[Screen It]


(2000) (Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
None Mild Heavy None None
Moderate None None Mild Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
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Talk About
Heavy None None Mild Mild

Comedy: With the national championships approaching, the high school captain of a five-time, national champion cheerleading squad scrambles to invent a new routine when she learns that their existing one was stolen from an inner-city squad.
Torrance Shipman (KIRSTEN DUNST) is a high school senior whose life is undergoing some changes. She's sad that her boyfriend, Aaron (RICHARD HILLMAN), has just left for college, but is ecstatic that she'll be taking over the head duties of the Rancho Carne High School cheerleading squad from the outgoing captain, Big Red (LINDSAY SLOANE), who helped lead the Toros to five previous national championships.

Things get off to an inauspicious start when one of the cheerleaders is injured, thus necessitating tryouts for a replacement. While conniving fellow cheerleaders Courtney (CLARE KRAMER) and Whitney Whitney (NICOLE BILDERBACK) have lobbied to have Whitney's younger sister join the squad, Torrance is most impressed with transfer student Missy Pantone (ELIZA DUSHKU), an opinionated young woman looking for an outlet for her gymnastic prowess.

Not all of the others are happy with Missy joining the squad, and that gets worse when she delivers some bad news to them upon seeing their elaborate cheering routine. It seems that Big Red previously stole it from an East Compton squad, the Clovers, who know of the theft. Led by Isis (GABRIELLE UNION), their squad captain, the Clovers arrive at Torrance's San Diego-based school and show up the Toros during a home football game.

Realizing they need a new routine before the regional cheerleading competition, Torrance takes Aaron's advice and hires flamboyant dance choreographer Sparky Polastri (IAN ROBERTS) to dream up a new routine. When that ultimately backfires, it's up to Torrance to keep the squad - that also includes male cheerleaders Jan (NATHAN WEST) and Les (HUNTLEY RITTER) -- together and design a new routine for them before the national championships. And she must do that all while dealing with her conflicting romantic feelings for Aaron and now Missy's brother, Cliff (JESSE BRADFORD), who obviously has eyes for her as well.

The young cast, cheerleading angle and high school setting may prove to be enticing to teenage, and some pre-teen moviegoers.
For sex-related material and language.
  • KIRSTEN DUNST plays a high school senior who's named captain of her cheerleading squad and must deal with backstabbing, past indiscretions and her conflicting emotions for two boys. She also uses some profanity while trying to set matters straight with another school.
  • ELIZA DUSHKU plays a gymnast turned cheerleader who's initially a "tough chick" character, but then becomes just another of the girls. She's Torrance's best ally and also cusses some.
  • JESSE BRADFORD plays her brother, an intellectual student who believes himself to be above all of the cheerleader silliness but finds himself falling for Torrance.
  • GABRIELLE UNION plays a proud and determined rival cheerleading captain who's determined to take her squad to the finals and defeat the Toros for previously stealing their routines.
  • CLARE KRAMER and NICOLE BILDERBACK play two conniving and backstabbing cheerleaders who are mean to nearly everyone while trying to get their way.
  • NATHAN WEST and HUNTLEY RITTER play two of the male cheerleaders, the first being one who "fingers" his female partner during lifts while the latter one is gay.
  • RICHARD HILLMAN plays Torrance's boyfriend who cheats on her in college and goes behind her back to have others replace her as the squad's captain.
  • LINDSAY SLOANE plays the former cheerleading captain who's full of herself and is guilty of stealing her squad's routines from another school.


    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).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated comedy. Profanity consists of more than 10 "s" words and a variety of other expletives and colorful phrases, while a possible "f" word - it begins at the end of a phrase but we couldn't quite tell if it was completed -- (as well as a silently mouthed one) are also present.

    Some sexual activity is implied between a college freshman - who's cheating on the film's protagonist - and some college girls, while various cheerleaders do some sexual/sensual moves while dressed in small, midriff barring outfits. We also see various young ladies dressed in nothing more than their bras and panties and/or other skimpy attire. Other sexually related material is present and one of the male cheerleaders is gay.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, many of which are also of the sassy, put down variety. Some mild instances of violence are present as is some scatological-based humor (vomiting and farting), while a moderate amount of imitative behavior is also present.

    Since preteen girls may be drawn to this film (along with both male and female teens), you may want to check out our detailed content listings should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for them or anyone else in your home who may wish to see it.

