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The Fits (2015)

Not Rated | | Drama , Music | 11 January 2017 (France)
1:23 | Trailer
While training at the gym 11-year-old tomboy Toni becomes entranced with a dance troupe. As she struggles to fit in she finds herself caught up in danger as the group begins to suffer from fainting spells and other violent fits.


Anna Rose Holmer


Anna Rose Holmer, Anna Rose Holmer (story by) | 2 more credits »
15 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Royalty Hightower ... Toni
Alexis Neblett Alexis Neblett ... Beezy
Da'Sean Minor Da'Sean Minor ... Jermaine
Lauren Gibson Lauren Gibson ... Maia
Makyla Burnam Makyla Burnam ... Legs
Inayah Rodgers Inayah Rodgers ... Karisma
Antonio A.B. Grant Jr. Antonio A.B. Grant Jr. ... Donté
Shonte Jackson Shonte Jackson ... Madison
Mangel Moore Mangel Moore ... Diamond
Kaliyah Johnson Kaliyah Johnson ... April
Kaniyah Mack Kaniyah Mack ... Kira
Pra'mize Patterson Pra'mize Patterson ... Twin #1
Paradize Patterson Paradize Patterson ... Twin #2
Nas'jahea E. Ferguson Nas'jahea E. Ferguson ... Cateyez
Malasia Brown Malasia Brown ... Laylay


The Fits is a psychological portrait of 11-year-old Toni-a tomboy assimilating to a tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati's West End. Enamored by the power and confidence of this strong community of girls, Toni eagerly absorbs routines, masters drills, and even pierces her own ears to fit in. When a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, Toni's desire for acceptance is twisted. Written by The Fits

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Why fit in when you can dance to your own beat?


Drama | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

11 January 2017 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Drgawki See more »

Filming Locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,300, 5 June 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$166,425, 16 September 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Yes, Ma'am! See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The drill team was given part ownership of the film. See more »

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User Reviews

A noticeably impressive portrait of a girl on the verge of her teenage years
5 December 2016 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

A Cincinnati community center sees a sudden epidemic of incidents in which teenage girls start fainting and convulsing in Anna Rose Holmer's "The Fits," yet "science fiction" or "supernatural" are two words that belong nowhere near this film. Instead, Holmer uses this conceit as a tool in her 72-minute portrait of a tween girl finding her way socially and emotionally.

So little of "The Fits" counts toward plot or action that you might wonder why Holmer "dragged out" what feels more obviously like short film material into a feature. Yet her patience and artistry pay dividends, at least for the open-minded viewer. The camera pierces a further layer of its subject's —11-year-old Toni — psychology, allowing the viewer to enter deeper into her point of view.

Newcomer Royalty Hightower would obviously be a candidate to get credit for achieving such a high degree of empathy, but in actuality, it's Holmer's exceptional focus on Hightower. Her conscientious effort to tell the subtext of Toni's story more than anything else results in a film that speaks rather poetically to adolescence and self-discovery.

Toni is a determined girl who understands the importance of working hard more than most. She goes with her brother to the community center each day to train and learn how to box, but she's transfixed by the girls upstairs in the Lioness dance troupe. We immediately see both the committed, tireless side of Toni and the side of her that longs to be a dancer, and so it's clear that she can dance if that's what she desires most.

The premise of a girl boxer wanting to be a dancer is a refreshing subversion of gender role archetypes, and a gentle way for Holmer and co-writers Saela Davis and Lisa Kjeruiff to let viewers know that gender identity/roles are not a focal point of their story. This is a film about a girl finding herself, period.

We get all these long, lingering, quiet moments alone with Toni in order to really experience how she deals with the emotional storm of her own desires, social pressure and the fear and panic induced by this outbreak of "fits." And there's nothing particular unique in how she copes, which is what makes accessing her consciousness, as the viewer, so effortless. The power of this particular film comes from that experience.

All that said, it's hard not to wish that there had been just a few more external factors to add tension and drama to this story, especially with a premise that could've so easily gone that route. Kudos to Holmer committing to her cinematic portrait and not caving to more typical movie conventions, but something to hook the viewer a little more would have elevated her impressive artistry.

The average moviegoer won't likely stumble upon "The Fits," so there's not a whole lot of danger in it being misunderstood and dismissed for leaning more heavily toward poetry than entertainment, but perhaps that "supernatural" premise warrants a bit of a disclaimer. Go in looking to experience what it's like to be 11 again, however, and you'll be floored by what Holmer has accomplished.

~Steven C

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