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"STEP UP"
(2006) (Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Extreme Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None *Mild Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Heavy Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: An art school dancer finds her life altered when she meets, partners with and eventually falls for a street hood who has a gift for dancing.
PLOT:
Tyler Gage (CHANNING TATUM) is a young troublemaker in Baltimore who lives in a foster home with his foster sister Camille (ALYSON STONER) and spends his free time partying or stealing cars with his best friend Mac Carter (DAMAINE RADCLIFF) and his younger brother Skinny (DE'SHAWN WASHINGTON). During a night of mischief, they end up breaking into the Maryland School of Arts and trash the place. But Tyler is caught in the act and sentenced to 200 hours of community service at the school run by Director Gordon (RACHEL GRIFFITHS).

Working as the custodian's assistant, he observes the various students there, such as dancers Nora Clark (JENNA DEWAN) and Lucy Avila (DREW SIDORA), as well as composer Miles Darby (MARIO). They don't pay much attention to him, but when Nora's dance partner sprains his ankle and her singer boyfriend Brett Dolan (JOSH HENDERSON) doesn't have the time to assist rehearsing her fall senior showcase performance, she takes up Tyler's unlikely offer to help.

The two are an awkward fit initially, and Mac isn't too happy about all of the time his friend is spending at the school. Nevertheless, Tyler works hard to impress Nora, and their working arrangement segues into a friendship and then romance, although they have their share of ups and downs. From that point on, Nora tries to fulfill her dream of being a dancer while Tyler finds himself torn between his two contrasting worlds.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teens might be drawn to it as a possible date movie, while those who are fans of anyone in the cast or dance movies might also be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic elements, brief violence and innuendo.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHANNING TATUM plays a young man living in a foster home who splits his time between partying with his friends and stealing cars with them to deliver to chop shops. After being caught vandalizing the art school, he's subjected to community service there and ends up offering to assist Nora in practicing for her performance (although his support and timeliness fluctuates). He briefly gets into a fight with a thug, uses some profanity, and ends up falling for Nora.
  • JENNA DEWAN plays a student at the art school who's always wanted to be a dancer, a dream that's contrasted with her mother's desire for her to go to college. She struggles to get her big performance choreographed and rehearsed, eventually accepting Tyler's help, although she gets mad at him for his inconsistent behavior. She uses some profanity and ends up falling for him.
  • DAMAINE RADCLIFF plays Tyler's best friend who parties and steals cars with him, but isn't happy when Tyler starts spending so much time at the school. He uses some profanity.
  • DE'SHAWN WASHINGTON plays his younger brother who wants to grow up fast and be like the older guys. He ends up stealing a vehicle and faces the repercussions of the act.
  • MARIO plays Nora's friend and classmate who helps launch Brett's career, likes Lucy and ends up going out on his own.
  • DREW SIDORA plays Nora's best friend and classmate who's a bit wilder than she is and eventually falls for Miles after going out with the wrong guy.
  • RACHEL GRIFFITHS plays the school's director who encourages her students, but isn't sure about Tyler despite seeing some potential in him.
  • JOSH HENDERSON plays Nora's self-centered boyfriend who isn't faithful to her or those who've helped him.
  • ALYSON STONER plays Tyler's younger foster sister who spends time with him at home.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 4 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered and a sexually related, slip of the tongue occurs. Various young women are seen in tight and/or revealing attire, there's some slight sexualized dancing between males and females, and a couple briefly makes out (with the film briefly trying to trick us into believing they slept together, but we don't know if that happened or not).

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including the male protagonist and his friends who steal cars and vandalize a school. A thug briefly fights with one guy, threatens him and another with a gun, followed by him or a minion shooting a young teenager in a drive-by shooting (we only hear the act, but see the limp and slightly bloody body immediately after the act). That's followed by some tense family material (grieving) that also includes a teen being frustrated by lack of parental support and talk of parents being dead or in prison.

