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Whip It (2009)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 179
Fresh: 151 | Rotten: 28

While made from overly familiar ingredients, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut has enough charm, energy, and good-natured humor to transcend its many cliches.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 7

While made from overly familiar ingredients, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut has enough charm, energy, and good-natured humor to transcend its many cliches.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 112,622

My Rating

Movie Info

Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut with Whip It!, the story of an ex-beauty pageant contestant named Bliss (played by Juno's Ellen Page) who leaves her crowns behind after joining a roller-derby team. While her mother would prefer that Bliss unlace her skates and step back before the judges, the rebellious teen instead seeks the wisdom of rowdy mentor Malice in Wonderland (Kristen Wiig) in learning the tricks of the circuit track. The Mandate Pictures production was written by roller


Drama, Comedy

Shauna Cross

Jan 26, 2010


Fox Searchlight Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (179) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (151) | Rotten (28) | DVD (11)

Deftly moderating her patented eye-rolling poseur shtick, Page delivers her most charismatic and least divisive performance to date as Bliss Cavendar, aka Babe Ruthless.

April 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's just "Footloose" goes to the roller derby.

October 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Richard | Comments (7)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's that happiest of surprises: a multiplex movie that genuinely respects its young audience.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For the most part, the 34-year-old Barrymore, with much of her life spent in front of the camera and more than a few impressive producing credits already in the bank, proves steady on her feet, able to handle curves and straightaways with equal grace.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Love may be too strong a word, for me. But I'm deeply in like with Whip It.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Boisterous, cloying, simultaneously raunchy and innocent, hip and klutzy.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Led by Ellen Page, the movie finds the Juno star playing a slightly less cocksure version of the Diablo Cody creation.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Juliette Lewis and her crazy eyes pretty much make any movie better.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source:

[Whip It] treats its mostly female cast of characters with respect, and this is (sadly) a rare treat in cinema. Hannah Montana may be this generation's Spice Girl, but Bliss Cavender is the one really waving the 'girl power' flag.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix

It doesn't reach for an epic scale but is comfortable in its humility, and that makes it all the more stellar...

August 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Barrymore is just as determined to land some insightful and unexpected dramatic punches as she is with the inherent physical comedy for which the sport is renowned.

August 10, 2010 Full Review Source:

What impresses is the girl power spirit often prevalent in Barrymore's work, but also a its sense of optimism and warm heart.

July 4, 2010

A surprisingly energetic, provoking and entertaining coming of age story.

May 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Slight narrative arc notwithstanding, there's a lot of warmth here.

April 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Uncut Magazine [UK]
Uncut Magazine [UK]

Whip It follows the classic follows the classic tropes of any indie coming-of-age film, big game showdown et al, but does it all so well you'll be instantly charmed.

April 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Unlike most Hollywood teen product, here fulfilment comes not from what others think of you but from what you think of yourself. In short, it's Girl Power reinvented.

April 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Like the roller derby girls splayed out on the rink, Barrymore's film is frequently all over place but it manages to stay on its feet at the end. Just.

April 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Part underdog sports flick, part coming-of-ager, Whip It! trades on familiar formulaics, yet Shauna Cross' smart script (based on her novel) keeps things fresh and funny.

April 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The picture's heart is very much in the right place, with the characters all affectionately drawn, but boy does it drag, while efforts at raucous humour (drunkenness, a food fight) fall flat.

April 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Drew Barrymore makes her directing debut with a join-the-dots sports outing that's so brightly played - and so essentially sweet-natured - that its manifest cliches come up smelling of fresh paint.

April 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

With Page easily handling what little dramatic weight there is, the support players are free to focus on being funny, and they give it their all.

April 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Future Movies UK

Although there's nothing original about it, and although it's handled competently rather than with breathtaking élan, it's almost impossible to dislike...

April 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Sure, Whip It is clichéd, slight and formulaic, but it still has enough charm and wit to keep us entertained. And it's packed with girl power.

April 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

As a sports movie and as a mixed-up teen flick, it keeps taking unexpected turns, and unlike so many in the former genre, remembers there's more to sport dramas than just winning.

April 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

If the film were any more brainless, it would be a lump of rock. But if it were any less brainless, it might be less fun.

April 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Financial Times | Comments (2)
Financial Times

Audience Reviews for Whip It

I'm not much of sports fan or a lover of teenage 'Coming of age' films but this one worked for me. It's serious when it needs to be and funny the rest of the time, all the characters were believable and likable. It's pretty light on the cliches too which was a relief, I was worried at first that the 'Alternative' youth were going to be misrepresented but I don't think they were (although what the hell do I know about America's alternative youth today). All in all, an entertaining film and thankfully not some nasty mail fantasy of girls hurting each other. The soundtrack was great also.
September 16, 2013

Super Reviewer

Oh that Drew Barrymore can do anything...
October 22, 2012

Super Reviewer

Whip It have a nice team of actors, especially the 'return' of Daniel Stern. Drew Barrymore's debut in direction, however bring cliches of a typical teen romantic comedy and make her movie look a mix of 'Juno', 'Footloose' and 'Thank God It's Friday'.
August 4, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

    1. Bliss Cavendar: I would have called.
    – Submitted by B.J. S (21 months ago)
    1. Smashley Simpson: God damnit Dianne!
    – Submitted by James H (2 years ago)
    1. Earl Cavendar: I can take losing the money. I cannot take loosing the chance for our kid to be happy.
    – Submitted by Nasrullah A (2 years ago)
    1. Bliss Cavendar: Screw you and your grandmother's Chevy Celebrity!
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Earl Cavendar: I like smart girls. That's why I married your mama. Well, that and I knocked her up.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

  • Roller Girl (DE)
  • Bliss (FR)
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