School of Rock (2003)
August 11, 2022 6:29 PM - Subscribe

Overly enthusiastic guitarist Dewey Finn (Jack Black) gets thrown out of his bar band and finds himself in desperate need of work. Posing as a substitute music teacher at an elite private elementary school, he exposes his students to the hard rock gods he idolizes and emulates -- much to the consternation of the uptight principal (Joan Cusack). As he gets his privileged and precocious charges in touch with their inner rock 'n' roll animals, he imagines redemption at a local Battle of the Bands.

Written by Mike White (who also plays the real Ned Schneebly). Directed by Richard Linklater. Also starring Sarah Silverman, Miranda Cosgrove.

92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently available for digital rental on multiple outlets.
posted by DirtyOldTown (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's hardly a keen observation to point this out, but the best part of this movie is how Dewey isn't the best person, but it turns out he is a really good teacher. He has an innate ability to speak to kids honestly and on their level. I don't think people always recognize the distinction.

I also like the film's portrayal of smart young kids neither as suspiciously precocious wonders/pint-sized adults nor as doofusy punchline-delivering babies. The film understands that they already have the roots of being real individuals, even as they're not even half-baked yet.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:26 AM on August 12, 2022 [4 favorites]

This movie is so brilliant! The kids are so real and they're (mostly) treated like people and not stereotypes, with the glaring exception of FancyPants. That character *still* pisses me off. But I adore nearly everything else about this movie: Band Class, "cell-OO", Lawrence and Dewey and the very long shake, the only Sarah Silverman performance I really enjoy. It's a masterpiece.
posted by epj at 12:54 PM on August 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

This movie aged super well and I love it. Mike White did a stint on Survivor and he was a fun watch.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:53 PM on August 12, 2022

If anything goes wrong, it's MY head in the smasher. Oh Ms. Mullins, you poor woman.
posted by Beverley Westwood at 8:54 AM on August 13, 2022

A classic, Jack Black's best performance IMO, and gave us this iconic moment.

(fun fact, that guitarist dude whose jacket consists of only sleeves is now a Texas DA).
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:11 AM on August 14, 2022

One of my favorite things is how the kids their moment in the sun in the Battle of the Bands, but they still don't win. They have changed, the view the adults in their lives have of them has changed, but the world hasn't changed and a rock club full of drunk 22-32 year olds still isn't going to vote for the all tween band. You can see the parents/principal cheering in the front and scattered people joining in. But the dominant response is "WTF is this?" And that's okay! They get their moment. And that is enough.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:33 AM on August 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'd never seen this movie before but watched it the other night as an antidote to all the true crime I'd been binge-watching.

What a fun movie! Jack Black is excellent and, as said above, the kids are wonderful. The plot is flimsy and there are no surprises, but it's all so well done that I didn't mind at all.

Mike White did a stint on Survivor and he was a fun watch.

He really was great on it, he seems like a mensch. If you've not seen it, I'd highly recommend Enlightened with Laura Dern, which he wrote and in which he has a featured role, and The White Lotus, which he wrote and directed (but didn't perform in) and which was filmed in a Covid bubble (which explains why some characters appear once and then aren't seen again).
posted by essexjan at 5:34 AM on August 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

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