    A few characters drink beer, while some of the behavior (including the dance moves and related material) might be enticing for some kids to imitate. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people drink at a party.
  • Tyler's foster dad has a beer.
  • Tyler's foster mom replaces her husband's empty beer with a fresh one (done silently, as if by routine).
  • After Tyler gives Mac some advice, the latter mocking asks what Tyler is going to say next, "This is your brain on drugs?"
  • Miscellaneous people drink at a small concert.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A young teenager has a little bit of blood on his shirt after being fatally shot, while an older guy who runs to his aid has some of that boy's blood on his hand.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A thug confronts Tyler for dancing with a particular woman at a party, gets violent with him, and then holds a gun on him and Mac. He or one of his minions later shoots and kills a teenager.
  • Tyler kicks a trashcan, knocking it over (just for the "fun" of it).
  • Following Skinny's lead, Tyler and Mac join him in breaking and entering the school and then trashing the place.
  • We hear that Tyler has had previous run-ins with the law.
  • Tyler's foster father is not supportive of him.
  • Mac, Tyler, and Skinny deliver a stolen car to a chop shop and are given instructions to steal an expensive SUV.
  • Skinny goes off to steal his first car, with Mac and Tyler knowing it's alarmed and thus will scare him when it goes off (and it does -- all played for laughs).
  • Tyler is often late for his practice sessions with Nora.
  • When Nora is mad at Tyler for being late, he quits as her stand-in partner.
  • We hear that Brett signed a professional music contract, but didn't take Miles (who helped make him into what he is) with him.
  • Lucy sees her boyfriend kissing on another young woman at a concert.
  • Mac blows off Tyler after thinking the latter has spent too much time with Nora rather than him.
  • Skinny spots a gangster get out of his expensive SUV and go into a convenience store, followed by the other guy in the car. The teen then runs up, hops in the car, and drives away in it.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A thug, PJ, pushes Tyler for dancing with a woman he claims is his. Tyler then punches him, the two struggle and Mac comes to help Tyler, but the thug pulls a handgun and holds it on them, forcing Tyler & Mac to back off.
  • Skinny spots a gangster get out of his expensive SUV and go into a convenience store, followed by the other guy in the car. The teen then runs up, hops in the car, and drives away in it.
  • (Spoiler Alert) There's a drive-by shooting where a teenager is shot and killed for having stolen an SUV. We only hear the shooting, but do see the victim's older brother run out and hug the boy's limp and slightly bloody body. We next see a funeral scene for the teen, where his mother grieves.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Used to threaten or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • The guys play with a prop sword on the stage as they trash the place.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bullsh*t," "I can't believe I bought into all this bullsh*t," "Let's bounce," "Shut up," "Bitch," "What the hell you (think you're) doing?" "Chicks," "You suck, rent-a-cop," "Freaked out," "My bad," "That's for damn sure," "Dudes," "What the hell /is a P-K/does that mean?" "They suck," "Basically I'm screwed," "I just prefer to play with myself," "Now I'm getting pissed," "Loser," "Tough as hell" and "That's a bunch of bull."
  • The various dance styles and moves might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • Tyler dresses somewhat like a hip-hop wannabe (cap on backwards, baggy pants, etc.) while Skinny wears various gold chains around his neck.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • Tyler kicks a trashcan, knocking it over (just for the "fun" of it).
  • Nora and others wear various midriff-revealing tops.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Songs contained lyrics that we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, thus offering the possibility of them containing potentially objectionable lyrics.
  • A song has a lyric, "Show off that body" and may include several uses of the "s" word (or something that sounds like it).
  • During a song, a performer sings, "She's hotter than..." with the backup singers adding "Shhhhh"(suggesting but not saying the "s" word).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 4 "s" words, 6 damns, 5 hells and 4 uses of "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • As some of the dancers do moves and/or are lifted into the air in their standard leotards, there are several views of their crotch areas (nothing explicit, and not in close-up).
  • There's some slight sexualized dancing (male/female) at a party.
  • After Skinny comments on how some clothing accentuates some guys' muscles (in a photo in the school), Mac jokes that they need to get him a girl.
  • A classic statue bust shows bare breasts.
  • Director Gordon shows a little cleavage in her low-cut top.
  • Nora often wears (mostly at school during dance practice) tight tops and small shorts, etc.
  • Nora and Lucy show varying amounts of cleavage (sometimes a lot for the latter) in various outfits in various scenes.
  • Lucy wears a rather short skirt that shows a lot of leg while she's seated.
  • Talking about his music, Miles says he can play, but that "I just prefer to play with myself" (prompting the others to laugh at that slip of the tongue).
  • Lucy sees her boyfriend kissing on another young woman at a concert.
  • Tyler and Nora do some passionate, clothed kissing and the next scene shows young Camille (his foster sister) headed for his bedroom. We then see Tyler in bed shirtless and expect to see Nora there, but he's alone, so we don't know what, if anything happened between them.
  • Tyler and Nora briefly share a clothed, passionate kiss just as her mom walks in, and Tyler then excuses himself to leave.
  • At a party, the camera briefly focuses on a woman's bare midriff as she dances.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Camille says her dad is in prison.
  • Tyler lives in a foster home (to an unsupportive foster father), but we don't know what happened to his parents.
  • Nora's mom initially isn't supportive of her dreams, and that frustrates Nora.
  • Nora says her dad has been dead for a few years and that he was the one who encouraged her in the arts.
  • (Spoiler Alert) There's a drive-by shooting where a teenager is shot and killed for having stolen an SUV. We only hear the shooting, but do see the victim's older brother run out and hug the boy's limp and slightly bloody body. We next see a funeral scene for the teen, where his mother grieves.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Pursuing one's dream, no matter the complications, obstacles or naysayers.
  • Hoodlums and their lifestyle and mentality.
  • We hear that Tyler has had previous run-ins with the law.
  • Tyler and other kids live with foster parents.
  • Camille says her dad is in prison.
  • Tyler's comment that people make stupid decisions every day.
  • Nora's mom initially isn't supportive of her dreams.
  • After Tyler states that everyone else (at the school) knows exactly what they want, he's asked what he wants. He says nothing, as it's better that way, implying so as not to experience disappointment.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A thug, PJ, pushes Tyler for dancing with a woman he claims is his. Tyler then punches him, the two struggle and Mac comes to help Tyler, but the thug pulls a handgun and holds it on them, forcing Tyler & Mac to back off.
  • Skinny throws a can at PJ's vehicle as it passes them and drives away.
  • As Tyler & Mac playfully throw cans and other trash at Skinny, one such throw results in a broken window in the School of Arts. Skinny then kicks in the rest of the glass, and encourages the other two to join him in some breaking and entering. They look around inside there and then, after accidentally breaking something on the main stage, proceed to trash the place. A guard eventually confronts them, grabbing Mac, but Tyler comes to his aid. But the guard then grabs Tyler around the neck and pins him to the stage floor.
  • There's some pushing and other such contact in a pickup game of basketball.
  • (Spoiler Alert) There's a drive-by shooting where a teenager is shot and killed for having stolen an SUV. We only hear the shooting, but do see the victim's older brother run out and hug the boy's limp and slightly bloody body. We next see a funeral scene for the teen, where his mother grieves.



  • Reviewed August 8, 2006 / Posted August 12, 2006

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