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Overall Rating
4.33

Awesome52.15%
Worth A Look: 34.41%
Average: 10.22%
Pretty Bad: 1.08%
Total Crap: 2.15%

10 reviews, 126 user ratings


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School of Rock
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by Scott Weinberg

"Jack Black: Comedic Leading Man...finally."
4 stars

Despite an undeniably and likably goofball persona, Jack Black's presence is generally most entertaining when delivered in small doses. Bursting with manic energy and an affable glow of mock-confidence, JB has livened up more than a few dreary flicks...while sinking the few he was meant to carry. But no more! Mr. Black officially has his cross-generational breakthrough with "School of Rock" - a movie so breezy and charming that it makes you forget how old-hat it truly is.

With a plot structure wedged together from the most popular comedy conceits of the past fifty years (snobs vs. slobs, inspirational teacher, cute kid cadre, goofball redemption, etc., etc.), Richard Linklater's School of Rock certainly isn't bucking for any awards in rampant originality. But since so many like to bemoan the fact the there's very little that's new under the marquee these days, it's always worthy of mention when an obvious "formula flick" transcends its blueprint and manages to deliver a meager amount of substance along with its boatload of source material.

Plus it's actually very funny.

Most of the solid yuks come courtesy of Mr. Black, longtime oddball character actor, hero of movie freaks, headliner of "Tenacious D"...and all-around Hollywood nutcase. The kind of comedian one wants to like...which made Shallow Hal all the more exasperating to sit through: not only was the flick strained and false, but Black was actually "toned down" in an effort to make a more cineplex-friendly leading man. Well, screw that. Jack's made his name by being an unpredictable, wobbling, keening, strutting maniac...so why not play UP to those strengths?

Such is the case with School of Rock, a potentially A-B-C generi-comedy concept flick that's salvaged at every turn by the infectiously funny leading man and a collection of kid actors more sincerely personable than seriously precocious. Wedging Jack's insane presence among a classroom full of pre-teens sure feels like a winning formula to box-office success (kids love the guy), yet we're fortunate enough to have this High Concept (a la Adam Sandler) concept presented with an admirable degree of comedic flair. And the flick's not above resorting to a few decidedly un-PC bits, which I both noticed and silently cheered.

The plot sees Dewey Finn (JB) pretending to be "Mr. Shneebly" - a substitute teacher for a class full of spoiled-yet-sweet kids. After snowing the stuffy schoolmarm principal (a resoundingly amusing Joan Cusack) and his fellow teachers, "Shneebly" begins focusing his students' attention to arguably the most important thing in anyone's life: Rock & Roll! See, Dewey was a rambunctious grass-roots rocker himself before his jerkwad buddies fired him from the band just before the oh-so-important Battle of the Bands and now Dewey aims to build his little classroom into a power of pre-pubescent rock power and...

Like I said, High Concept Comedy Schtick all the way, plot-wise in any case. In simplest terms, Jack Black IS the movie. Think Jack's a funny guy? Then see this one, because this is his largest and strongest and most consistent piece of work to date. His interplay with the kid actors is endearingly crafty. Jack's too sly to resort to schmaltz.

As each successive plot point pops up (principal implies she knows about the Big Secret, but it's a misunderstanding; one parent takes outspoken exception at the new Jimi Hendrix curriculum; Dewey's got a smarmy nemesis gal back home to deal with..), you'll find yourself having too good a time to gripe about how familiar most of it feels. Plus it's a perfect flick for teens and parents alike; grown-ups should dig the constant rock references and the funny bits, while the teenagers will dig Jack Black being crazy ol' Jack Black. And because it's not watered down to a Disney-fied degree, School of Rock never really feels like a Family Flick. Teenagers HATE "Family Flicks"!

