School Of Rock


(out of 5)

An immature, overgrown rocker () gets a wake-up call when his failing rock band fires him and he is need of quick cash to pay the rent. Deciding to take advantage of an opportunity that comes his way, he poses as his substitute teacher roommate (, who also wrote the charming screenplay) and takes a three-week stint at a very posh grammar school teaching ten year-olds. At first trying his best to work as little as possible, he overhears his students playing in their music class and decides they’d be perfect to help him win a “Battle of the Bands” contest that pays $20,000 in cash. The trick is to be able to spend every day educating the children about rock music and practicing with them while avoiding the awareness of the school’s uptight and quirky principal (). You get everything you expect from this movie the minute it begins, from the feel-good message to the adults-learning-from-kids themes to the grand production-number finale, but it rises above all of its standards with delightful performances, hilarious dialogue and a rocking soundtrack. Black is a bit overdone at times but for the most part carries the whole thing effortlessly, while all the children give marvelously unaffected and mature performances. The added delight comes from the always wonderful Cusack playing a woman who slowly comes apart from all the pressure as the story progresses. Watching her unravel is one of the film’s many great joys.

Paramount Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions, MFP Munich Film Partners GmbH & Company I. Produktions KG, New Century, Sor Productions, Nickelodeon Movies

USA/Germany, 2003

Directed by

Screenplay by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Golden Globe Awards 2003

Toronto International Film Festival 2003


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