  • None.
  • Telling Torrance that she must hear something, her younger brother suddenly and loudly farts.
  • We see a cheerleader with a great deal of blood from her nose and mouth (and on her outfit) apparently after a mishap of some sort.
  • We see a nervous cheerleader copiously vomit onto another girl.
  • Some students fake a sneeze while quickly saying "loser," as they try to make fun of Cliff.
  • Various cheerleaders make disparaging remarks about Big Red, who turns out to be conceited and the master thief behind copying the Clovers' cheerleading routines. Others make generally disparaging/mean-spirited remarks about others (such as one saying that they feel like a milk maid because someone above them in a pyramid feels like a cow).
  • Torrance's younger brother makes fun of her.
  • Some students make fun of the male cheerleaders, calling them "fags."
  • Whitney and Courtney immediately don't like Missy and don't try to hide that fact.
  • Isis and her squad are mean to Torrance when she tries to apologize for her predecessors stealing their cheering routines.
  • Torrance's younger brother keeps joking that Aaron is gay (he's not, but we do learn that he's been cheating on Torrance at college).
  • Sparky is mean to most of the cheerleaders while training them (making disparaging jokes about their weight, etc.) and we later learn that he scammed the squad with the routine he taught them.
  • Big Red is mean to Torrance, and Aaron then conspires with Courtney and Whitney to replace Torrance as the squad's captain.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Phrases: An incomplete (or possibly quietly completed) "What the f*ck?" "Holy sh*t," "Let's kick this sh*t," "We're the sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "Sh*t happens," "I don't give a sh*t," "Whore," "Loser," "You put the lewd in delusional," "Sucked," "She puts the itch in bitch," "She puts the whore in horrifying," "Slut," "You guys suck," "Fags," "Screwed" (nonsexual), "Shut up," "Bitch," "Cut the crap," "Kiss my ass," "Pain in my ass," "Uber dyke," "What the hell is up?" "Sad ass," "I'm going to kick your ass," "Creep," "Moron," "Butt plug," "Kicking your ass," "You suck," "What the hell are you doing?" "Retarded," "Screw this," "They're so screwed," "Skanky," "Hag," "Screwed up," "You're cute as hell," "Bit the big one," "Bite me," "Screw you," "Dumb ass," "Idiot" and "What the hell was that about?"
  • Many of the characters have sassy attitudes where the name of the game is put-downs and sounding clever.
  • Some students fake a sneeze while quickly saying "loser," as they try to make fun of Cliff.
  • A student grabs his own crotch while making fun of some male cheerleaders.
  • A male cheerleader makes the hand/mouth gesture for male oral sex (rhythmically moving the hand as if holding a penis while forming a bulge in his cheek).
  • Missy slyly gives "the finger" to some of the other cheerleaders who don't hide the fact that they immediately don't like her. Later, she gives her brother "the finger" and another person does the same to another person.
  • Telling Torrance that she must hear something, her younger brother suddenly and loudly farts.
  • Sparky does some pelvic thrusting while showing the cheerleaders his dancing routine.
  • Sparky snaps his towel against Missy's clothed butt.
  • One of Isis' fellow cheerleaders has a pierced tongue.
  • None.
  • None.
  • A song plays while a sultry cheerleader wannabe does a sexy dance and has lyrics about "making a grown man cry." Another song has the lyric, "I'm freaking you baby…you're driving me crazy" while the female cheerleaders wash cars in skimpy outfits/bathing suits.
  • The Tony Basil song "Mickey" plays during the closing credits and includes the lyrics: "Now when you take me by the...who's ever gonna know? Every time you move, I let a little more show. There's something you can use, so don't say no, Mickey." "So come on and give it to me anyway you can. Anyway you want to do it, I'll take it like a man. Oh please baby, please don't leave me in this jam Mickey."
  • There's one possible "f" word (it was hard to tell if it was completely said at the end of "What the…") as well as another that's visibly mouthed, but not heard. Beyond that, there are at least 13 "s" words, 4 slang terms for/using male genitals ("d*ck" and "tool"), 1 possible slang term for female genitals (what sounded like "squirrel"), 2 slang terms for breasts ("hooters" and "rack"), 14 asses, 10 hells, 4 craps, 1 damn, 5 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "God" and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • Torrance has a nightmare where her cheerleading squad shouts out dialogue about "I'm hot and everything you're not" and "I swear I'm not a whore" and something about their chests and that others can look but not hump (or what sounded like that) all while doing some sensual/sexy dance/cheerleading moves. At the end of the cheer, Torrance rises up, but without her top (we see her bare back and a frontal shot where her bare breasts are just out of the camera shot) and everyone reacts to this sight.
