[Screen It]


(2002) (Nick Cannon, ZoŽ Saldana) (PG-13)

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

Drama: A talented but egotistical drummer has to learn to be a team player rather than the individual star when he joins a prestigious college marching band.
Devon Miles (NICK CANNON) is a talented snare drummer who's received a full scholarship to Atlanta A&T to play with the marching band under the direction of Dr. James Lee (ORLANDO JONES). Joining other bandmates including Jayson (GQ), Charles (EARL C. POITIER), Ernest (JASON WEAVER) and Diedre (CANDACE CAREY), Devon learns that playing in college is vastly different from high school.

For starters, the competition with rival schools such as Morris Brown College, under the direction of Mr. Wade (J. ANTHONY BROWN), is far more intense, which also holds true for the boot camp style training. Devon doesn't get along with his upper class drill instructor, Sean Taylor (LEONARD ROBERTS), who recognizes Devon's talents, but hates his bad attitude.

When not practicing, Devon spends his time trying to get to know Laila (ZOň SALDANA), a pretty cheerleader and philosophy major who soon falls for him. Yet, Devon's brash attitude on the field eventually puts a strain on their relationship and gets him in trouble with Dr. Lee who tries to teach him that he needs to be a team player rather than an individual star.

Even so, Lee is under pressure from university president Mr. Wagner (AFEMO OMILAMI) to play more audience friendly numbers in his program and to win the upcoming BET marching band competition. To do so, it appears he'll need Devon in his band. From that point on, Devon must make various important decisions regarding his attitude, participation and future as the competition nears.

If they're fans of anyone in the cast or are into music or marching bands, they just might.
For innuendo and language.
  • NICK CANNON plays a talented but egotistical drummer who must learn how to operate as a team player rather than an individual star. His bad and/or defiant attitude eventually switches for the better and he briefly uses some profanity.
  • ZOň SALDANA plays the cheerleader who falls for Devon, is later embarrassed by his actions, and then gets back together with him.
  • ORLANDO JONES plays the idealistic band director who wants to play real music and teach his students something, but must contend with the pressure of having to win championships. He briefly uses profanity.
  • LEONARD ROBERTS plays an upperclassman and unit leader who's not happy with underclassman challenging him, not following orders and competing against him. He briefly uses profanity and eventually drops his differences with Devon to better the band.
  • GQ plays one of the bass drummers who loses his standing in the band when challenged and uses some profanity.
  • JASON WEAVER and EARL C. POITIER play other freshmen in the band.
  • J. ANTHONY BROWN plays an opposing band leader who wants Devon in his band so that he can continue to humiliate Dr. Lee.
  • CANDACE CAREY plays one of the female band members who must occasionally put up with some sexist remarks from the guys.
  • AFEMO OMILAMI plays the university president who warns Dr. Lee to play more audience pleasing music in his program or risk having it cut off.


    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 drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 12 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Some sexually related dialogue and innuendo are present, mainly in the form of analogies to performing music. Some brief, passionate kissing is also present and some young women are seen in somewhat revealing attire.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some may drink at a party and a brief fight occurs during a drum-off. Beyond that, some tense family material is present in the form of the protagonist and his estranged father.

    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.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs late in the film during the big competition.

  • A bus driver tells incoming freshmen that someone needs to get Dr. Lee a shot of cognac or Jack (Daniels) in regards to his music selection.
  • Various college students hold cups at a party that might be filled with some sort of alcohol.
  • None.
  • Devon has a bad, cocky and superior attitude for quite a bit of the film in that he sees himself as the best and doesn't want to listen to or follow the directions of others or be a team member rather than an individual star.
  • Devon and others ignore curfew rules and go out to a club.
  • For most of the film, Devon and Sean have antagonistic attitudes toward each other.
  • Devon doesn't wake up his roommate to attend a required roll call (he says he's not the boy's mother).
  • Devon and other guys refer to Diedre as "G.I. Jane" while all of them do pushups (and tell her she should be doing "girl pushups").
  • President Wagner puts pressure on Dr. Lee to change his music program to feature more audience pleasing songs or else have the program eliminated altogether.
  • We learn that Devon lied on his application and to the rest of the band about not being able to read sheet music.
  • After Devon causes an opposing player to punch him (that causes a brief melee), Laila is embarrassed to introduce him to her parents and walks away with them while he stands there.
  • Mr. Wade offers Devon a position on his band for the following year, but only if Devon gives up Dr. Lee's game plan for their competition against his college.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "I don't know sh*t about you," "Raggedy ass sh*t," "(That's/This is) Bullsh*t," "You don't know sh*t about me," "What the hell /is this/are you doing?" "Spanking that ass" (nonsexual), "Oh, hell no," "Where the hell ya'll going?" "Dawg," "I don't give a damn," "Jackass," "Honeys" (women), "Black ass," "A bitch move," "Damn right," "Still have that baton stuck up your ass," "Dumb ass," "What in the hell was that?" and "Give 'em hell."
  • The cheerleaders/dancers wear midriff-revealing tops and sashay around during the performance.
  • One of the guys eats and talks with his mouth full.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None that we heard, but a few songs had lyrics that couldn't be understood, thus presenting the possibility of potentially objectionable lyrics in them.
  • At least 12 "s" words, 14 asses, 12 damns, 6 hells and 2 craps used as exclamations.
  • While they all do pushups, one of the guys tells Diedre that she should be doing girl pushups since guys like something a little soft to hold onto.
  • After Devon boasts that Dr. Lee came to his house to sign him up for the band, Sean says he doesn't care if he (Dr. Lee) stayed in his (Devon's) mother's bed.
  • One of the guys stares at Diedre's clothed chest as she sticks it out along with the guys during practice.
  • Sean explains that playing the drums while marching is like making love in that you can't be looking down trying to get the flow right. Another comment is made about making love, "handling your business," and when "you hit that spot" in relation to drumming and marching.
  • The cheerleaders/dancers wear midriff-revealing tops and sashay around during the performance.
  • Various students show cleavage.
  • Devon and Laila passionately kiss at a party.
  • Devon tries to tell Jayson how to "really" play his bass drum and more sex analogies are made. A comment is made about "got some" and Devon then says that Jayson has to really love his drum. Devon then makes an exaggerated facial expression as if he's having sex. He says that Jayson is doing it like a virgin, that Jayson has to "pump it," and makes another related comment about being with a girl.
  • None.
  • We learn that Devon's father has been gone for quite some time, although Devon does briefly visit him after graduating from high school (but only to tell him that he made it without him). He later gets a package of music from his father that inspires him.
  • Devon learning to be a team member rather than the individual and egotistical star.
  • Lee's statement that one has to learn to follow before they can lead.
  • Marching bands.
  • Music vs. showy presentations.
  • After Devon gets in his face during a drum-off, an opposing player punches Devon and then there's a free for all with players from both colleges jumping on and struggling with others (brief and nothing graphic).

  • Reviewed December 6, 2002 / Posted December 13, 2002

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