Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Bursting with raw talent and intelligence, Raya Green, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, has always been the family’s one great hope. She won the rare chance to break out of their drug and crime-infested neighborhood when she was accepted into the exclusive Seaton Academy. But when her sister dies of an overdose, the family is shattered and Raya is forced to return to the place she tried so hard to escape.
    It’s not easy to go back – especially when one-time friends, including the tough minded Michelle, see Raya as a stuck-up traitor who left the community behind. Feeling trapped and looking for a way out, Raya learns about a step competition with a $50,000 cash prize that could change her fate. Most of the crews that win the big money are all male, forcing Raya to fight her way in as the sole female member of the Jane Street Junta, led by the reining champ of the local steppin’ scene Bishop. As sparks begin to fly between Raya and Bishop, a false move by Raya leaves her without a crew, and she finds herself in a battle between her loyalty, her determination, her family’s ambitions and her heart. As the big contest approaches, she realizes it’s no longer just about the money or the opportunity, but also the one thing that she’s been missing in her life: a sense of self. (Paramount Vantage)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Mainly it’s a very solid dance picture, which is the point.
  2. Choreographer Hi Hat and director Ian Iqbal Rashid kick the film into high gear every so often with dance sequences, climaxing with a dance-off in Detroit that seems too short.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    There’s nary a twist you don’t see coming. But the film’s strong acting, spectacular dance routines and culturally specific details turn clichés into catharsis. It’s the sort of film that sends you home with a spring in your step.
  4. There's tremendous energy in How She Move, so much that the audience can't help but be swept up.
  5. 63
    Formulaic but well-acted variation on the theme of pursuing your dreams through dance.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    When the cast starts clomping atop a car, their synchronized bodies joining with the booming cross-rhythms, we're sold.
  7. 50
    The film's good intentions gradually get lost in a sea of overwrought contrivances, stock characters, awkward cameos from B- and C-listers (R&B singer Keyshia Cole and not-so-funnyman DeRay Davis) and warmed-over family issues.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3