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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 34.75%
Average: 11.58%
Pretty Bad: 4.63%
Total Crap: 8.88%

13 reviews, 181 user ratings

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Bring It On
[] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"The best teen film of the past five years has already been broughten."
5 stars

A film that is as funny to teen-agers as it is to fun-loving adults shouldn't be such a rarity -- after all, everyone likes to laugh -- but a rarity it is, largely because teen films lately have relied on sappy, predictable romance ("Drive Me Crazy," "Here on Earth") and lame-headed humor ("Whatever It Takes," "Loser," Freddie Prinze Jr.). So when something like "Bring It On" comes along and proves itself one of the funniest films of the year, both for kids and adults, it is an event to be celebrated.

Directed by Peyton Reed, whose credits include TV's "Mr. Show," "Upright Citizens' Brigade" and "The Weird Al Show," "Bring It On" uses that subversive, satirical-but-not-farcical style to great advantage in its story about a San Diego high school cheerleading squad's attempts to win the national championship for the sixth year in a row.

From the film's first sequence, in which cheerleaders perform a number with lines like, "I'm pretty, I'm cool, I dominate this school," and another lyric about how "we're not whores" (I couldn't write it down fast enough), you know this is NOT going to be just another movie in which the subject matter (in this case cheerleading) becomes the most important thing in the universe, and the audience is supposed to feel inspired by their triumphs. No, this is a movie where cheerleading is lovingly mocked, shown for what it really is. ("It's only cheerleading," says one character, consoling a despondent team captain. "But I AM only cheerleading!" comes the honest reply.)

The action is at Rancho Carne ("Meat Ranch") High School, where departing team captain Big Red (Lindsay Sloane) has turned the reins over to senior Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst). When a team member breaks her leg in a practice, it's time to call in the replacements. (The over-long sequence of losers doing miserable auditions is one of the film's very few comic misfirings.) The winner of the audition is Goth-looking Missy Pantone (Eliza Dushku), who's got all the moves but hates cheerleading. (Her audition cheer: "I transferred from Los Angeles/Your school has no gymnastics team/This is my last resort.")

Still, Torrance convinces her to join the team, while simultaneously falling for Missy's brother, Cliff (Jesse Bradford), even though she supposedly has a boyfriend (Richard Hillman) away at college.

Trouble brews when it's discovered that all the moves Big Red taught the team were stolen from East Compton High School, an inner-city school that will be at the regional competition, too, which means Rancho Carne can't get away with using their material anymore. The team brings in a choreographer named Sparky Polastri (Ian Roberts) -- think Corky St. Clair from "Waiting for Guffman" -- to teach them some new moves, in what is probably the single funniest scene in the film. Imagine a flamboyant General Patton, and you've got this guy, going down the row of cheerleaders and pointing out their faults like a fey drill instructor. (Why does everyone have to diet? "Because in cheerleading, we throw people in the air, and fat people don't go as high." Also, as he adroitly points out, "Cheerleaders are dancers who have gone retarded.")

Sparky proves no help, though, and it's up to the team to come up with their OWN routine, in time for the national finals in Florida.

Full of snarky (but not terribly mean-spirited) dialogue, the film is a triumph for first-time screenwriter Jessica Bendinger. Evidence of the film's snappy, smart phraseology? I jotted down more lines from the movie than I did notes on the acting or storyline.

"Don't play dumb," says one of the cheerleaders to Torrance. "We're better at it than you are."

"This is not a democracy, it's a cheer-ocracy." "Well, you're being a cheer-tator!"

"Do I look like a milkmaid, because someone feels like a cow," says one of the male cheerleaders while holding a girl aloft.

That said, the acting is miles above most teen-based films. Jesse Bradford, particularly, as Cliff, looks a lot like Freddie Prinze Jr., but with the added bonus of being able to act, deliver a joke, and find humor in a scene. Eliza Dushku and Kirsten Dunst are also eminently likable and understated as the two heroines.

Aside from the obvious assets like good acting and comical situations, the film works for two main reasons: One, it cracks joke after joke, yet rarely feels the need to whack you over the head with them. The funniest parts are the throw-away lines, delivered by actors who seem completely unaware that they're doing comedy -- which, of course, is the best way to be funny, by appearing not to be trying.

