the movie nor the passionate tween squeals at a recent preview leave any doubt that "HSM 4" is on its way - or that the inevitable "College Musical" will be far behind.
  15. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    60
    If you're under 12, you won't be disappointed. If you're over 12, the fact this is as funny and bright as it is insipid won't stop you from avoiding it like the plague.
  16. 50
    Right out of the gate, we realize that bringing the series to the big screen makes the flaws that much more obvious. The voices are too thin, the music and lyrics too simplistic, and the production values are – frankly – too "televisual."
  17. Teenthrob Efron will be missed in future episodes by both adolescent girls and their moms who are only too happy to accompany their daughters to the theatre, but he's a handsome talent who's graduated to bigger projects.
  18. These are standard youth-movie dilemmas, but they're brought to life by the high-energy cast and the musical numbers, which Ortega shoots with electrifying pizzazz.
  19. Reviewed by: Travis Nichols
    58
    No spoilers here, but there are enough hints that the incoming class of happy-go-lucky theater folk will have plenty to do in the already-in-the-works fourth installment.
  20. 70
    This is a movie that offers simple, buouyant pleasures.
  21. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    70
    For those scoring at home, the third entry in the "High School Musical" series is better than the second but doesn't quite sustain the unvarnished, giddy highs of the first.
  22. 70
    Exudes genuine appeal, thanks to director Kenny Ortega's brilliant choreography and a gifted cast.
  23. 70
    They give excellent value for money, launching into song the way that normal folk go to the bathroom--regularly, politely, and because, if they didn't, well, darn it, they might just burst.
  24. 50
    Set against a production design seemingly inspired by the American flag, director Kenny Ortega's choreography is industrial and efficient, if haplessly stranded somewhere between Michael Jackson and the Village People.
  25. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    50
    While Ortega and fellow choreographers Charles Klapow and Bonnie Story stretch their imaginations, there's something almost lazy about the picture's underachiever script.
  26. 58
    Efron is the epitome of sexless Disney heartthrobs, but he's an electrifying song-and-dance man, so much so that his castmates (Bleu excepted) look like they have concrete shoes by comparison.
User Score
4.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 125 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 42
  2. Negative: 23 out of 42
  1. JayH
    Feb 15, 2009
    3
    Disney has always been out of touch with teen youth, and they seem to be drifting further away, with HSM 3 being a good example of that. The Disney has always been out of touch with teen youth, and they seem to be drifting further away, with HSM 3 being a good example of that. The film is energetic, but the songs are unmemorable, the performances shallow and the story is silly. Lets just hope now that they are seniors the tortuous musicals will end. Full Review »
  2. CuhawkI.
    Oct 31, 2008
    4
    What a horrible movie and album. How does this sellout (movie) sell 200k (soundtrack) in the first week? The auto tune is actually What a horrible movie and album. How does this sellout (movie) sell 200k (soundtrack) in the first week? The auto tune is actually distracting enough to the point where you can hear jumps in tone and note if you listen carefully enough. The movie is too bubblegum pop and not enough focus on music. Full Review »
  3. Aug 13, 2014
    4
    Pretty much the same silly plot, enhanced with some career choice dilemmas, "High School Musical" is much more ambitious than the TV films,Pretty much the same silly plot, enhanced with some career choice dilemmas, "High School Musical" is much more ambitious than the TV films, but features the same idea that teen romance is more important than other things. Another profoundly failed attempt to discuss matters concerning teenagers. It is, however, undeniably much richer in terms of music, dancing and visuals. In spite of its disturbingly pathetic views on growing up and going after dreams, it is entertaining, if don't expect much from it. Full Review »