Girls Rock!

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Girls Rock! Movie Poster Image
Girl-power docu has a strong positive message.
  • PG
  • 2008
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Everyone, from the female rock stars who teach or have cameos to the campers themselves, supports a girl-power mission.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of rebel yells, but no actual fights. Head-banging music is played loudly, with some lyrics alluding to aggression. Frank discussion of sad and dark feelings.

Sexy Stuff

Some scenes show cut-up Britney Spears figures that are scantily clad.


Pretty clean, though the girls do use words like "pissed" and "idiot."


Shots of girls reading Seventeen magazine; mentions of MTV; brand names of musical instruments are clearly visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this empowering documentary, while not perfect, has a strong positive message about building young girls' confidence. The girls at the center of the action are shown trying to shed their feelings of disenfranchisement, and all of the adults who surround them -- particularly the women -- do their best to support them. There's little iffy language ("idiot" is about as strong as it gets) and no sexual content, drinking, or drug use. That said, the girls do talk frankly about their sad and/or dark feelings at times.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRavenW November 2, 2020

Inspiring for young rockers

Great documentary for inspiring rockers. Girls get together for a kind of rock camp where they form bands and learn how to work together to write a song, and pe... Continue reading
Adult Written byDvdT November 12, 2018

Inspiring, even for a dad!

I love how this funny and inspiring film and the band camp project demonstrate that girls can work together (as a band) happily, and without any "mean gir... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 2, 2020

Really good doco!

This doco is a good one. I think it teaches kids that it's alright to be yourself and to not care what anybody else thinks, and you should never give up o... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old November 2, 2020

Girls rock

The doco was really good, but there was some fighting in it and a little bit of swearing. There was some funny stuff in it and it really inspired me, soo that... Continue reading

What's the story?

Forget archery and macrame: At Rock 'n' Roll Camp, girls wail on guitars, scream song lyrics into mics, and find a way to express themselves (musically and otherwise) in just one week. It's a confidence-building exercise and a potent one at that. Tracking a handful of campers -- including Laura, a Korean girl with a penchant for death metal who craves connection, and Misty, a veteran of foster care and gang life -- GIRLS ROCK! explores the transformative power of making music. And not just any kind of music, but genres like rock and metal that are usually identified with the opposite sex.

Is it any good?

Empowering, insightful, and, at times, deeply heart wrenching, this documentary should be seen by every girl who's ever doubted her capabilities or yearned to feel like she belongs. (And who hasn't?) It's dispiriting but also illuminating to watch the campers navigate social circles with the bravado that so many girls put on to mask a fear of rejection. Interspersed with camp footage are statistics that appall and educate; in music videos, for instance, only 22 percent of performers are women, and they're five times more likely than men to be dressed (or, rather, barely dressed) in revealing clothing.

Girls Rock! clearly has a message. And it's a good one, but perhaps viewers don't need to be clocked in the head with it. The heavy-handed feeling detracts from the overall enjoyment -- filmmakers Arne Johnson and Shane King would have benefited from the light-but-deft touch used by the makers of Mad Hot Ballroom. Nevertheless, we'll take this over standard superficial piffle anytime. When the girls take to the stage in the end, we're ready to rock.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the campers' awkwardness and confusion. What does the camp -- and, by extension, music -- do for them? What about music allows the girls freedom of expression? Do any of them change for the better for having participated? If so, how? Can you think of other ways in which media can help kids (or people in general) feel better about themselves?

Movie details

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