Footloose Movie Poster Image




Remake is surprisingly fresh but still faithful to original.
Popular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie offers several positive messages, from the superficial (it's never too late to learn to dance) to the substantial (teens need to have a voice and to be listened to in order to forge real relationships with their parents and other adults). Even the romantic relationships provide a valuable lesson -- Ren rebuffs Ariel's advances until he feels that she's ready for him and not just getting back at her aggressive ex. Ren's mission to get the local council to reinstate dancing is inspiring.

Positive role models

Ren works hard to fix his car, to create a petition to reinstate public dancing, and even to teach his new best friend how to dance. He's kind to Ariel and is unwilling to kiss her until he's sure the time is right. We even know he nursed his dying mother at the end of her life. He's an all-around cool and mature guy. His aunt and uncle are also good role models of supportive, caring adults who stick up for their nephew. Ren's fellow students are a more diverse group than in the original. On the downside, many of the teens do iffy things, from drinking to dangerous bus races.


Ariel's boyfriend, Chuck, hits her in the face and gives her a black eye. A fist fight erupts between Chuck (and his friends) and Ren and Willard. Ren and Willard also get into a fight at an Atlanta club. Chuck, Ren, and a few others dangerously race old, tricked-out school buses on a track, and there's a crash that could have hurt someone but doesn't.


There's a scene in which a teenage girl is obviously about to lose her virginity (she starts unbuttoning her top and asks her boyfriend to shut the door); she later confirms this fact by yelling "I'm not even a virgin" to her parents. Also a few kisses and flirting and jokes about boners, threesomes, and dancers' flexible bodies. More suggestive dancing (grinding, etc.) than in the original.


Frequently used swear words include "bulls--t," "s--t, "a--hole," "dick," "ass," "piss," "dumbass," "screw," "prick," "hell," "damn," "oh my God," and more. One instance in which the derogatory word "fag" is used to describe Ren because he's a gymnast who likes to dance. The guy who says it is then called an "a--hole."


iPod is used and shown in several scenes.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens are shown drinking; Chuck (who's not in high school but could still be under 21) smokes a joint with his friends, some of whom are still in school.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this remake of the classic '80s dance movie is faithful to the Kevin Bacon original, which nowadays would be rated PG-13. There's plenty of language ("s--t," "a--hole," and more) and some sexual content (from jokes about threesomes and boners to a scene in which a young woman decides to lose her virginity), but nothing overtly graphic or that teens wouldn't hear walking around their schools. There's also a scene in which a small group of teens passes a joint around and then races buses on a dangerous track. But overall the movie's messages are positive -- that teenagers have a voice, that they can make a difference, and that they deserve to be heard.

What's the story?

After his mother dies of leukemia, Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves from Boston to live with his aunt and uncle in small-town Bomont, Georgia. A former gymnast and recreational dancer, Ren is shocked to discover that in the aftermath of a tragic accident, Bomont has a strictly enforced town-wide curfew on its teens and has made it illegal for underage adolescents to dance in public. Ren befriends football player Willard (Miles Teller) and grows attracted to the local preacher's daughter, Ariel (Julianne Hough), but he keeps getting in minor trouble with authority. With nothing to lose, Ren decides to challenge the system to finally allow dancing.

Is it any good?


Many remakes are unnecessary or downright depressing, so there's an element of surprise when one is actually decent. Director Craig Brewer's (Hustle & Flow) take on the iconic '80s movie manages to be believably "new" while remaining quite faithful to the original -- from the overall storyline to some nearly shot-for-shot, line-by-line sequences. Brewer's updates, in fact, are all quite subtle -- the locations are different (Ren's home city is Boston instead of Chicago, to accommodate McCormack's native accent, and he moves to Georgia instead of Oklahoma), the cast now includes a more diverse group of students, the teens' dancing is more modern, and Ren is motherless, making him yet another underdog movie orphan you can't help but root to win.


