A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Social stereotypes run rampant through the first part of the film, including the "ghetto" African-American girl, the effeminate gay man, and the dumb blond. They're disproven later, but they're in full effect through most of the film. Penn lies to his father about where he's going and the teams lie, cheat, and steal in order to win.
Violence & Scariness
A lot of cheer-related injuries, including teens falling and breaking limbs or hitting their heads (nothing graphic and no serious injuries). Scary dream sequences in which Michael threatens Carson with a chainsaw and Pepper drags Carson to hell. Sarah talks about disemboweling the competition, and Aisha says she's going to "slice" someone "like government cheese."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A lot of gratuitous bikini and butt shots of the girls. A lot of sexual innuendo (discussion of Carson's virginity, saying she could "take a little prick," etc.). Brooke kisses Penn to make Carson jealous. Carson and Penn kiss once.
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Infrequent use of words like "ass," "damn," and the Spanish "pendejo."
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Products & Purchases
The movie is practically a commercial for the Universal Orlando theme park in Florida -- it comes packaged with a promotion for the park, and the film features the park's Hollywood backlot and Jaws attraction. The film also features Boost Mobile, MySpace, the Hard Rock Hotel, and media personality Tara Connor.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Sarah says she's "a little high," but no one is shown doing drugs or drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this fourth installment in the Bring It On franchise doesn't offer much in the way of actual sexual behavior, it has some heavy-handed sexual innuendo and some characters who are overtly sexual. There's also some cheer-related violence, including falls and broken bones. More problematically, most of the characters are stereotypes -- the "ghetto" African-American girl, the dumb blond, the effeminate male cheerleader, etc. Though these labels are disproven later in the film, viewers would be better served watching something that doesn't resort to stereotypes in the first place. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The outcome is predictable, and the plot is inane. "West Coast Sharks"? "East Coast Jets"? Aside from the obvious West Side Story references, since when are cheer teams defined by their region instead of their school? And that's just the top of the iceberg: The story goes in a million directions, derailed by gratuitous bikini shots, trips to Universal Orlando roller coasters, and bizarre dream sequences. By the time the cheerleaders get to their Breakfast Club-style bonding moments, you probably won't care.
Thank goodness that the cheering is actually pretty cool. Occasionally you can even catch a glimpse of a real cheerleader -- muscular and wearing a leg brace from the serious athletic strain the sport demands. And the "cheer rumble," which takes place through a Universal backlot, is a great moment. But given all of the movie's ridiculous stereotypes, even that high point doesn't make In It to Win It worth your teen's time.
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Our Editors Recommend
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