A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bring It On's characters (cheerleaders in a high school, primarily) frequently swear, use vulgar hand gestures, and call each other names. Characters also use anti-gay slurs from time to time. This is a satire of high school life, but the satire might be lost on younger viewers. The film also touches on the issue of whites' appropriation of black culture.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Kirsten Dunst plays Torrance, whose whole life revolves around competitive cheerleading. She has just been elected captain of her squad, the five-time national champions, and it seems as though her senior year will be everything she dreamed of. But then one girl on the squad is out with a broken leg. And then real disaster strikes -- it turns out that their award-winning routines were stolen from another squad, African-American cheerleaders who could not afford to go to the national competitions. Torrance has to face challenges of ethics, leadership and romance to sort all of this out before nationals.
Is it any good?
BRING IT ON strikes just the right note, respecting Torrance's commitment and sportsmanship, but not taking any of it too seriously. The opening and closing cheers are the movie's high point, the first one mocking the cheerleader ideal and the one that accompanies the closing credits to the classic '80s song "Mickey," by Toni Basil. The issues of the white appropriation of black culture (going back at least to Elvis and Pat Boone) is an important one for kids to understand.
It is a darned shame that this smart and sassy movie has to include unnecessarily raunchy humor. Otherwise, this would be a terrific movie for kids, because it raises some important issues and it is a lot of fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this high school movie compares with others. Is it similar to films that focus on sports competition? Or is the focus mostly on social interaction and romance?
How is the issue of race dealt with in Bring It On?
How does Torrance decide what is important to her and show determination and commitment?
- In theaters: August 25, 2000
- On DVD or streaming: February 13, 2001
- Cast: Gabrielle Union, Jesse Bradford, Kirsten Dunst
- Director: Peyton Reed
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Arts and Dance, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, High School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: gross humor, sexual references, language
- Last updated: May 18, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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