4.1 22
Director: Charles Stone III

Cast: Charles Stone III, Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana, Orlando Jones


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Drumline brings the world of "show-style" marching bands (popular at traditionally black, Southern colleges) to the big screen for the first time. The story, by Shawn Schepps, was inspired by the high school drumline experiences of executive producer/executive music producer Dallas Austin. Devon (Nick Cannon of Nickelodeon's The Nick Cannon Show) is aSee more details below


Drumline brings the world of "show-style" marching bands (popular at traditionally black, Southern colleges) to the big screen for the first time. The story, by Shawn Schepps, was inspired by the high school drumline experiences of executive producer/executive music producer Dallas Austin. Devon (Nick Cannon of Nickelodeon's The Nick Cannon Show) is a Harlem drummer who earns a full scholarship to the fictional Atlanta A&T University. There, his talent gets the attention of the school's embattled musical director, Dr. Lee (Orlando Jones), who puts his students' education and appreciation for musical tradition ahead of the marching band's popularity. Devon's brashly egotistical attitude doesn't endear him to Lee, whose slogan for the band is "One band, one sound," or to the drumline's disciplined captain, Sean (Leonard Roberts, late of TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Devon has more success with the dance captain of the marching band, Laila (Zoe Saldana, who played a ballet dancer in Center Stage), a Southern belle who's won over by Devon's confidence. Sean feels threatened by Devon's talent, and his attitude, so when he learns that Devon can't read music, he uses the information to his advantage. With the band facing their archrival at a huge marching band competition, Dr. Lee has to decide whether to allow the brilliant drummer to perform, despite his attitude. Devon has to prove that he can show his skills while still being part of the team. Drumline was directed by Charles Stone III (Paid in Full), and features cameo appearances by musical artists Blu Cantrell and Petey Pablo.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
It’s relatively rare to see good-hearted films showing young African Americans in a positive light, so this pleasant, character-driven drama makes for a refreshing change of pace. Drumline isn’t in the least bit Pollyannaish, but it offers believable, finely limned characters in place of broadly sketched stereotypes. The story concerns the marching band of a predominantly black university in Atlanta. Newly recruited drummer Devon (played by Nick Cannon) is a cocky Harlem hotshot whose showboating challenges the thoughtful, old-fashioned bandmaster, Dr. Aaron Lee (Orlando Jones), alienates former top drummer Sean (Leonard Roberts), and risks the loss of Devon's new girlfriend, dance major Laila (Zoe Saldana). As written by scenarists Tina Gordon Chism and Shawn Schepps, Devon is an ambitious young man who has remained relatively clean while growing up in an urban environment fraught with peril and temptation. He’s a bit of a showoff, but he genuinely wants to earn the admiration of his teachers and fellow students. Director Charles Stone rates kudos for keeping a tight rein on Cannon's performance; Devon could easily have lost our sympathy, but Stone makes us care about him and hope that he learns valuable life lessons without undue suffering. The other characters are equally weighty and well portrayed. Drumline celebrates accomplishment instead of romanticizing rebelliousness and defeatism -- for that alone, it deserves inclusion in the small but growing list of movies (including Soul Food, Barbershop, and Antwone Fisher) that have made positive contributions to the cinematic depictions of everyday African Americans. The DVD features a full-length director’s commentary, ten deleted scenes, and two music videos.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Director Charles Stone III, responsible for the accomplished, gritty urban crime drama, Paid in Full, shows some versatility in bringing us the competent, high-energy competition drama, Drumline. Stone's film is pretty formulaic stuff, in terms of the basic plot outline. It fits into the same mold as Rocky and Top Gun, wherein a supremely talented but undisciplined outsider has to overcome various contrived obstacles, prove himself a valuable part of a team, and save the day. The specific setting of Drumline sets it apart, though, because it takes place in the uniquely exciting and vibrant world of "show-style" marching bands. Young leads Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana, and Leonard Roberts are attractive and appealing, and Orlando Jones delivers an effectively toned-down performance. While the film is generally well acted, and the script is modestly efficient, the film works best as a splashy musical, coming to vivid life when the bands take the field to perform and compete. Stone, with help from cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (crazy/beautiful), does an excellent job of capturing the complex percussive rhythms and precise choreography of the drumline, and the energy and excitement these bands bring to the field.
Entertainment Weekly
A superlative B movie -- funny, sexy, and rousing. Owen Gleiberman
New York Times
As you watch the drummers pound out their polyrhythms and twirl their sticks, you may find it hard to stay in your seat. A.O. Scott
Washington Post
Brimming with energy and spirit. Ann Hornaday
Hollywood Reporter
It's pretty difficult to resist the film's freshly choreographed charm. Michael Rechtshaffen

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Full length director's commentary; 10 Deleted scenes with commentary; 30-minute "Making Of" special; 2 Music videos: "I Want a Girl Like You" by Joe, featuring Jadakiss, and "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" by JC Chasez

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nick Cannon Devon Miles
Zoe Saldana Laila
Orlando Jones Dr. Lee
Leonard Roberts Sean Taylor
GQ Jayson
Jason Weaver Ernest
Earl C. Poitier Charles
Candace Carey Diedre
Shay Roundtree Big Rob
Miguel A. Gaetan Trey
J. Anthony Brown Mr. Wade
Afemo Omilami President Wagner

Technical Credits
Charles Stone Director
Dallas Austin Executive Producer
Charles C. Bennett Production Designer
Timothy M. Bourne Producer
Patricia Bowers Editor
Aleta Helena Chappelle Casting
Tina Gordon Chism Screenwriter
Wendy Fihnerman Producer
Jody Gerson Producer
Jim Hawkins Sound/Sound Designer
Shane Hurlbut Cinematographer
Amy McGary Set Decoration/Design
Greg Mooradian Executive Producer
Bill Pankow Editor
Salvador Perez Costumes/Costume Designer
John Powell Score Composer
Shawn Schepps Original Story,Screenwriter
Nicholas Scott Art Director
Doug Torres Asst. Director

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