If filmmakers like Linklater (Before Sunrise) and Mike White (The Good Girl) are going to commit to their inevitable "Big Studio Sellout" (whatever that means), it's reassuring to know that they'll do so with just a bit of the wit and craftsmanship that they brought to their Indie Flicks. Think about it: this movie could so easily have been Daddy Day Care Part 2. Ugh.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8224&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/03/03 21:27:36
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User Comments

11/20/14 Charles Tatum Lots of laugh, likable kids 4 stars
7/08/13 Monday Morning One of Jack's best - lots of fun. Just sit back and enjoy 4 stars
11/15/08 Annie G Fabulous acting from a group of young musicians. Just an overall good time! 4 stars
10/01/08 Shaun Wallner Funny Movie! 5 stars
9/21/08 Samantha Pruitt awesome family film, with really great music! 5 stars
9/07/08 Claire Sun Excellent movie, great for the whole family. 5 stars
8/10/08 PAUL SHORTT FEELS ABOUT AS LIBERATING AS A WHALEBONE CORSET 1 stars
7/17/07 Andrea D Freddy (kevin clark) is soooooo hot!! ( it is 5 stars because of him) 5 stars
6/27/07 Pokejedservo A genuinely appealing film, not a classic but its fairly close. 4 stars
6/06/07 ashley was frankie that fat kid? 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega This school rules!!!! Fun-lovin' movie. 4 stars
12/24/06 11pop lame and predictable 1 stars
12/03/06 R.W.Welch Appeals mostly to Rock fans, but gonzo perf by J.B. C+ 3 stars
11/05/06 Samantha OMG I went to Montosery Preschool with Angelo Massagli! He promised to marry me! 5 stars
10/19/06 David Pollastrini very funny 5 stars
10/17/06 AJ Muller God of Rock, thank you for Jack Black, who has melted our faces with his high voltage rock 5 stars
10/05/06 Stanley Thai One of the best film's...and it stars Jack Black! 4 stars
6/26/06 ClaranceTheCobra See this Movie 5 stars
5/26/06 Ace ROCK ON JACK BLACK! WOO! WOO! OH yeah! 5 stars
3/16/06 Gribley HEHE - I know all the words! TEEHEE!! :D 5 stars
1/08/06 Quigley one of comedy's finest hours. Black steals the show. I was laughing every minute, no joke! 5 stars
12/29/05 Steve Newman Excellent excellent excellent (dec 05) 5 stars
8/18/05 John Aster Habig incredible gifted kids, a hilarious script and Black's comic genius=sweet 5 stars
7/24/05 Lisa Sammi A very inspirational movie-I wet my pants laughing! 5 stars
7/23/05 Dan !!! :D !!! 5 stars
3/17/05 Mask critic its ok but Jack Black is fucken insane 3 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Very entertaining, feel good movie! 4 stars
12/12/04 Kristina Williams hilarious and the kids were awesome 5 stars
11/16/04 GAIL THIS IS A GREAT FEEL GOOD MOVIE.5 STARS 5 stars
11/15/04 random* warning: may cause uncontrollable grinning 5 stars
11/14/04 willie vergara excellent and entertaining 5 stars
11/12/04 Andrea I actually surprised myself by truely enjoying this one. Jack Black is a delight! 4 stars
11/10/04 Misti Jack Black is brillant. The music in this movie is pretty good. 4 stars
11/08/04 kpxpaintballer it rocked the guitar and drum solos and all 5 stars
10/25/04 DM Very funny and surprisingly sweet 5 stars
10/20/04 ralph by far best comedy of 2003.arguebly best of movie of the year 5 stars
9/16/04 joyce its really a graet movie... 5 stars
9/14/04 Marionne Rivero Kevin Clark is soooooo cute!!!! 5 stars
8/26/04 jmsynth Better then most "family" films, but overated and rarely funny 3 stars
