Take the Lead Reviews

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Kam Williams
San Francisco Post
June 16, 2007
Lean on Me meets Strictly Ballroom. Tough two-step replaces tough love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jette Kernion
Cinematical
April 8, 2007
Feels like a product, with decisions made for audience appeal rather than creativity.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
David Noh
Film Journal International
March 1, 2007
For the most part, Liz Friedlander's direction and frenetic pacing mitigate any real performance opportunities.
Camerin Courtney
Christianity Today
November 2, 2006
A fun romp of a flick that showcases the power of dance and the human spirit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Collin Souter
eFilmCritic.com
June 11, 2006
The poster says 'Never follow', while the movie itslef follows every cliche in the book.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
May 13, 2006
A feel-good story using music and dance to guide problem kids onto the straight and narrow.....entertaining, although not the showstopper we might hope for
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
May 12, 2006
A bogus, trumped-up 'inspirational' ending goes on forever and all but ruins everything.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Anna Smith
Time Out
May 6, 2006
While their transformation is predictable, it's quietly enjoyable, and the teen angle opens the door to romance and gritty gang-war subplots.
May 6, 2006
A scattering of dance sequences that fuse hip-hop and classical beats provide a few shots of energy, but Take The Lead otherwise plods through the motions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
May 6, 2006
It's still enjoyable, but never as strong as it should be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
May 6, 2006
Take the Lead offers few if any surprises to anyone who's seen either the aforementioned Breakin', Beat Street, or, most obvious of all, Dangerous Minds.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Helen OHara
Empire Magazine
May 6, 2006
The energy and rhythm keep it moving along gracefully.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
May 5, 2006
Liz Friedlander's "Take the Lead" is a fine example of how all the good intentions in the world can't make a poorly conceived movie good, though a good central performance can at least make it bearable.
| Original Score: C-
Matt Pais
Metromix.com
May 4, 2006
Their acceptance of the tango and foxtrot never seems like much of a dance dance revolution; if you're looking for more than just impressive dancing, well, you got served.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Rubin Safaya
Cinemalogue.com
May 3, 2006
...it goes through it's checklist, epitomized in 80's inspirational student-triumphs-over-socioeconomic-pseudoreality films like "Lean on Me" and its lesser-known predecessor "Stand and Deliver"...
Cynthia Fuchs
Common Sense Media
April 23, 2006
As even the film's dance students note in an aside designed to preempt exactly this criticism, this Michelle Pfeiffer plot is corny.
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon
April 21, 2006
This is never less than watchable but it's shockingly cliched throughout and let down by a badly directed, disappointing climax.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Larry Ratliff
San Antonio Express-News
April 17, 2006
Banderas, sans Zorro mask but still dressed in black, goes gamely into a screenplay and film that, frankly could be better.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Tony Medley
tonymedley.com
April 15, 2006
With very little dancing, this is a highly entertaining, feel-good 'Blackboard Jungle'.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Mark Pfeiffer
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
April 14, 2006
This conventional cross of Dangerous Minds and Mad Hot Ballroom can be beholden to the inspiring teacher movie formula, but Banderas' quiet grace keeps the film from pushing the motivational message too insistently.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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