Two, it avoids false sentimentality. Perfect example: When Torrance's unfaithful college boyfriend (who doesn't believe in her abilities, by the way, though Cliff does) visits and Cliff sees them together, he's a little crushed. He was waiting at Torrance's house to give her flowers -- a genuinely sweet gesture. He also recorded a tape for her, though. "Uh-oh," we're thinking. "This tape's going to be cheesy and sappy." (The teen-age girls, meanwhile, are thinking, "Awwww! That cute boy gave her a tape, and it's going to have an N'Sync song on it, and it's going to make us cry!") What the tape contains is a song Cliff wrote himself, a punk-rock tune with lyrics like, "I'd bring you flowers every day/Just to roll you in the hay." What could have been a gag-inducing cheese moment instead is made very funny -- and yet still, in its way, rather sweet, thus achieving both purposes.

While most teen films focus too much on the romance, which is usually forced and based on the fact that the principals are good-looking, this one focuses on the cheerleading, letting the romance be a well-played subplot, deftly interwoven with what's really going on.

The film also ends in a way that is legitimately surprising, realistic, and satisfying -- three things not generally associated with the genre.

In short, "Bring It On" is a smart, devastatingly funny film that doesn't pander to its audience. A grumpy old film critic declaring he LIKES a "teen movie"? I'm just as surprised as you are. But man, this thing is funny.

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originally posted: 06/30/03 17:48:16
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User Comments

