Roll Bounce

  • Review Date: December 12, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

Common Sense Media says

At times tedious, mostly fine for ages 13+.
  • Review Date: December 12, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids are sweet, roller-skating is fun, father and son come together.

Violence

Some fighting between boys, Bow Wow smashes his dad's car with a crowbar.

Sex

Some references to sex, mostly men or boys ogliing tightly dressed women.

Language

Including damn, ass, mo-fo, motherf***r, and the n-word.

Consumerism

Nostaligic product everywhere, including references to What's Happening!!, Kool-Aid, The Mod Squad, Fruit of the Loom, the Fonz (Happy Days), Baretta, Kung Fu, Jordache Jeans, Fat Albert, YooHoo, Pacman, Ford Mustang, Atari.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Brief drinking at a party attended by adults.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie includes sexual references (primarily, men or boys ogling tight-dressed women), crude humor (jokes about a girl wearing braces and other boyish shenanigans), and some language (including the "N" word). As a coming of age story, the movie focuses on the ways a family copes with the recent death of the mother. Father-son tensions eventually lead to a fight, where son smashes his dad's car with a crowbar, and then tearful reconciliation.

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What's the story?

It's the summer of 1978 and X (Bow Wow) and his friends spend their time at the skating rink, preparing to compete in an end-of-season skate-off, against the intimidating Sweetwater team, headed by arrogant, beloved Sweetness (Wesley Jonathan). X clashes frequently with his widowed, newly unemployed dad (Chi McBride). X turns his attention to the rink, dad finally settles for a job well beneath his experience level. The father-son drama unfolds parallel to X's own girl-distractions. As warm-up, he makes friends with Vivian's daughter Tori (Jurnee Smollett), all awkward angles and long limbs as she learns to skate and gets pelted by immature boys' water balloons. Trying to keep up with the boys, she gives back as good as she gets when they make fun of her "heavy metal" mouth full of braces. X's more serious panic sets in at Sweetwater, where he spots Naomi (Meagan Good), a girl he hasn't seen for a while, now blossomed into full-on stun mode.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Lively, sweet, and yes, bouncy, ROLL BOUNCE is mostly innocuous, sometimes tedious. While the film means to be feel-good, its formulaic route to that end is often tedious. More symbolic than developed, Naomi only seems to exist at Sweetwater, where she provides pretty reaction shots as X and the boys ply their routines to music by Kool & The Gang, the Bee Gees, and Donna Summer. Naomi serves as occasion for X's crucial life lesson -- don't be mean to girls who are nice. The always engaging Jurnee Smollett is underused here, but the 1970s fashions, music, and references are sensational.

The intertwined plot points start to seem like a checklist leading to the slow-to-come denouement. Will X make it right with Naomi? Will he and dad reconcile? Will Tori be revealed as a beauty when she loses her braces? And oh my goodness, will the wisecracking, booty-ogling garbage collectors (Mike Epps and Charlie Murphy) ever find another outlet for their energies?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the death of the mother: how do father and son handle her loss differently and also similarly? Why does Curtis lie to his son (by omission) about not having a job? How does X's roller skating serve as an outlet and also a metaphor for his emotional maturation over the summer? And what about all those brand named goods all over the movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 23, 2005
DVD release date:December 13, 2005
Cast:Bow Wow, Chi McBride, Meagan Good
Director:Malcolm D. Lee
Studio:Fox Searchlight
Genre:Drama
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and some crude humor

This review of Roll Bounce 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.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byCrazy Chel April 9, 2008
AGE
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QUALITY
 

Great story, but my kids won't see it.

The overall story of this movie was very well done. Good acting, good plot, everything fit and nothing was missing. Their was a lot of humor but too often it included sexual inuendos and swearing. My husband and I laughed the whole time but there is little chance I would see it with my 17yr old brothers, let alone my 11yr son.
Teen, 13 years old Written byKADIJAH April 9, 2008
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I LIKE WHEN YOU ALL SKATE AND I LIKE WHEN BOWWOW DID A SPLIT I LIKE WHEN BOWOW TOLD SWEETNES THAT SOUND TO SWEET SWEETNES. THAT WAS FUNNY I LIKE ALL OF YALL. THATS A GOOD MOVIE AND PLESSA DO A ROLLBOUNCE2 AND I WHAT TO BE IN IT BUT I DO NOT NO WHO TO SKATE
Teen, 15 years old Written byJazzyB12345 April 9, 2008
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i luved this movie

his waz the most wonderful movie i have ever seen!

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