Take the Lead
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Inspired by a true story, Antonio Banderas stars as internationally acclaimed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulane. The film revolves around a professional dancer who volunteers to teach in the New York City public school system. But when his classic methods clash with his students' hip hop instincts, he teams up with them to create a new style of dance and becomes their mentor in the process. "Take the Lead" co-stars Alfre Woodard and marks the feature directing debut of veteran music video helmer Liz Friedlander.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"While their transformation is predictable, it's quietly enjoyable, and the teen angle opens the door to romance and gritty gang-war subplots."
‑ Anna Smith, Time Out
"Think of it as the fictionalized version of last year's engaging documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, with teen dancers and sexier moves. It is also more formulaic and clichéd, thanks to the predictable plot and theme."
‑ Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Lean on Me meets Strictly Ballroom. Tough two-step replaces tough love."
‑ Kam Williams, San Francisco Post
"A fun romp of a flick that showcases the power of dance and the human spirit."
‑ Camerin Courtney, Christianity Today
"A bogus, trumped-up 'inspirational' ending goes on forever and all but ruins everything."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
"it's just ridiculous, it's just ridiculous. One cliché right after another. Not for one second did I believe any of this."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Take the Lead is pure entertainment, if only for the endless amusement of watching Banderas spread the gospel of ballroom like he was born wearing a tuxedo."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Feels like a product, with decisions made for audience appeal rather than creativity."
‑ Jette Kernion, Cinematical
"The poster says 'Never follow', while the movie itslef follows every cliche in the book."
‑ Collin Souter, eFilmCritic.com
"A scattering of dance sequences that fuse hip-hop and classical beats provide a few shots of energy, but Take The Lead otherwise plods through the motions."
‑ Stella Papamichael, BBC.com
"While we may be able to pretty much guess everything that's going to happen in Take the Lead, its considerable charm lies in the way it fulfills, rather than bucks, our expectations."
‑ Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
"A predictable and yet thoroughly enjoyable drama about the redemptive power of dance for a group of inner-city teenagers."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"For the most part, Liz Friedlander's direction and frenetic pacing mitigate any real performance opportunities."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"A feel-good story using music and dance to guide problem kids onto the straight and narrow.....entertaining, although not the showstopper we might hope for"
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"It's still enjoyable, but never as strong as it should be."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
More reviews for Take the Lead on Rotten Tomatoes

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