8/21/04 ME Kevin Clark is F2F, he is sOoOoOoOoO LUSH, seen film 341 times in counting, it's gr8!!!!!! 5 stars
8/13/04 *Riaan* Kevin Clark is so cute and the movie was great!!! 5 stars
8/08/04 maryann paul dsouza awesome 5 stars
8/02/04 ian it was the best movie I SAW ALL YEAR 5 stars
7/30/04 THIS MOVIE WTFPWNT EVERYONE w00t! THIS MOVIE WTFPWNT EVERYONE w00t! 5 stars
7/25/04 Katie This i smy favorite movie! Kevin Clark is SO HOT!!!!!!!! : ) 5 stars
7/25/04 heather kevin clark is so hott 5 stars
7/16/04 monica hedway it's a brill film and ive seen it 24 times 5 stars
7/13/04 Mia I THINK IT ROCKED TOTALLY!!!! 5 stars
7/12/04 Monster W. Kung Hardly a masterpiece, but still a funny and entertaining light-hearted flick. 4 stars
7/11/04 rachel kevin clark is lush hes my husband (i wish) the film was brilliant 5 stars
7/09/04 christina vitello It was awsome move, 5 stars
7/08/04 Chelsey This is my favorite movie 5 stars
7/08/04 Summer the movie was rocken + Kevin Clark was hoooott!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/01/04 Lisa johnson i think it was and AWSOME move 5 stars
6/30/04 Jim Wasn't bad, but didn't hold my interest. He woulda been busted the first day. 3 stars
6/29/04 Amy i loved the movie it was the best Kevin Clark is hott 5 stars
6/28/04 Marissa Wolff Cool movie 5 stars
6/26/04 Paige This movie was a riot! It was so hardcore and awesome. Plus, Kevin Clark was in it so how c 5 stars
6/25/04 Kelsey this movie is awsome! kecin is so hot! 5 stars
6/25/04 Renee The movie rocked out loud! plus Kevin Clark is ab hottie. Luv u kevin! 5 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva very funny 5 stars
6/18/04 Kelso THIS MOVIE ROCKED! ThE MUSIC WAS GREAT AND KEVIN CLARK IS THE SUPER FINE! 5 stars
6/15/04 Shelby I loved the movie! what made it better was Kevin hes so HOTT!! 5 stars
6/11/04 Alexia I love Kevin annd the Movie! HE is HOT!!!!! 5 stars
6/08/04 Ron Miller Not for the older crowd, I'd have to agree, Black is a future huge star and will regretthis 3 stars
6/08/04 James Kustes Richard Linklater, Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, and Mike White. How could it not be good? 5 stars
6/07/04 Amanda This is the best movie ever and i know angelo massagli (frankie) hes soo cool 5 stars
6/06/04 Tessa I think it's a kick butt movie!!!! 5 stars
5/27/04 Courtney I love Kevin Clark he is so HOT!!! 5 stars
5/22/04 matt Kevin Alexander is sooooooooooo hot 5 stars
5/19/04 Diane Kevin Clark is hot! And the movie rocks! and he's mine! 5 stars
5/16/04 Katie This is the best movie ever! I LOVE KEVIN CLARK! 5 stars
4/29/04 jessica kevin clark you are so HOT 5 stars
4/16/04 John I love this movie the best move I've seen all year 5 stars
4/16/04 Soulis Sorry Jack, I admire your abilities but this movie is for grade school kids 2 stars
4/15/04 sera .c Kevin Clark is soooooo H.O.T. 5 stars
4/07/04 April Marie One of the most fun movies in a long time. Jack Black is the cat's pajamas for sure. 5 stars
3/31/04 Jess I wanna bone Jack Black, he's so fine! 5 stars
3/29/04 Amelia awesome!! i loved it Kevin Clark is so hott!!!! 5 stars
3/26/04 Kevin Radchenko This movie rocks! I love to watch this movie. 5 stars
3/18/04 Toothdoc Awesome movie...my kids air-guitared for the whole movie 5 stars
3/17/04 The Dude Jack Black is a fucking funny bastard. 5 stars
3/15/04 elaina hennig loved it great movie! 5 stars
3/08/04 Lindsay Kevin lives near me and I saw him at the mall! 5 stars
