Critic Reviews



Based on 30 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Antonio Banderas is reason enough to see the movie.
New York Daily News
Take the Lead hits all the marks you'd expect of a movie like this, but it's done vibrantly and with warm-blooded characters.
TV Guide
Though screenwriter Dianne Houston spent time observing the real-life Dulaine, her screenplay is a showcase for triumph-of-the-underdog sports-movie cliches and coming-of-age-through-adversity moral lessons.
Inspired by a true story (translation: a lot of it is made up), the movie shucks its corn straight from the cob. But it's no less engaging for that, thanks to the enthusiasm of the young cast and the fusion of classic dance with hip-hop moves courtesy of Rich and Tone Talauega.
The movie's best moments are between Banderas and the kids. When the plot shifts to reveal the students' back stories (one has a prostitute mother, another a drunken father), the story becomes a melodramatic rehash of other movies, like "Fame" or "Rent."
Philadelphia Inquirer
At one point, Dulaine takes the students to his studio and they look up at the mirrored disco ball glittering above the dance floor. "Corny, but cool," says one of the sweathogs. My feelings about the film precisely.
Charlotte Observer
What keeps this from cloying? Universally good performances, led by Banderas' blazing intensity.
The Hollywood Reporter
Things hold together longer than they would have without Banderas' commanding, committed performance.
An energetic young cast, consisting of a mix of professional dancers and actors who do convincing imitations of Arthur Murray graduates, is positively inspired in numbers combining traditional ballroom steps with hip-hop.
Chicago Tribune
The latest ballroom dance-fever picture isn't very good, but some of the dancing is fun.
Entertainment Weekly
Antonio Banderas is a charming and talented man, but in Take the Lead he lays on the old-world panache so thick - the accent, the flowery courtliness, the romance of romance - that he comes off like Dracula's metrosexual cousin.

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