Take the Lead


Take the Lead

Critics Consensus

Banderas is charismatic in the lead, and the dance sequences are captivating, but the story is too familiar and predictable.



Total Count: 120


Audience Score

User Ratings: 369,460
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Movie Info

Inspired by a true story, Antonio Banderas stars as internationally acclaimed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulane. The film revolves around a professional dancer who volunteers to teach in the New York City public school system. But when his classic methods clash with his students' hip hop instincts, he teams up with them to create a new style of dance and becomes their mentor in the process. "Take the Lead" co-stars Alfre Woodard and marks the feature directing debut of veteran music video helmer Liz Friedlander.


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Critic Reviews for Take the Lead

All Critics (120) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (68)

  • 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.

    May 6, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • 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

    Anna Smith

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • it's just ridiculous, it's just ridiculous. One cliché right after another. Not for one second did I believe any of this.

    Apr 10, 2006
  • While we may be able to pretty much guess everything that's going to happen in Take the Lead, its considerable charm lies in the way it fulfills, rather than bucks, our expectations.

    Apr 7, 2006
  • Think of it as the fictionalized version of last year's engaging documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, with teen dancers and sexier moves. It is also more formulaic and clichéd, thanks to the predictable plot and theme.

    Apr 7, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

    Claudia Puig

    USA Today
    Top Critic
  • Take the Lead is pure entertainment, if only for the endless amusement of watching Banderas spread the gospel of ballroom like he was born wearing a tuxedo.

    Apr 7, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Take the Lead

  • Oct 20, 2012
    The sole reason for seeing this film: Antonio Banderas in a charismatic lead role, and looking like he was born in a tuxedo. The dance sequences are captivating and entertaining to watch, but it's probably one of the most uninspired inspiring stories I've seen. It's full of cliches, and a formulaic plot line that couldn't hold my interest past an hour.
    Raymond W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2011
    Another great dance film. The fact that it was a true story made me like it more. Made it much more honest and happier.
    Bethany M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 19, 2009
    A nice depiction of a nice irony. It may seem to be a try hard dance movie but it's not. They delivered the movie well with a great story & great acting. Good film
    Lemuel M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 23, 2009
    This is a great dance flick. It's got such a good story, and i will say that the dancing isn't as amazing as the dancing i've seen in other movies, it's still fun to watch. Antonio Banderas is great in this film, and so are the other cast members.
    James H Super Reviewer

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