Mad Hot Ballroom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mad Hot Ballroom Reviews

Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 17, 2015
It will sweep you off your feet.
Top Critic
Raven Snook
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Charming if slightly overlong.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 5, 2005
Listening to the kids talk is a treat in itself, but watching them strut their stuff in the final competition is enough to make you stand up and cheer.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 20, 2005
It's kind of like the dance version of that documentary Rock School.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 10, 2005
The kids are adorable, and so is the movie.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 5, 2005
Clearly, the dance lessons are life lessons as well, nurturing self-confidence, team spirit, the joy of dancing and even a slight touch of Old World etiquette in an otherwise too-busy- to-be-courteous world.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 3, 2005
Aside from being perfectly irresistible, the movie is also deeply inspiring, especially for children.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
June 3, 2005
The film's unintentional revelation may be that the competition isn't near as important as the education. The trophy is only a faint shadow of what has been accomplished.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
June 3, 2005
Wins you over with kid after kid after kid saying the darndest things about boys and girls, winning and losing, and a host of other issues.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
June 3, 2005
For director Marilyn Agrelo and screenwriter Amy Sewell, the documentary is a beautifully realized first effort. For the documented youngsters, it's a celebration of their stamina, tenacity and unforced lovability.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
June 3, 2005
Mad Hot Ballroom had me at '... and go!'
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
June 3, 2005
It's a dynamic snapshot of youth in the big city, of kids who talk tough and act up but savor the discipline and structure of their dance classes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
June 3, 2005
This engaging look at New York City school kids who learn ballroom dancing and participate in citywide competitions gains impact from watching kids learning unexpected skills.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
June 2, 2005
Although not a great film, it's a joy to watch.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 2, 2005
The dedication the youngsters bring to their dancing is infectious, and that gives this documentary a leg up.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
May 27, 2005
The kids are remarkably open -- and tentative -- about their feelings.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
May 27, 2005
There are so many funny yet wrenching moments that the film's refusal to stop and probe can be a gift.
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
May 20, 2005
Sweet and wise little film.
Top Critic
Sarah Kaufman
Washington Post
May 20, 2005
What is loveliest is listening to the kids talk. They are at a touchingly sweet stage, still plump-cheeked and mischievous, bravely trying to make sense of a complicated world and their place in it.
Top Critic
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
May 20, 2005
Offers a rare glimpse of what's on the minds of pre-adolescent kids.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
May 20, 2005
Watching the kids dance is irresistible, but director Marilyn Agrelo is sensitive to the full complex of emotions invoked by the competition.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 20, 2005
A crowd-pleaser of immense proportions.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 20, 2005
The film grows in rhythm and grace as the competition approaches.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 20, 2005
Take the kids. The 10-year-old I had the pleasure to watch the movie with was transfixed, racked with suspense, and mirroring the moves before it was half over.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
May 19, 2005
Warm, funny and very difficult to resist.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
May 19, 2005
A frisky charmer.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 19, 2005
A testament to the discipline, humor, and life of kids who swing.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
May 18, 2005
Resistance is futile. It's impossible not to be swept up into the uplifting world of Mad Hot Ballroom.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 18, 2005
This is an amazing documentary achievement -- easily as good, if not better, than any recent 'feel good' fictional story that Hollywood has put on the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
May 13, 2005
Director Marilyn Agrelo is able to capture with easy charm and grace what happens between 10- and 11-year-old boys and girls as they break out of their childhood shells and interact with each other.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 13, 2005
A lovely movie, full of real-life drama (you can almost see it being turned into an off-Broadway musical).
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
May 13, 2005
Mad Hot Ballroom is a crowd-pleaser of the first order.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
May 13, 2005
This winning documentary about fifth-graders who learn ballroom dancing is one of those movies that make the world a brighter place.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 12, 2005
It's fascinating to watch those who initially slouched and dragged their feet grow into nimble and determined competitive dancers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 12, 2005
New York City fifth graders determinedly go through the paces of traditional ballroom dancing in this slight, charming documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
May 12, 2005
Watching these lively people, young and old, express their wishes, confess their fears and kick uptheir heels is enough to make you proud to be a New Yorker. Heck, proud to be human.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
May 12, 2005
Mad Hot Ballroom is really about children being so disarmingly adorable that an overlong, somewhat lackluster documentary about them can seem like an inspiring triumph.
Top Critic
Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
May 10, 2005
One foosball game in an American-flag-bedecked Bensonhurst basement leaves us yearning for more intimate portraits.