Bandslam (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bandslam (2009)



Critic Consensus: Bandslam is an intelligent teen film that avoids teen film cliches, in an entertaining package of music and coming-of-age drama.

Movie Info

A gifted young singer-songwriter recruits the new kid in town to manage her fledgling rock band in this music-driven comedy starring Vanessa Anne Hudgens and Gaelan Connell. Charlotte Banks (Aly Michalka) has what it takes to be a true rock star, and with the battle of the bands approaching she's determined to win. Her chief opponent in the upcoming competition is none other than her egotistical ex-boyfriend Ben (Scott Porter). Ben may be cocky, but there's no denying his charisma when he takes the stage. With a little help from new arrival Will Burton (Connell), Charlotte's band begins to develop a unique sound and starts writing some original songs. Meanwhile, as Will and singer/guitarist Sa5m (Hudgeons) start to make a love connection, disaster strikes, and the band is forced to choose between conceding the competition or standing tall and finally living up to their true potential.more
Rating: PG (for some thematic elements and mild language)
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Josh A. Cagan, Todd Graff
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 16, 2010
Box Office: $5.2M
Summit Entertainment - Official Site


Alyson Michalka
as Charlotte Banks
Gaelan Connell
as Will Burton
Gaelen Connell
as Will Burton
Scott Porter
as Ben Wheatly
David Bowie
as Himself
Tim Jo
as Omar
Lisa Chung
as Kim Lee (Keyboards)
Elvy Yost
as Irene (Cello)
J.W. Wright II
as Dylan Dyer (Glory Do...
Maggie Maye
as Kyra 17-1
Jennifer Blair
as Kyra's Friend
Zach Thatcher
as Kid Talking About Mi...
Derek Cox Berg
as Rapping Boy 1
Matt Hensarling
as Rapping Boy 2
Cassidy Rose Johnson
as Slapping Girl
Michael Cuomo
as Mr. Berry
Nathan McCray
as Glue Boy
Kai Roach
as Glory Dogs Bass
Christopher Scott Co...
as Glory Dogs Drummer
James Hairston
as Glory Dogs Saxophone
Chance Morgan
as Burning Hotels Guita...
Matt Moody
as Burning Hotels Guita...
Marley Whistler
as Burning Hotels Bass/...
Wyatt Woodruff Adams
as Burning Hotels Drumm...
Farah White
as Sa5m's Mom
Nikka Graff Lanzaron...
as New Art Teacher
Bobby Bones
as Bandslam MC
Jonathan Rice
as Stage Manager
Ryan Ciardo
as Kid at Lunch in Cinc...
Bryan Chafin
as 1st Kid
Dallas McGilberry
as Staightfork Guitar/V...
Patrick Owen Tierney...
as Straightfork Guitar/...
Ryan Tierney
as Staightfork Bass/Voc...
Grady Saxman
as Straightfork Drummer
Valin Zamarron
as Hip-Hop Group "Zeale...
Jason Shaw
as Hip-Hop Group "Phran...
Candice Jackson
as Hip-Hop Group "Candi...
Manjeri Krishna
as Hip-Hop Group "DJ"
Ben Kessler
as ICGO Saxophone
Andy Rector
as ICGO Trombone
Juan Lopez
as ICGO Trumpet
Evan Butts
as The Daze Guitar/Voca...
Chris Ritchie
as The Daze Bass
Aaron Lemke
as The Daze Drummer
Krystal Morton
as Art Class Girl
Todd Graff
as Screaming Teacher
Julian Riano
as Dewey Kid
Joey Olivares
as Rock-N-Roller
Joshua Montoya
as Screaming Fan
Nadia Sahari
as Charlotte's Aunt
Casey Williams
as Ms. Wittenberg
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Bandslam

Critic Reviews for Bandslam

All Critics (100) | Top Critics (30)

There is really just a lot to like here.

Full Review… | August 17, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

These are characters that make mistakes, they redeem themselves, and they grow throughout the course of the film.

Full Review… | August 17, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

Bandslam is hardly the definition of a great movie, but it is pleasant and bright and doesn't insult its audience's intelligence. And that's as rare and welcome as a well-crafted three-minute pop song.

Full Review… | August 14, 2009
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

A message that never gets old: On stage or in high-school hallways, sometime it's the losers that turn out to be the real winners.

Full Review… | September 29, 2011
American Profile

Fun without too much camp.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010

What keeps Bandslam afloat is the way its sweet moments find weird ways of stepping into convention.

Full Review… | November 4, 2009
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Audience Reviews for Bandslam


Witty, Emotional, and Funny! Bandslam soars above all the movies in it's genre. It has it's own certain style that grabs your attention and never let's go. When a sad moment come on the horizon, it is eventually saved by a happy moment that will put the biggest smile on your face. It is an amazing story of friendship and music. I loved Bandslam, and I'm going to be honest, it's better than I expected. In fact it is brilliant storytelling. Vanessa Hudgens and Alyson Michalka are amazing here and even Gaelen Connell who is an up and coming star from this film, is a decent actor himself. This is pure teen film with no swearing, but just enough laughter and emotion to keep adults interested. Bandslam ROCKS!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Bandslam is clever, funny, charming, and insightful, and Gaelan Connell is a surprisingly charming lead, but it suffers from some odd inconsistencies in its story and tone. There's also an unhealthy dose of that teen musical goofiness we see too often.

Kyle F.
Kyle Fowler

Super Reviewer


Since "Sucker Punch" released today, I decided to review another film that stars that hot hottie, Vanessa Hudgens. "Bandslam" is one of the most poorly marketed films whose trailers looked like it was only going to appeal to Disney Channel's demographic. And this is coming from the studio that made the first "Twilight" look like it was going to be awesome. No wonder why it flopped upon its release. Not to mention that it was going up against "District 9" on its opening weekend. I eventually caught the film on DVD and I was proved wrong!

The plot follows a kid named Will who is bullied and alienated in his high school. After him and his mom move to New Jersey, he meets a weird girl named Sa5m (the "5" is silent), who is played by ever-attractive Vanessa Hudgens, and a popular girl named Charlotte, played by Alison Michalka. Their school is participating in a Battle of the Bands competition known as Bandslam. Will is a music geek so he forms his own ska band to participate in the competition.

"Bandslam" is not predictable tween-targeted garbage. This movie is actually too sosphisticated for tweens. It features smart, witty dialogue and like what the RT critical consensus says, it avoids cliches. It also avoids predictability. It also adds a good blend of coming-of-age drama. But the drama is not too edgy, folks. So don't expect Vanessa Hudgens playing a depressed, knocked up teen.

"Bandslam" is a movie for music lovers like me. If you love classic rock from the 70's and 80's than this is for you! And if you're a Gleek, give this a watch as well. Heads-up for all the "High School Musical" haters: nobody bursts into song in this.

This is a film you either like of love. As for me, I really liked it.

"I do feel like Clark Kent."

Movie Monster
Bentley Lyles

Super Reviewer

Bandslam Quotes

Sa5m: Do you ever heard a stutter laugh?
– Submitted by Kamarul R (4 years ago)
Sa5m: We need another minute.
Will Burton: We don't have another minute!
– Submitted by WillKai K (4 years ago)
Charlotte Banks: Hey I'm Charlotte. Nice to meet you.
Sa5m: I've known you since fifth grade.
Charlotte Banks: Huh?
Sa5m: You used to babysit me.
– Submitted by WillKai K (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Bandslam on our Movie forum!