  • Aaron suggestively tells Torrance that college will be just like high school, but better since there will be dorm rooms.
  • We see various female cheerleaders, including Torrance, in their bras and/or panties as they dress in a locker room. One of them comments on another wanting guys to touch her butt.
  • The cheerleaders wear short, midriff-baring outfits that accentuate the shape of their bodies.
  • After Whitney says, "Kiss my ass," one of the male cheerleaders says he'd love to, and when someone mentions that she doesn't "give any lip," the male cheerleader chimes in that she only gives "tongue."
  • A student does a sultry dance in her short shorts and bikini top while trying out for the cheerleading squad. She eventually suggestively crawls on all fours on a table and then shakes her butt in one of the male cheerleaders' faces (he stares and smiles at the sight).
  • A male cheerleader makes the hand/mouth gesture for male oral sex (rhythmically moving the hand as if holding a penis while forming a bulge in his cheek).
  • Jan and Les complain that everyone thinks all male cheerleaders are gay, and we then learn that Les is when Missy asks if he "speaks fag" and he replies that he does.
  • Jan states that he knows Courtney doesn't wear underwear under her outfit because he can't help if he lets his "digits" occasionally slip (and feel or go inside her) while holding her up. Later, and during a game, Courtney apparently reacts to where Jan's finger goes while he's holding her up.
  • An opposing football player tells a Toro player that their male cheerleaders are over "scamming on all of your squirrel" (a derogatory phrase for the female cheerleaders and/or certain body parts) and then it's okay "because you don't have d*cks anyway."
  • A male cheerleader stares at Courtney's clothed butt.
  • Another cheerleader tells Torrance that she's having "cheer sex" (or something like that) with Cliff (due to Torrance and Cliff gazing at one another during a game).
  • We see Aaron in bed with a young woman at college (implying that they've slept together but we don't see anything) and he tells her that the person on the phone (Torrance) was his sister, and then suggestively adds, "But you're not."
  • To raise money, the cheerleaders hold a car wash where they wash cars in their bathing suits/other skimpy outfits. The camera occasionally focuses on their bodies and we then see Missy rhythmically moving her hand up and down on a car antenna. She then tells Cliff that she's raising money by having guys "ogling my goodies" and then tells Torrance, "My brother wants to check out your rack" (breasts).
  • Seeing a male cheerleader essentially lying on Missy while stretching her leg backwards toward her head, a football player comments that maybe they should join the squad (to get into the same position).
  • Torrance finds a girl in Aaron's dorm room bed and we see this girl in her bra and panties as she pulls up her jeans.
  • While passing by some women in small bikinis, a male cheerleader asks if any of them want to see his "spirit stick" (a double entendre for an actual cheerleading stick and a part of his anatomy).
  • Missy slaps Torrance's younger brother on the head after he suggestively asks if she's in "a giving mood" (while suggestively licking his tongue at her).
  • During the end credits, Torrance, Missy and Isis separately do some sexy dancing.
  • None.
  • None.
  • The fact that Torrance puts cheerleading ahead of the rest of her life, including her academics.
  • The sassy, put-down attitude that many of the characters exhibit toward others.
  • The misconception that all male cheerleaders are gay.
  • Big Red pushes another cheerleader aside during a dream sequence.
  • A female cheerleader is injured (we see her in a neck brace and later a leg cast) when she falls from the top of a cheerleader pyramid.
  • Torrance's mom hits Torrance's younger brother on the back of the head for making fun of his sister.
  • Football players from opposing teams get into a fight and we then see regular football related violence (hard hits, etc.).
  • Sparky flicks Missy on the nose and she has to be restrained when she tries to go after him. Later, Sparky takes a small wooden stool and smashes it while upset with the cheerleaders.
  • A little girl stomps down on a cheerleader's foot and then tries hitting her.
  • Missy slaps Torrance's younger brother on the head after he suggestively asks if she's in "a giving mood" (while suggestively licking his tongue at her).
  • During the end credits there's a brief bit showing the cheerleaders beating up their former choreographer (all played for laughs).

  • Reviewed August 22, 2000 / Posted August 25, 2000

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