6/22/15 David Hollingsworth not the best teen, but not the worst 3 stars
6/20/12 Jordan Kentris This movie has such a fun campy atmosphere, definitely one to watch again. 4 stars
11/20/11 cody a cool and funny movie about cheerleading, dunst gives a good performance. 4 stars
9/04/08 Rachel Surprisingly intellgent for a film about a sport perceived to be...less than intelligent. 5 stars
5/07/08 Regina George didn't really survive the school bus accident! Sadly typical of what Kirsten Dunst's been stuck in ever since VIRGIN SUICIDES ruined her. 2 stars
3/28/08 EY Watch this if you are into cheering 3 stars
6/28/07 gr117 Strangely adorable... 4 stars
5/28/07 fools♫gold A cliched teen film that somehow proves original in that it's actually well-done and funny. 4 stars
2/09/07 David Pollastrini Kirsten Dunst is hot! 3 stars
1/14/07 abigail het is een verse film 5 stars
5/24/06 john the greatest cheerleader movie ever 5 stars
4/06/06 r.patel wicked film never seen anything like it before 5 stars
3/01/06 John Aster Habig Gabrielle Union, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku 3 hotties working out adolescent teasefest 4 stars
12/22/05 cody sexy cheerleading flick, girls girls, a ok story, cool characters,and cool music 3 stars
11/06/05 Rachel This movie was good!!! I would watch it but not alot!!! 4 stars
10/11/05 Carolyn Rathburn high energy teen film, enjoyed it 5 stars
10/07/05 Wisamane you people who liked this have very small Isolated minds, this movie was horrific. 1 stars
9/10/05 Like thats ganna happen. Jessica Bendinger! Fucking Mormon?! What ever bitch! 3 stars
8/27/05 James Odgers Not to bad for the genre 4 stars
8/07/05 Charlene Javier More than I expected. 5 stars
8/05/05 Nate Frary I, surprisingly, enjoyed it. 3 stars
8/04/05 Carolyn Rathburn definitive teen movie, lots of energy 5 stars
8/03/05 Vessela Babinova very impressive 5 stars
8/03/05 Eric Rollins A guilty pleasure. Unfortunatly settled for political correctness at end. 3 stars
2/09/05 Jeff Anderson Good show! Dunst grates, but Eliza Dushku & Jesse Bradford deliver enjoyable performances. 3 stars
12/10/04 Jason Kaul The guy fingering the chick in the pyramid, and the eye candy is the only redeeming quality 2 stars
11/20/04 gaby reyes friend 3 stars
11/02/04 princess awesome movies i love cheerleading 5 stars
8/11/04 kklynn great movie,funny,funny,funny 5 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz nice cheers 5 stars
7/22/04 sophia it is very good!!! 5 stars
7/17/04 legend Pretty girl, cheer leading what's not to like? Good movie. 4 stars
7/10/04 nicola falkingham awesome 5 stars
7/09/04 J Cadiramen Kirsten is great and gives an otherwise niche movie real appeal. 4 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva cute and funny 4 stars
6/27/04 Charlene Javier Kirsten rocks! 5 stars
6/26/04 Thomas Pacheco Good family film 3 stars
6/25/04 y2mckay "It has a half naked Kirsten Dunst. What more do you want?" How about a FULLY naked Dunst 4 stars
4/29/04 Roy Again Masterbaters of the World! This is the Holy Grail! 5 stars
3/24/04 celina d capili nice film 5 stars
2/26/04 kate i think the film is the best its my fav film 5 stars
1/27/04 Chloe Brody It's perky, it's fun and now it's number 1!!! 5 stars
1/23/04 Evangelica Schnapfenschalz Another forgettable movie that now has a sequel. Rah, rah, rah! (Duh, duh,duh) 2 stars
1/12/04 HaylieSAntoro It is the Best 5 stars
1/05/04 Emperor's New Clothes? Nope. Just a Fat, Ugly, Naked, Guy. For everything that it's worth Bring It On. Like Totally Wow Okay! 5 stars
1/01/04 BeBe GOOD! 4 stars
12/23/03 smallz best movie 5 stars
12/21/03 melly it was great i liked it i liked it a lol :) 5 stars
11/18/03 he a great film 5 stars
11/05/03 Claire Giles It was excellent and cheerleadrs r kewl, will green u got issues!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/18/03 ya great movie to dance 2!!!!;) 5 stars
10/15/03 abie i think it is great , its really funny and exyra funny for teenagers , it a great teen movi 5 stars
10/07/03 fern fleming the movie is brill me and me friends are all wanting to be in a squad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/20/03 Archie Macpherson Movie was OK that Eliza Dushku is soo hot.. i'd get it just to watch her 4 stars
9/20/03 cori edwards the movie was fantastic, one of the best movies around 5 stars
9/01/03 Caila Beck Cheerleading is my favorite sort and that movie is so cool!!! 5 stars
7/20/03 amy Just prooves cheerleaders are airheads but make a good movie!!!!! 5 stars
7/09/03 natasha_theobald Dunst seems able to do anything well, great supporting cast, energy, and laughs 4 stars
6/17/03 stacey mcnab its great and funny and i'd love to an actress myself someday cause the film inspired me 5 stars
5/28/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!!!) I think my pal Daniel here agrees: Bad plot, bad script, cheesy, corny, & all synonyms... 2 stars