3/05/04 Ingo Nice and dull. 3 stars
2/18/04 The Big See Forced to watch this on a flight -- laughed my ass off! Great stuff. 5 stars
2/18/04 alisha jenkins it's mence 5 stars
2/17/04 Thomas Woolsgrove All the rock you know and some you don't, couppled with a classic Hollywood teatchers plot 4 stars
2/13/04 Littlepurch Blimey it went on FOREVER!!! Fantastic music and some funny moments but not great. 3 stars
2/11/04 garyrjb great film entertainment didnt need sfx or huge budget. just great fun 4 stars
2/05/04 Wendy Carpenter Almost as fun as it is preposterous. 4 stars
12/30/03 amanda it is the best movie ever 5 stars
12/27/03 Alien assasin Offers plenty of laughs. 4 stars
12/13/03 freddy lover HE WAS SO HOT IN THE MOVIE (we mean the drum player,freddy) 5 stars
12/03/03 Agent Sands Great soundtrack, Black's the new Carrey, & the script is AWESOME. 5 stars
11/22/03 lucille roberts Terrific, entertaining and funny! Loved it!! 5 stars
11/15/03 School of Rock Fan One of my all time favorites 5 stars
11/12/03 Mike i tire of jack black 1 stars
11/07/03 Cameron Slick Like Dead Poets Society, except good. 4 stars
11/06/03 Dombomb27 It was a movie aimed at teenagers 5 stars
10/24/03 Mike H Great 5 stars
10/20/03 Stephanie Hardest I've laughed in a long time!! 5 stars
10/20/03 Elizaveta super cute - jack black acts with 200% energy! 4 stars
10/18/03 yahoo reel fun 4 stars
10/15/03 Meegz I think I laughed twice.. 2 stars
10/14/03 charmaine: it was awsome i am speechless! 5 stars
10/14/03 Colleen I saw it twice..first with a friend, then with my family! Everyone loved it! 5 stars
10/13/03 Bailey wicked awesome, as Jack Black always is and uh...Jack Black rocks my world. 5 stars
10/13/03 Justin Weiler Worst movie EVER... The hype is a complete mystery 1 stars
10/11/03 Mezz The kids are fuckin' geniuses, little bastards, and that Jack Black, fuckin' crack-up! 5 stars
10/10/03 Valerie I Love this movie!!! 5 stars
10/10/03 Michael OConor The first laugh-out-loud comedy in a long time that doesn't bombard you with grossout humor 5 stars
10/09/03 Lewis A highly enjoyable, fun movie!!!! 5 stars
10/09/03 srburns Suprisingly funny 4 stars
10/09/03 Josh Groth Jack Black is hilarious!! The music is incredible, and it is all put together very well. 5 stars
10/09/03 nick2k there was some cheese-factor....but it all came together in the end...even without katie. 4 stars
10/08/03 Greyjack If you liked JackBlack in "High Fidelity", you'll like this. If you didn't, you won't. 4 stars
10/07/03 Erik Van Sant A comedy that consistently reminds you of why Jack Black is a God. This movie is awesome. 5 stars
10/07/03 your worst goddamn nightmare this was such a funny flick... Tenacious D kicks soooo much ass!! 5 stars
10/06/03 alexandra this movie was the bees knees! hmmm...i wonder how old that one kid was, he was hot!. 5 stars
10/06/03 J.P. Acco I loved this movie, But no solo for Katie made me sad 5 stars
10/05/03 Kaitlin This movie rocks and kicks ass at the same time 5 stars
10/05/03 Elizaveta simply great fun 4 stars
10/05/03 TheRealNapster This movie was awesome! I laughed for the beginning till after the credits were over! 5 stars
10/04/03 Kitty B. luv jack black 5 stars
10/04/03 Superdave very funny and entertaining 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  03-Oct-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 02-Mar-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Nov-2003




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