Camp Rock

Movie review by
Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
Camp Rock Movie Poster Image
Disney turns out a fun, clean, surefire tween hit.
  • NR
  • 2008
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 97 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Not intended to be educational, other than teaching kids positive messages about being true to themselves.

Positive Messages

Strong, frequently reiterated positive messages about believing in yourself and being who you are.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although many characters do plenty of iffy things -- lying, purposely getting people in trouble, embarrassing others in public, acting better than other people, being rude to adults and other kids, etc. -- they definitely learn their lessons in the end. Tess is materalistic and the epitome of a "mean girl" for much of the movie, though her behavior has clear causes (her famous mother is very distant); Shane also behaves like a self-entitled snot until he learns the error of his ways. The cast is impressively diverse, and Mitchie -- who makes plenty of mistakes but learns from them -- is a very relatable character for tween and teen girls.

Violence & Scariness

A few pratfalls and some shouting matches.

Sexy Stuff

Many of the girls are ga-ga for rock star Shane Gray. Shane and Mitchie flirt and look intensely into each other's eyes, but that's about as racy as it gets.

Language

Words like "jerk," "stupid," "loser," and "shut up" are used infrequently.

Consumerism

The movie is part of an enormous marketing campaign.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, like High School Musical before it, this is a cute, upbeat musical comedy that tweens will be dying to see (thanks in no small part to a) Disney's massive marketing campaign and b) the fact that all three Jonas Brothers are in it). More jaded older kids may not entirely buy the movie's squeaky-clean version of teen life, but younger kids will love it -- and they'll get plenty of positive messages about believing in yourself and being who you are in between the catchy songs. Some characters do things that are clearly wrong -- lying, treating other people poorly, acting selfishly -- but they all learn their lesson in the end. Expect some flirting and a couple of near kisses (again, just like HSM).

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6-year-old Written byKarenLB1983 September 4, 2019

1 hour and 37 minutes of hell and suffering

Quite frankly, I'm at a loss for words. Please, pardon me while I try to articulate the intense emotions I'm currently experiencing. Where do I even... Continue reading
Adult Written byOddball20 January 6, 2020

Okay

I know a lot of people love this movie and I like it too. It had a good story but it was a little slow. Overall I am glad I watched it but I would not watch aga... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byIrateyourmovies October 9, 2009

you should be proud of who you are not lie about it

This movie had some awesome music.... I will give it that. But I couldn't help but lose interest, because all she could seem to do was lie about who she i... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byEllyeGrace833 August 20, 2018

Inspired me to sing

I may have been 6 and in kindergarten when this movie came out, but it was still enough to inspire me to sing today. I'm in high school and I still listen... Continue reading

What's the story?

School's almost out, and the only thing that music-loving teen Mitchie Torres (Demi Lovato) wants to do for the summer is hone her talents at Camp Rock. But in order to afford the fees, her caterer mom (Maria Canals-Barrera) will have to be the camp chef. That doesn't bother down-to-earth Mitchie until she meets rich, popular Tess Tyler (Meaghan Jette Martin); all of a sudden, Mitchie is lying about her whole life in order to impress her snobby new "friend." Meanwhile, bad boy musician Shane Gray (Joe Jonas) has been shipped off to camp to spiff up his image by doing some time as a mentor/counselor. Sparks fly between him and Mitchie, but even their sweet duet gets drowned out when Tess pulls the rug out from under Mitchie's feet. Will everything work out in time for Final Jam?

Is it any good?

CAMP ROCK is cute, fun, and full of positive messages about being true to yourself. Sure, the story's predictable and the characters aren't exactly what you'd call deep (though Lovato and Martin both turn in fine, earnest performances), but that won't matter to the legions of tweens who only had to hear the words "Jonas Brothers" to come down with a case of Camp Rock fever. Though middle brother Joe has the biggest role, siblings Kevin and Nick also show up (mostly to provide comic relief) as Shane's fellow bandmates in fictional pop group Connect 3. Naturally, the guys perform a song together ("Play My Music") in a scene that's sure to entertain fans.

"Naturally" may actually be the key word when it comes to explaining what sets Camp Rock apart from fellow made-for-TV hits High School Musical and High School Musical 2. Although the movies have a lot in common -- not the least of which is a sanitized, remarkably unnatural take on teen life -- in Camp Rock, all of the musical numbers (and there are plenty, from Lovato's sincere "This Is Me" to the rousing "We Rock" finale) are organic to the situation. Here, the characters sing and dance because they're performers in training; no one randomly breaks into song in the middle of class or work to move the story along. It's a relatively fine distinction for a tween-targeted Disney movie, but it may be enough of a selling point for kids who aren't normally into musicals to make a difference.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why kids want to see this movie -- is it because of the Jonas Brothers? Because of ads they've seen on the Disney Channel? Or just because it sounds like a good movie?

  • What does Mitchie learn by the time the credits roll? Do you think she handles her problems in a realistic way?

  • Do the teens in this movie seem like real people? Why or why not?

Movie details

For kids who love music

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