Take the Lead


Take the Lead (2006)


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


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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 (35)

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
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…
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…

A predictable and yet thoroughly enjoyable drama about the redemptive power of dance for a group of inner-city teenagers.

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

Audience Reviews for Take the Lead

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 Wieser
Raymond Wieser

Super Reviewer

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 Murphy
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

The whole bring-culture-to-the-inner-city-kids thing is so overdone, but the dances are nice.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer


really moving story about a dance teacher. the only difficulty the movie shows is trying to keep track of and further so many different stories and characters.

Thomas Bowler
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

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