5/19/03 Amanda Drake It was a really great movie 5 stars
5/16/03 Danielle Jones My fave film 5 stars
3/30/03 Sully Eliza was the only thing worth watching - she's sexy as hell - movie blew 2 stars
3/20/03 CWA anyday WAR! If it involves Ms. Dunst & Ms. Union competing in uniform...Bring it on! 3 stars
3/20/03 Jin Too predictable and cheesy. Yo, Dark Horizons, Wild Things was good? Dork 2 stars
1/29/03 kerry this film is brill, i love it!!!!!! 5 stars
12/30/02 John Aster Habig Kirsten Dunst, will you marry me? 5 stars
12/23/02 3man Alot better than I thought. Eliza rules! 4 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Fun Stuff. Dunst delivers a Golden Globe worthy perf. 5 stars
10/24/02 Flounder Personally, not my cup of tea, but is very entertaining nonetheless 4 stars
9/25/02 Lauz It's cheesy, its's cute its absolutely great to boot! 5 stars
9/09/02 movie guy A GREAT FILM I LOVED JESSE BRADFORD 5 stars
8/26/02 Martin LOVE IT! Cute boys , Dunst and Dushku! 5 stars
8/16/02 .Choadushouse. This movie makes me smile and happies my pants!!! I love Eliza!!!! Amazing! 5 stars
8/01/02 violator well "Bob", if you'd look more closely,there are asians & latinos in the squad...nuff said! 4 stars
8/01/02 palaboy101 good movie 4 stars
7/01/02 sadia jawed greatest movie 5 stars
6/01/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi Alright, it's sweet, it's got the wit it can't be beat!!!.... 5 stars
5/16/02 Robin Jamil-Walid After VIRGIN SUICIDES fiasco, Kirsten Dunst struggles to show she's still alive. 2 stars
5/15/02 Blake The cheerleaders were awsome in this film. 5 stars
4/30/02 Phoenix Eliza Dushku Is Fucking Hot. 5 stars
4/28/02 Daryn I watched this movie 6 times in 1 & a half days, that kinda tell it all. Eliza is DEAD HOT! 5 stars
4/25/02 Butterbean That reviewer "Bob" needs to get a grip. Not a bad, it's just a standard teen flick. 3 stars
3/29/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) Cheesy and mostly stupid. Hot chicks don't quite make good flicks. 2 stars
3/13/02 Jenny Tullwartz Does for Cheerleaders what PUSHING TIN did for Air Traffic Controllers - better left undone 2 stars
3/02/02 Chowie Alright, we're sweet, we've got the wit we can't be beat, we're the best................... 5 stars
3/02/02 abigail it's KOOL!! 5 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee Decent, but nothing special. Eliza Dushku is hot beyond belief BTW. 3 stars
2/19/02 Alexi Bisch I really loved the movie, because it portrayed cheerleading from a non-biases point of view 5 stars
2/01/02 Geo7654 Highly uneven teen fluff. 3 stars
1/06/02 Mr adventure darcys big ass mad this movie =) 3 stars
1/01/02 Andrew Carden Such An Unfunny Way To Make A Parody Of Football Cheerleaders. 1 stars
12/18/01 Jeremy This was a really good movie 5 stars
11/20/01 Jaa It is totally cool!!! 5 stars
10/29/01 The Moorhen Pretty good. Funny too. The car wash was great! 4 stars
10/27/01 Monday Morning God, English not your first language or are you just illiterate? 3 stars
9/26/01 steven A bad ass must drive a 90s vw beetle as the trees must bend in the wind. 4 stars
9/16/01 peter psyche yo yo yo 4 stars
9/07/01 Jeff Eliza Dushku kicks ass, she is so hot, fun movie if you like watching 25 year olds play 15 4 stars
8/25/01 Yasmin Abdoo This movie rox! 5 stars
8/22/01 Jessica It rocks and I'm a cheerleader too!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/16/01 jonny this film is great as soon as io saw it i feel in love with jan, les and missy 5 stars
7/29/01 Cassie Sullivan I think it is the worlds best movie 5 stars
7/27/01 Gary Could've been funnier, but it's energetic enough and Dushka & Bradford were great. 3 stars
6/28/01 kris Pretty bad 2 stars
6/22/01 Tzila Seewald Bring It on! You just kick their ass! Whoo! 5 stars
6/22/01 Lane Awesome! Oh wow! Like totally freak me out I mean right on! Bring it on KICKS ASS 5 stars
6/12/01 KMK beyond god-awful 1 stars
6/12/01 Rebecca Hartnett It was a great entertaining oredictable teenybopper rainy day kind of movie. 4 stars
5/28/01 Meagan Awesome-the best! Iloved It 5 stars
5/24/01 lisa i think its the best film eva ! i luv it :) 5 stars
5/15/01 Samafa Gee THE BOMB BABY!! 5 stars
5/15/01 Will that was sorta amusing 4 stars
5/06/01 hippy like awesome, oh wow, like totally freak me out, i mean right on! toro's sure are number 1! 5 stars
5/05/01 Boby jo Kick @$$ video! 5 stars
5/05/01 MJM103171 Any movie that uses a line like "Do you speak fag?" "Fluently!" has my vote! 5 stars
5/01/01 bell esparza greatmovie 5 stars
4/25/01 X Loved when Cliff & Torrance brush their teeth while communicating w/no words 5 stars
4/21/01 Brandy Wicked movie...people say its a guy flick but totally both ways...Its a for sure "see again 5 stars
4/19/01 Megan I love the cheers, espically the opening scene! 5 stars
