Rock School


Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. It's a big enough film to hold all the contradictions. Green has an ego and a gift for stealing the spotlight with a wink and a grin. Yet his respect for the kids is genuine.
  2. Hilarious, inspired, frenzied.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Irresistibly entertaining and full of unique character portraits.
  4. Through hilarious and charming interviews with the kids, extended chat sessions with Green, a few words from parents, and a healthy dose of performance footage, we get a sense of what sort of community Green has created, for better and worse.
  5. 80
    Engrossing and frequently hilarious.
  6. Rock School rips out in the gritty-underdogs-conquer-the-world story progression. In this real-life scenario, Green whips them into shape for a triumphant performance at a Zappa Festival in East Germany.
  7. 75
    You cheered Jack Black in "School of Rock," now give it up for Paul Green in the real thing.
  8. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that Rock School, Don Argott's amusing and spirited documentary, would seem a heck of a lot niftier if its fire hadn't already been stolen by "School of Rock."
  9. Rock School celebrates music, family, hard work and, yes, Paul Green. Best of all, it shows the flexibility of children to learn and adapt -- even when their teacher is nuts.
  10. 75
    A rousing, garage-band-style documentary.
  11. 75
    Green's approach certainly opens up opportunities for his students, and is a refreshing change from the lockstep public school approach, which punishes individualism.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    As a portrait of dysfunctional pedagogy, it's both refreshing and more than a little terrifying.
  13. Occasionally thoughtful and very entertaining.
  14. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Those who appreciated "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" will probably enjoy this documentary.
  15. 75
    Even with Paul Green's invective echoing in the back of your mind, nothing's quite so heartwarming as the sight of a young person blossoming.
  16. 70
    With a combination of talent and a child’s excitement and outrage for music, Green has a personality to rival Jack Black’s fictional rocker-turned-teacher from "School of Rock."
  17. 70
    The kids are great, but when they graduate from Rock School, will the valedictorian be the next Jimmy Page, or the technically proficient lead guitarist of a Led Zeppelin cover band?
  18. The scenes of Green lavishing affection on his charges under the closing credits go a long way to rounding out this entertaining portrait of a volatile but effective educator.
  19. Alternately hilarious and alarming documentary.
  20. Since there's no evidence in the film that Green teaches his students how to compose, improvise or experiment with the music, presumably the next wave will come from somewhere else.
  21. 60
    And while Ivy League-educated psychologist Green considers himself a natural teacher, his teaching technique involves pitting students against each other and haranguing them with rants that run from gentle, good-natured ribbing to flat-out verbal abuse, delivered at an ego-crushing volume.
  22. 50
    Don Argott's lively documentary, ostensibly a paean to alternative pedagogy, extends its subject a long leash, and he in turn does his damnedest to sabotage the project. Rock School ends up being a movie about just how little fun rock 'n' roll can be.
  23. 50
    You root for the kids, who are utterly captivating, but Green is another story. His shtick -- a combo of insufferable stage-parent and unbearable rock geek -- is exhausting.
  24. Paul Green seems more interested in what rock school can do for him than for the kids.
  25. 30
    Until the last 20 minutes or so of Rock School, the actual playing, while often startlingly good, is kind of boring.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. ChadS.
    Dec 12, 2005
    It's a little disturbing to see Paul Green on the stage stealing some of the limelight away from his kids after their performance at the It's a little disturbing to see Paul Green on the stage stealing some of the limelight away from his kids after their performance at the Frank Zappa festival. But you have to give him his due if musicians from Zappa's band are impressed. The highlight of "Rock School" is when Zappa's flutist lead the German crowd in a round of "we're not worthy" bowing towards the guitar prodigy. What's also great is the brutally funny put-downs of such multi-platnium acts such as Limp Bizkit, 311, and Sheryl Crow. They should know. They can play "Inca Roads", which we learn is the rock equivalent of Rachmaninoff. But it doesn't really excuse this instructor's boorish behavior. If you think it's alright, imagine him as a little league baseball coach, and he's screaming at your kid after a strikeout or fielding error. Full Review »
  2. FredN.
    Nov 4, 2005
    A lot of criticism of this movie is actually of Paul Green, saying he's overbearing, manipulative, demands that his students practice A lot of criticism of this movie is actually of Paul Green, saying he's overbearing, manipulative, demands that his students practice endlessly and rides their success or will ride their future successes to glory. Hmmm, sounds like every prominent teacher of music I've ever heard of. Why should a teacher of rock be any different than say classical? The movie is a lot of fun, especially if you grew up with rock music of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Full Review »