Parents' Guide to

Desert Dancer

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Cliché-ridden dance movie has drug content, violence.

Movie PG-13 2015 98 minutes
Desert Dancer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Based on Afshin Ghaffarian's true story, DESERT DANCER nonetheless relies on a batch of dance movie cliches, from the "forbidden dance" of Footloose to a hokey onstage denouncement at the climax. Certain plot threads, such as Elaheh's heroin addiction, feel tacked on. And others are dropped, such as the fact that Afshin's best friend, Ardi (Tom Cullen), begins as a painter and suddenly switches to dancing with no explanation.

This serious, heavy movie paints a simplistic good-and-evil picture of Iran, with characters speaking English and adopting a Western viewpoint, and director Richard Raymond, making his feature debut, doesn't seem to have enough story to fill out a full-length movie. All that's left is the dancing, which can be beautiful, except that the camera restlessly roams over the performers, as if it's trying to actually dance rather than capture dance. But dance movie fans are still likely to be swept away by the old, familiar moves.

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