But for the most part, everything else is familiar -- and for once, that's a good thing. Wormald has an elfin James Dean quality that makes him cute but not distractingly edgy or sexy. He's got a winning smile and amazing dancing skills (better than Kevin Bacon's), and his scenes teaching pal Willard (Teller channels the best of the late Chris Penn's performance) to boogie are again some of the best in the movie. Hough sheds her ballroom-dancing pro persona (although there's a joke thrown in just for Dancing with the Stars fans) to seem like a real actress, but her portrayal takes a backseat to Wormald and Teller's. Dennis Quaid's minister isn't as fire-and-brimstone intense as the original's John Lithgow, but his tone is just the right balance of conflicted and protective. While this remake may not be the cultural touchstone that Bacon's version became, it's toe-tapping fun for teens and nostalgic parents.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between "authority" and Ren. Is he rightfully accused as a troublemaker? When is it right to question authority? Should teens be allowed to complain about the rules and regulations imposed on them?

  • How does the movie portray teen drinking/drug use and sexuality? Are there realistic consequences?

  • What's the difference between Ariel's relationship with Chuck and her relationship with Ren? Why does Ren tell her he won't kiss her at first? Teens: Do you think some people hook up just to make their exes angry? How is Ren different than the average teen guy?

  • Those familiar with the original movie can discuss the differences between the two and the ways the new one updated the story. How is the 2011 version faithful? How is it different? Which do you prefer?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 14, 2011
DVD/Streaming release date:March 6, 2012
Cast:Dennis Quaid, Julianne Hough, Kenny Wormald
Director:Craig Brewer
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, violence and language

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byDr3w November 7, 2011

Rebellious Teen Flick

Maybe this movie wasn't so bad. There weren't any f-words that I heard. There weren't any explicit sexual scenes. And I guess it wasn't really all that violent either. But does that make it a good choice for kids? Of course not! There are other things to consider as well. First, the sexual content, language and violence in this film are enough to give me qualms about letting my siblings see it. However, with inventions like Clearplay, tvguardian, and a remote, I could eventually let them see it on dvd despite all the bad content. That said, this movie is all about rebellion from beginning to end. The religious people are portrayed as self-righteous hypocrites who just don't want anybody to have fun. Sex, drinking, and dirty dancing are the most fun you can have in Footloose. Parents aren't honored, and the whole film has a teen-empowerment message. I don't know about the rest of you, but as a nineteen-year-old, I don't think that teens don't have enough freedom. I think honestly that most parents give their teens too much freedom! And movies like this show why this is a bad thing (indirectly). So, while this isn't the worst movie I've ever seen, I can't think of a single good thing about it. Sure, it's entertaining enough with all the music, dancing, and teen angst. But really, there was nothing even remotely positive about my viewing experience. I wonder if the rest of you saw the same movie I did.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bycheergirl795 October 15, 2011

Maturely amazing!!!

AMAZING movie... but everything in it! Def. not okay for anyone under age 12, best for 14+. There is a lot of fighting, drinking, and smoking, and there are 2 car/bus accidents throughout, but the role models and positive messages about teens needing to live their life in the best way they can while they still can overpowers all of that and leaves you with a positive feeling at the end of the movie. I haven't seen the old one to compare, but my mom said that this one was a little better and a lot faster moving. Julianne Hough did a really good job as did the other actors. And if you love dance, then this is a movie for you! Definetly recommend it! Oh yeah and it may seem wierd that I am 13 and recommending this for ages 14+ but my birthday is in like 5 days so I believe I essentially qualify as having the maturity level of a 14 year old. ;) Seriously go see this movie!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byasmit4 October 19, 2011

On for 15 and up, ok for younger with parents...

I'm 31 and loved the original. I had high hopes for the remake and we all know how remakes often don't live up to the expectations. I felt this remake was really amazing. I loved the movie. However, I wish there was something between PG-13 and R. I'd put this movie on the high end of PG-13. I'd say 9th grade and up. As listed, there is drinking, sex, swearing. Along with some fighting (actual fist fighting) and arguing with parents. Ren is a good role model. He has good values and respects Ariel. I just think given the content- 13 is a bit young. Now, when I was 13 I'd have LOVED this film- but just because I would have loved it doesn't make it an acceptable film for 7th graders. It deals with heavy themes- drinking, family dynamics, abusive relationships, the role of sex in teen lives, religion...I could go on. If you are going to have your young teens see this film- it's a GREAT tool for MANY family discussions. There is so much going on in this film that I feel teens are likely to gloss over the real issues and enjoy the dancing.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking