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Rock School (2005)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 77
Fresh: 63 | Rotten: 14

Boasting an entertaining and eccentric cast of characters, Rock School lives up to its name.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 5

Boasting an entertaining and eccentric cast of characters, Rock School lives up to its name.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 14,899

My Rating

Movie Info

Paul Green is a man who declares himself born to teach kids, but he has nothing to do with the traditional educational system. Musician Green is the proprietor of the Paul Green School of Rock Music, an after-school facility in Philadelphia where kids from 9 to 17 learn how to play instruments and work together in a band. While Green outwardly seems like a loose cannon who yells at his students and acts only marginally more mature than a high schooler, the kids who attend his school love him and


Musical & Performing Arts, Documentary

Sep 13, 2005


Newmarket Films - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Rock School

October 5, 2005:
Summer Tomatometer Wrap-up #3: The Best of the Limited Releases
In the hot summer months, everyone's looking for a way to cool down. This summer, movie audiences...


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All Critics (85) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (14) | DVD (10)

So overpowering is Green's outsized, needy, arrested-adolescent personality (while you initially suspect he's playing for the camera, the blasé attitude of his students suggests he really is like this), it throws the movie off-balance.

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Their playing is terrific, but there's little doubt the kids are fulfilling Green's fantasy rather than the other way around.

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Green's heart, if not his head, seems in the right place. He's carrying the torch and holding it high, and his students seem to dig it.

June 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I don't know what it means that rock 'n' roll has become a bona fide after-school activity, but Rock School definitely kept my attention.

June 10, 2005
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Succeeds as a riveting movie because it doesn't try to lead us from verse to an obvious chorus about Green, or his uniquely abusive methods.

June 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rock fans will likely find the cast of characters and its 'überlord' founder compelling.

June 9, 2005 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all of his questionable methods, Paul Green gets results that are revealed when he takes a group of students to perform the difficult music of Frank Zappa at a Zappa festival in Bad Doberon, East Germany.

April 15, 2009 Full Review Source:

Watching the students band together to rock -- and the faces of the audience and participants when they realize what these kids are capable of -- is a joy.

October 2, 2006
Christianity Today

The documentary studies the different children at the school, some lazy, some brilliant, some sensitive. Argott traces their development.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The result isn't pretty -- but it does, on occasion, rock.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Where you'll find a bunch of raucous and talented kids, you'll find at least one glory-hungry grown-up intent on stealing the spotlight.

September 23, 2005 Full Review Source:

Engaging, ultimately uplifting documentary that is by turns hilarious and horrifying - but say what you like about Green's methods, he certainly gets results.

September 10, 2005 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

It's like Spinal Tap, only shorter.

August 23, 2005 Full Review Source:

Green berates and insults his students to push them to work harder

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Hail, Hail Rock School. Documentary about teacher the real deal.

July 19, 2005 Full Review Source:

It's unflinching, discomfiting, profane, with an ignoble real-life 'hero' and children who absorb the full brunt of his rage.

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

As a documentary, Rock School works just fine. As an advertisement for the Paul Green School of Rock Music, it's considerably less successful.

June 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

An intriguing fly-on-the-wall documentary.

June 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

The movie seems a little too much in love with the overbearing and self-aggrandizing Green - almost as much as Green is with himself.

June 24, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

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.

June 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian

A school of talented future musicians, but the film is weighted by their blowhard instructor.

June 14, 2005 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

A classroom is only as good as its student body, and School spotlights winners.

June 14, 2005

Paul Green seems more interested in what rock school can do for him than for the kids.

June 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Even a couple of Zappa's Mothers of Invention band alumni acknowledge the band done good -- not just as 'kids' but as musicians. And so will you.

June 10, 2005
Philadelphia Daily News

Audience Reviews for Rock School

Engaging and provocative, this home-movie-style documentary continually caught me off guard as it follows a teacher and his students. This isn't a normal classroom and the way they interact defies educational conventions. They're not learning how to be the next Beyonce or All American Rejects clone; they're studying Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Carlos Santana and Pink Floyd, much more challenging and complex music that requires intense skill.

The biggest kid of all has to be Paul Green, himself. The man throws tantrums and objects at his students and seems to have the f-word permanently programmed to roll off his tongue. He's obnoxious, condescending and an egomaniac, but the kids keep coming back, even after he makes them cry. An accomplished guitarist, Green chose to teach, but confesses he's not so sure he ever wants his students to be better than he is. His goal is to get them to the point where they can play Frank Zappa. And not just any Zappa song, he wants them to learn Inca Roads, one of Zappa's most difficult and musically challenging arrangements. Green gets his moment in the spotlight, but the documentary shows that it's the kids who really shine.
April 2, 2009
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

This is a good documentary about how children can better themselves through heavy metal and verbal abuse. All joking aside, this was kind of hard to watch. I just wanted to punch the teacher-dude in the face. The redeeming feature of this movie was the jaw-dropping talent of the kids in the movie. It was so gratifying to see an original Mother of Invention drop to his knees as a ten-year-old plays Zappa's tunes.
February 13, 2007

Super Reviewer

So there's this guy who runs a school for kids who want to play ROCK! (if you consider Frank Zappa to be rock), and he shouts at them a lot and swears and comes across as an irritating twat. The kids are talented though and worth watching it for but to be honest, It would be a LOT better if they got someone like, say, Jack Black to play a wannabe rocker who teaches upper-class kids how to etc etc etc.
November 21, 2010

Super Reviewer

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