Girls Rock! Movie Poster Image

Girls Rock!

Girl-power docu has a strong positive message.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable

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.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:March 6, 2008
DVD/Streaming release date:January 27, 2009
Director:Arne Johnson
Studio:Shadow Distribution
Topics:Arts and dance, Great girl role models, Music and sing-along
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic elements and language.

This review of Girls Rock! was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Mad Hot Ballroom Movie Poster Image
    Enchanting dance documentary hits all the right beats.
  • Spellbound Movie Poster Image
    Families should see this m-a-r-v-e-l-o-u-s film.
  • School of Rock Movie Poster Image
    Standout Jack Black in nerds-become-cool comedy.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byargghh31 April 9, 2008
Parent Written byBabeHottyGal July 17, 2012

Horridly horrid

Bad. Not good for my daughter Karannnaly. she is 9. it was horrid.
What other families should know
Too much violence