Save the Last Dance


Save the Last Dance

Critics Consensus

This teen romance flick feels like a predictable rehashing of other movies.



Total Count: 98


Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,845,749
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Movie Info

A 17-year-old high-school student sets her sights on being a professional ballerina, but she has to put her plans on hold when her mother is killed in a car accident and she is forced to move to her father's bleak Chicago neighborhood. Intimidated by inner-city life, she turns to the clubs for refuge, where she meets a young black man who shares her love for dancing. As their mutual respect evolves, they soon discover that peer pressure is a more formidable obstacle to romance than differences in race or class.


Fredro Starr
as Malakai
Vince Green
as Snookie
Dorothy Martin
as Momma Dean
Kim Tlusty
as Lindsay
Felicia Fields
as Woman on Train
Ora Jones
as Mrs. Gwynn
Tab Baker
as Mr. Campbell
Andrew Rothenberg
as Stern Judge
Mekdes Bruk
as Lakisha
Ronald Ray
as Stepps Slacker
Richmond Talauega
as Stepps Dancer
Brenda Pickleman
as Older Disgusted Woman
Julie Greenberg
as Gymnastics Teacher
Anna Paskevska
as Ballet Instructor
Malaika Paul
as Basketball Player
Jennifer Echols
as Lavatory Girl
Ellie Weingardt
as Ballet Judge's Assistant
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News & Interviews for Save the Last Dance

Critic Reviews for Save the Last Dance

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (47)

  • As teen melodrama, well, Carter's film is what it is; but for such a mainstream black-consciousness movie, at least it doesn't shy from addressing some touchy issues about masculinity, parenthood, and black attitudes to whites.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A refreshingly friendly view of a romance between people of different pigmentation, an area where more respectable pictures still wimp out.

    Mar 22, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • It's just a pity for the actors and the audience that the theme of conquering one's background, prejudices, and limitations has to be spelled out in block capitals.

    Apr 16, 2001 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Stiles and Thomas supply what this movie needs most: a heartbeat.

    Feb 6, 2001 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • It pays knowing respect not only to high school social politics, but also to racial politics among today's young people.

    Jan 12, 2001 | Rating: 3/4
  • The intent is a feel-good film, sort of an American version of Billy Elliot and I didn't believe a minute of it.

    Jan 12, 2001 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Save the Last Dance

  • Sep 16, 2010
    I just liked the onscreen chemistry between the two main protagonists. After watching this I felt that anything is possible, never give up, work hard, cheerish the good times, and when you have a good friend to give a strong boost HELLO! good to go. A decent teen picture from my era.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Nov 28, 2009
    I just found this to be extremely predictable and cheesy. It was an obvious attempt at a modern fairytale, in which the main character pursues her dream. The acting is extremely bad and alarmingly moody. I just felt there was no reason to enjoy this movie.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Jun 30, 2009
    This dramatic film also won MTV's Movie Awards Best Kiss honors for the kiss in the discreetly-filmed, inter-racial love scene between two Chicago dancers: 17 year-old would-be Julliard ballerina Sarah Johnson (Julia Stiles) and inner city black high school African-American student and hip-hopper Derek Reynolds (Sean Patrick Thomas)
    Arianeta L Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2009
    A classic in it's own way.
    Jennifer D Super Reviewer

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