Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

Work It

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sweet teen tale has great dancing; language, innuendo.

Movie PG-13 2020 92 minutes
Work It Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 13+

Cheesy and inappropriate

This movie might appeal to 8-12 year olds; however, there are some WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE scenes that just should not be in there. The worst was when a guy on a rival dance team gets an erection and the team is disqualified. The camera cuts to a close up of the guy's pants and lingers for an awkward amount of time. Really Netflix? Just who are your writers? Couldn't they come up with another way to have the team disqualified? It was such an inappropriate scene for my 12-year-old daughter. I'm so fed up with this type of thing. Aside from the inappropriateness, the plot was predictable, and even my tween found the storyline cheesy. I feel like the writers probably wrote the script in a day, cynically rehashing tropes from other movies. That said, it was mildly entertaining. Mostly we enjoyed pointing out how bad it was.
age 16+

Alludes to questionable things for being rated pg

Overall the movie is fun and laidback to watch. It is quite cringy, but what dance movie isn't. There was a fair amount of swearing, mostly the word sh*t. The movie hinted at sex and had sexual innuendo's throughout. Like it was said in another comment, there was one scene where the camera was focused on an erection for far too long (no pun intended). In another, it references the elderly watching fifty shades of grey and how one older gentleman can no longer watch it due to a certain incident. There were also many spiritual elements that I feel were out of place and not needed. The main character prays to Beyonce, a side character talked about the rapture frequently, and there is a scene where they "sage the space". I found that to be very odd in this type of movie as it makes me question who this movie is directed at. There is also a strong political aspect to the film in regards to the left-wing. On a more positive note, there is a strong sense of friendship and pushing towards one's goals. The main character continues to persevere through all the hardships she faces in reaching her goal(s). As you watch the movie she finds her passion for dancing and you watch her get progressively happier. Overall, it is an okay film, but I believe it is the best fit for older teenagers and above.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (32 ):

This is a refreshingly likable high school movie that follows a formula but hits just the right notes nonetheless. This is largely thanks to the charisma -- not to mention dancing chops -- of its multitalented lead cast, many of whom will be known to the film's target audience for creative endeavors beyond acting. Sabrina Carpenter is sweet as Quinn, the do-gooder with a purpose. Liza Koshy balances her out with some spicier humor as BFF Jasmine. Keiynan Lonsdale is divine as Juilliard, the Artist Formerly Known as Isiah, delivering the film's best one-liners, like "Sashay away!" and "Sage the space!"

Netflix should find a natural audience for Work It. The music-oriented teen tale can thank its predecessors for forging a well-worn path, with special nods to the innocent self-expression of the High School Musical gang and the discover-life-through-dance theme of the Dirty Dancing series. All the genre's clichés are here: high school pressures, underdogs and misfits, self-discovery, first love, embarrassing parents. That could all make this film predictable, which it is. But it's also enjoyable along the way.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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

See how we rate