4/16/01 Kerry Gardiner It was a kick ass movie 5 stars
4/11/01 Gary This was a major dissapointment. Still a good movie, but not good enough. 3 stars
4/11/01 Leila Bring it on was great! 5 stars
4/09/01 alex tottally awsome movie! 5 stars
3/26/01 Nicole Rindahl That movie is the best!!!! 5 stars
3/26/01 Carla Wsiaki THIS MOVIE FUCKING KICKS ASS!!! 5 stars
3/25/01 ashley kestle kicks ass 5 stars
3/22/01 Dela What can I say? IT WAS JUST TOO FUCKIN', KICK-ASS AWESOME!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/20/01 Monday Morning A nice, feel-good film. Makes most other teen flicks look like steaming mierda. 4 stars
3/17/01 Chris Eliza is so hot! She should have been the head cheeleader. WOW!!! 5 stars
3/13/01 sara it was the best movie EVER!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/04/01 bullit17 Stunning. Breathtaking. Beautiful. And the movie was pretty good, too 4 stars
2/26/01 matt elkins fucking great 5 stars
2/18/01 The Bomb 69 extremely surprised, funny as hell and a great DVD 5 stars
2/18/01 Tom Beatty Eliza Dushku & Nicole Bilderback are really good in this flick 4 stars
2/15/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Wasn't as vile as I thought it would be, but nothing special, either... 3 stars
2/10/01 Mark Emmett I could watch this movie over and over all day long. I love it!!! 5 stars
2/09/01 ashley browne this movie rules!!!I love tammy curry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/05/01 Kate I wanna be a cheerleader!!! This film went off...Eliza you rock! And Nathan me! 5 stars
1/30/01 Torus It is the Best movie ever! 5 stars
1/29/01 Shelbanee THE BEST MOVIE! 5 stars
1/18/01 Gary I never thought i would enjoy a movie on cheerleading but i enjoyed it from start to finish 4 stars
1/17/01 alisa brown it was so briliant i have seen it 3 times and every time that i saw it it just got better 5 stars
1/16/01 jen eliza's hair was too cool and after seeing that who wants 2 b a cheerleader? 5 stars
1/15/01 jeffrey victorino the best teenage movie in a long time... ELIZA DUSHKU IS HOT!!! 5 stars
1/15/01 Karina Chow it's the best movie. Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku rocked! 5 stars
1/09/01 Natalia It was the best cheerleading movie I have ever saw. I was mind blowing!! 5 stars
1/01/01 jason yhe best chicks in the world Missi is my favourite 5 stars
12/30/00 Justine A wicked movie! 5 stars
12/18/00 Alyssa It was cool if you like that kind of stuff. 4 stars
12/16/00 A. Miller It was an ok movie with pretty girls and even some catchy tunes in it. 4 stars
12/14/00 derek deems this was total shit. i have never seen such a bad movie 1 stars
12/14/00 Mikey Not bad if you're in a goofy mood. 3 stars
11/27/00 Linda Ng It's a very good show 4 stars
11/12/00 biggun one of the worst movies I've ever seen 1 stars
11/04/00 lidi Bring it on is the dumb's American Beauty 1 stars
10/27/00 Nikki fuckin hilarious and full of cute guys, no, it sux, whatdya think ?!?! 5 stars
10/24/00 bornslippy a very funny movie, and Dushku just kicks ass! and where was Melissa George? 4 stars
10/13/00 Benjamin Lesbian Fun to watch! Seeit in the dollars though,or on video. 3 stars
10/02/00 Suzz one of the all time worst uses of celluloid in the history of western civilization 1 stars
9/16/00 Vitmore Kristen, you're beautiful! 5 stars
9/12/00 PopeFelix Not terribly deep, mind you, but a lot of fun. Worth a second viewing. 4 stars
9/09/00 Merripen God dammit this movie sucked! I mean, damn!!!! 1 stars
9/03/00 Loki This movie is the biggest load of __ I've ever seen 1 stars
9/02/00 Hollywood Hangover Fun, tongue-in-cheek satire of teen angst in Clueless vein 4 stars
8/31/00 Byzantine Altoid Almost as pure-hearted and delightful as Clueless. Kirsten, Eliza, and Jesse are great 5 stars
8/31/00 Jokko Stupid movie, can't decide if it's satire or drama. Maybe two good scenes. The rest sucks. 2 stars
8/30/00 DatherFrawdad eww 3 stars
8/29/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Black girls win, but the movie is still about White Chicks! 3 stars
8/29/00 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi You can watch the same thing on ESPN...for FREE... 2 stars
8/28/00 chuck Not bad 4 stars
8/28/00 TimmyToday Go! See! Bring it on! 5 stars
8/26/00 KAM Surpisingly good...many funny parts! 5 stars
8/26/00 **~**Persnickety**~** i am afraid to admit it, but this movie is damn good! 5 stars
8/26/00 Joe Levy This movie is a bigger hunk of crap than my brother Mikey's turds. 1 stars
8/26/00 James Vanderbee I think all the characters are sexy and i want to fuck all of them so it's awesome 5 stars
8/16/00 Faith A total blast, fun, great music, and Eliza Dushku, she's the best of the best. I'm in love! 5 stars
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  25-Aug-2000 (PG-13)


  14-Dec-2000 (M)

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