Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 102


Audience Score

User Ratings: 107,612
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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.


Alyson Michalka
as Charlotte Banks
Gaelan 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 Dogs Guitar)
Casey Rogers Williams
as Ms. Wittenberg
Maggie Maye
as Kyra 17-1
Jennifer Blair
as Kyra's Friend
Zach Thatcher
as Kid Talking About Miles
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 Copeland
as Glory Dogs Drummer
James Hairston
as Glory Dogs Saxophone
Chance Morgan
as Burning Hotels Guitar/Vocals
Matt Moody
as Burning Hotels Guitar/Vocals
Marley Whistler
as Burning Hotels Bass/Vocals
Wyatt Woodruff Adams
as Burning Hotels Drummer
Farah White
as Sa5m's Mom
Nikka Graff Lanzarone
as New Art Teacher
Bobby Bones
as Bandslam MC
Jonathan Rice
as Stage Manager
Ryan Ciardo
as Kid at Lunch in Cincinnati
Bryan Chafin
as 1st Kid
Dallas McGilberry
as Staightfork Guitar/Vocals
Patrick Owen Tierney Jr.
as Straightfork Guitar/Vocals
Ryan Tierney
as Staightfork Bass/Vocals
Grady Saxman
as Straightfork Drummer
Valin Zamarron
as Hip-Hop Group "Zeale"
Jason Shaw
as Hip-Hop Group "Phranchyze"
Candice Jackson
as Hip-Hop Group "Candice"
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/Vocals
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
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News & Interviews for Bandslam

Critic Reviews for Bandslam

All Critics (102) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (83) | Rotten (19)

Audience Reviews for Bandslam

  • Apr 01, 2012
    Surprisingly solid for a teen film. Vanessa Hudgens' acting and singing, unlike her previous overrated work in HSM, was this time greatly improved in quality (unexpected) even for a slight less-written part for her character than the other leads. The deep build-up in character (uncommon in most typical teen films) also worked in keeping up tension along with the romance dilemma side of it, and I noticed almost no such cliche throughout. Apart from a small amount of corny dialogue present in at least two minor characters, it's worth a decent watch.
    Max G Super Reviewer
  • Jun 13, 2011
    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 Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2011
    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."
    Bentley L Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2011
    feel-good coming-of-age teen drama with lots of good music and cute performances
    Aldo G Super Reviewer

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