A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strong messages about hard work, teamwork, and watching out for your friends -- not just yourself. Other themes include self-control and humility.
Positive Role Models
The main character initially fights against the discipline of the marching band and is all about himself, but he does a major turnaround during the course of the film. Characters are at first suspicious of the only white student, then supportive.
Violence & Scariness
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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Some strong language ("s--t," "ass," "crap," etc.).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Drumline has some very strong language ("s--t" and more), mild references to drinking, and moderate references to sex, particularly comparing playing an instrument to making love. A character is "accused" of being a virgin. Nevertheless, the behavior of the characters is admirable. Laila makes it clear that she is interested in a boyfriend, not a brief encounter. Parents should also know that the movie addresses some racial discrimination concerns, as the one white student in the band is at first looked at with suspicion, but later accepted warmly. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie makes marching bands as soul-stirring as raise-the-roof gospel and more irresistibly, foot-stompingly, hip-hoppily thrilling than any video currently playing on MTV. John Philip Sousa and all of the Music Man's 76 Trombones never dreamed that marching bands could be this cool. Farewell to the nerdy reputation for "band camp."
Drumline is about more than music, too. The band numbers themselves would be more than worth the price of admission, but the story and the characters hold their own. The story may be an old one, but the details of this unexplored world make it seem fresh and the very appealing performers make it seem real. Orlando Jones is one of the most talented comic actors in movies today, but in this decidedly un-comic role he manages to make Dr. Lee seem dedicated and principled without being priggish or inflexible. Cannon is outstanding, making us believe in Devon's talent and charm. Cannon makes Devon confident and vulnerable at the same time, and lets us see Devon's growth subtly and naturally.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.