Spectacular!

  • Review Date: February 16, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Musical mixes positive messages and tween appeal.
  • Review Date: February 16, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie has positive messages about self confidence, self discovery, and the fulfillment of marching to the beat of your own drum. Although its view of teen life is highly sanitized, the characters face some issues that will resonate with tweens, like peer pressure and weighing personal ambition against the needs of a team. Before seeing the light, Nikko exhibits some bad-boy behavior (breaking the band's sound equipment, mouthing off to his older brother/guardian, poking fun at choir members for their choice of musical genre, etc.).

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Mild flirting between teens that culminates in one kiss. "Hot" is used to describe a teen girl.

Language

"Dumb" and "stupid" are about as strong as it gets.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this tween-targeted musical offers positive messages about self confidence, self expression, and finding friendship and inspiration in unlikely places. The main character evolves from self-absorbed rebel to a (mostly) reliable team player who's not afraid to stand up to peer pressure. Sure, the whole thing is a sanitized view of teen life (everyone's friends in the end, and, despite his missteps, Nikko gets to realize his rocker dream after all), but on the whole, it's a tween-pleasing tale with hardly any iffy content -- unless you count a teen couple's first kiss.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Rock star-wannabe Nikko (Nolan Gerard Funk) is a fish out of water after he's dumped by both his band and his girlfriend on the same night. When he's approached by bubbly classmate Courtney (Tammin Sursok) -- who hopes to recruit him for her show choir, Spectacular! -- he scathingly declines. But he changes his tune when Courtney promises him half the prize money if he helps her group win an upcoming competition against rival squad Ta-Da. Nikko grudgingly joins the troupe with dollar signs in his eyes -- but he quickly discovers that his talented new comrades are a surprisingly fun group. What's more, his fresh outlook on the competitive world of show choir energizes them ... but not Courtney. An ensuing power struggle threatens both the success of Spectacular! and the possibility of Nikko's own stardom.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

With SPECTACULAR!, Nickelodeon attempts to loosen the iron grip Disney established on tween-targeted modern-day musicals with High School Musical and its sequels. Spectacular! definitely has some similarities to HSM -- including a talented cast, upbeat song-and-dance numbers, and age-appropriate content for tweens -- but there are also some marked differences. Nikko is a bit of a bad boy, mouthing off to his older brother (who acts as his guardian) and flaunting a major superiority complex with the choir members. Courtney's also guilty of some errors in judgment, including allowing her passion for upstaging Ta-Da -- and lead singer Royce (Simon Curtis), who defected from Spectacular! -- to lead to promising Nikko money that belonged to the group.

But rather than weighing the story down, these character flaws actually benefit the overall package. They allow the characters to evolve -- and, in the end, that's what tweens will take away from this story. Spectacular! can't boast the same pure star power of its popular Disney rival, but it does offer equally kid-friendly entertainment with strong positive overtones. Though parents will find the story predictable and more than a little cheesy, tweens are sure to embrace it and the messages it sends.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about peer pressure. What kinds of ways do teens put peer pressure on each other? Is it always obvious, or can subtle comments or gestures have just as much impact? Have you ever experienced peer pressure? How did you handle it? Has fear over your friends' reaction ever kept you from doing something you wanted to do?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 16, 2009
DVD release date:March 31, 2009
Cast:Nolan Gerard Funk, Simon Curtis, Tammin Sursok, Victoria Justice
Director:Robert Iscove
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:93 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Spectacular! was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

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

Teen, 14 years old Written bylalaland0o0 July 19, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

blah

it ok...NOT the best film in history. high school musical did 10x better. thats all im saying! but it does have good messages to stay true your heart( same theme as every other musical movies). i give it 2 stars...for trying.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written bybackpack592 July 19, 2013
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

so so..

Niko is rather negative for more than half of the movie and the acting is not the best.
Teen, 16 years old Written byTotally500 June 12, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

speactular is airlight give it a chance

airight film for me just give it a try
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools