Standing Ovation

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Standing Ovation Movie Poster Image
Tween musical competition with mean behavior, name-calling.
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 23 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Encourages following your dream and working hard. But the movie also portrays mean-spirited retaliation as funny and effective, and rude, obnoxious behavior as cute.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some preteen girls exhibit leadership and perseverance. Other characters are a mix of stereotypes: mean girls, street toughs, show-offs, etc. The parents (almost all are irresponsible) include: a compulsive gambler, a thief, obnoxious stage mother and father, and a ruthless business tycoon. An effort has been made to show ethnic diversity. 


In numerous scenes, kids intend to scare others, either as pranks or threats. To that end they use frogs, an electric eel, scorpions, fleas, and a menacing cobra. A chained dog with bared teeth startles some young trespassers who use spray perfume to subdue him.


An obese man is shown from the waist up in a bathtub and then cowering behind a towel. Some skimpy costumes and mildly suggestive dancing.


Lots of insults directed at kids: "fatso," "idiot," "stupid," "fool," "losers," "geeks." One use of "hell." Also some burp and fart humor.


Several shots set in New York City's Times Square include billboards and store names (i.e. Foot Locker, Virgin Records, etc.)

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A homeless man is seen on a park bench drinking from a brown paper bag.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Standing Ovation will be highly appealing to tweens, but there's a lot of mean-spirited behavior and name-calling ("idiot," "stupid," "losers," "fatso," etc.) to contend with. In a comic subplot, a precocious young girl, armed with a cobra, an electric eel, and scorpions takes on cartoonish mobsters and thieves. The potentially scary moments involve a guard dog and the cobra. Lots of stereotypes make appearances: an evil tycoon, mean girls, a gay impresario, stage parents, and street-wise kids. Two leading characters deal with and are saddened by the earlier death of a parent (one has lost a mom, the other a dad).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 1, 9, and 11-year-old Written byamymomof3girls October 24, 2014


This movie is a disgrace to all society. I can't believe I let my girls watch this. They are 11, 9, and 2 (well, my 2 year old was in bed so my older girls... Continue reading
Parent of a 10 and 11-year-old Written bythealefamily25 November 23, 2013

best movie ever

My daughter Kim, 11 and son Jay, 10 love this movie. I personally love it becauseit's so snobby and the girls are bad.rolemosela
Teen, 14 years old Written byemilyf August 10, 2014

Good But Could Be Better If It Had A Higher Budget!

First of all setting age appropriateness and all that aside I think the movie was very good. It could have been been better if it had a higher budget. Also now... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMusicallover2001 February 9, 2014

Best Movie Ever!

Such an amazing movie! The actors are wonderful and fun! Totally appropriate for kids and is such a good musical movie!

What's the story?

"The Five Ovations," a group of 12-year-old singer-dancers, want to compete in a music contest which will get them to New York City, on national TV, and a grand prize of one million dollars. Their strongest competition is "The Wiggies" a family of older, snarky teens from their own hometown, with talentless, stage-struck parents who will stop at nothing to win. The Ovations make a game try, reaching out to an odd assortment of almost-talented outsiders to help them. A sub-plot involves revenge for a father's death, as well as searching for stolen money and a dad who has abandoned his family.

Is it any good?

It's painful to watch so many kids trying in earnest to make this movie work. They have too much to contend with: a hackneyed story, terrible unoriginal music and choreography, ridiculous dialogue that is only funny because it's so poorly delivered, and, most of all, a clueless director who tackles music videos, staged dances, and performances that are well beyond his ability and the talents of everyone involved.

The final screeching, cringe-worthy element is a little girl who wants to be a star -- her name "Alanna Wannabe," of course. Given all that, there are 10-year-old girls who truly love this movie and who can overlook all that's bad for the eye candy of the costumes and the fantasy of becoming a star.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the parents in this movie. What could they do better? What are some qualities that you think are important in parenting?

  • The movie says: "Bad people make everyone around them feel bad." Does that ring true to you?

  • Making a music video would be fun. Could you work with friends to make one? How would you do it?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love musicals

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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