School of Rock

School of Rock

4.4 40
Director: Richard Linklater

Cast: Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White


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The world's least-employable heavy metal guitarist is entrusted with the minds of upstate New York's best and brightest in this fish-out-of-water comedy. Jack Black plays Dewey Finn, axe-bearer for a fitfully successful bar band determined to win a regional battle-of-the-bands competition. There's only one thing standing in their way: the self-indulgent solos and… See more details below


The world's least-employable heavy metal guitarist is entrusted with the minds of upstate New York's best and brightest in this fish-out-of-water comedy. Jack Black plays Dewey Finn, axe-bearer for a fitfully successful bar band determined to win a regional battle-of-the-bands competition. There's only one thing standing in their way: the self-indulgent solos and crowd-diving antics of their "embarrassing" lead guitarist. When his band votes him out in favor of a would-be rock god, Dewey has to make the rent somehow, and after intercepting a call for his substitute-teacher roomie Ned (Mike White), the pot-bellied slacker finds himself in front of a class of elite elementary school students. At a loss for a lesson plan, Dewey takes offense at the pre-teen prodigies' staid musical regimen and makes it his goal to preach them the gospel of The Who, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC -- with the ulterior motive of getting them to compete against his former band for a cash prize. But no matter how willing his pupils, Dewey runs up against the consternation of the school's stern headmistress Principal Mullins (Joan Cusack), the battle-of-the-bands' promoter (Frank Whaley), and not least, his identity-deprived roomie Ned.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
With School of Rock, the irrepressible Jack Black takes a hackneyed premise and almost single-handedly transforms it into a buoyant, frequently hilarious comedy. He plays Dewey Finn, an egotistical rock-star wannabe whose self-absorption gets him ejected from the band he started. Determined to succeed but strapped for cash, Dewey impersonates a friend in order to take a substitute-teacher job at a tiny prep school, where he recruits young music students to play in his new band. This is, essentially, no more substantive than the premise for a sitcom episode, but Black's manic performance alone makes it seem fresh and innovative. There's a surfeit of nervous energy in that bulky body of his, and his impish countenance reflects every sneaky little thought that flits through his mind. Director Richard Linklater attempts to bring some individuality to the kids, but none of them is especially memorable; in fact, only Joan Cusack (as the school's uptight administrator) manages to capture a share of the viewer's attention while Black is also onscreen. School of Rock represents a considerable concession for Linklater, who made his reputation by directing such quirky little indies as Slacker and Dazed and Confused. His handling of this fairly conventional material is decidedly mainstream and nonthreatening -- it's even, dare we say, cute. In the end, it's Black's gleefully subversive persona that gives this enjoyable comedy its edge.
All Movie Guide
School of Rock is a hilarious combination of several standard-formula plot elements that wouldn't have added up to much were it not for the uniquely quirky performance of Jack Black, the endearing children in his "rock" class, the direction of Richard Linklater, and the well-written script by Mike White. That such tired plot lines as a teacher inspiring his students through an "experimental" teaching style (learning his own valuable lessons along the way, of course) and a band preparing for an inevitable Battle of the Bands finale actually come across as refreshing and fun is a testament to the quality of the film's execution. The children are genuine and likable and Jack Black has a natural rapport with them -- who ever thought that Black would prove such an inspirational and understanding mentor? Yes, the story is preposterous, but the message of bringing out the best in kids through positive reinforcement -- and the "power of rock" -- is real and heartfelt. Black's comedic antics are hilarious -- at once reined in by Linklater and let free by the essential spotlight that the film offers him. The School of Rock is Black's first moment to shine and truly take center stage in a film, and he does it with ease. The witty script by Mike White is great at relating the joys and importance of rock music and at avoiding stereotypes beyond most characters' first introductions (though the Liza Minnelli-loving effeminate student [Brian Falduto] and the evil-girlfriend [Sarah Silverman] are noticably one-dimentional in comparison the the others). In particular, Joan Cusack's role as the strict and uptight principal is refreshing, in that it does not resort to the clichéd evil disciplinarian gig throughout. Her character is humanized and, almost miraculously, is saved from being forced into an incredulous romantic plot line with the lead. Also noteworthy is the fact that the children -- who, in addition to acting ability, were cast based on their musical talents and skills -- are actually playing their respective instruments throughout the film. The School of Rock is an enjoyable movie that should have mass appeal, even beyond the hardcore Jack Black fans or rock aficionados.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed-Caption Commentary By Actor Jack Black And Director Richard Linklater Kid's Kommentary Lessons Learned In 'School Of Rock' Jack Black's Pitch To Led Zeppelin 'School Of Rock' Music Video MTV's Diary Of Jack Black Kids' Video Diary: Toronto Film Festival Dewey Finn's History Of Rock -Interactive Feature And More!

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Black Dewey Finn
Joan Cusack Principal Rosalie Mullins
Mike White Ned Schneebly
Sarah Silverman Patty
Jordan-Claire Green Michelle
Veronica Afflerbach Eleni
Miranda Cosgrove Summer
Joey Gaydos Zach
Robert Tsai Lawrence
Angelo Massagli Frankie
Kevin Clark Freddy
Maryam Hassan Tomika
Caitlin Hale Marta
Cole Hawkins Leonard
Brian Falduto Billy
James Hosey Marco
Aleisha Allen Alicia
Zachary Infante Gordon
Rebecca Brown Katie
Jaclyn Neiderthal Actor

Technical Credits
Richard Linklater Director,Screenwriter
Sandra Adair Editor
Scott Aversano Executive Producer
Jeremy Conway Production Designer
Sam Hoffman Asst. Director
Michelle Keiser Asst. Director
Steve Nicolaides Executive Producer
Karen Patch Costumes/Costume Designer
Randall Poster Musical Direction/Supervision
Scott Rudin Producer
Adam Scher Art Director
Ilene Starger Casting
Jeffrey Stern Sound/Sound Designer
Rogier Stoffers Cinematographer
Craig Wedren Score Composer
Mike White Screenwriter
Karin Wiesel Set Decoration/Design

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- School of Rock
1. Chapter 1 [:21]
2. Chapter 2 [5:12]
3. Chapter 3 [2:57]
4. Chapter 4 [2:01]
5. Chapter 5 [5:10]
6. Chapter 6 [4:51]
7. Chapter 7 [2:59]
8. Chapter 8 [1:24]
9. Chapter 9 [6:34]
10. Chapter 10 [1:38]
11. Chapter 11 [5:11]
12. Chapter 12 [1:01]
13. Chapter 13 [5:47]
14. Chapter 14 [1:57]
15. Chapter 15 [4:55]
16. Chapter 16 [2:44]
17. Chapter 17 [3:33]
18. Chapter 18 [3:31]
19. Chapter 19 [4:54]
20. Chapter 20 [3:04]
21. Chapter 21 [2:25]
22. Chapter 22 [3:37]
23. Chapter 23 [2:23]
24. Chapter 24 [5:24]
25. Chapter 25 [:37]
26. Chapter 26 [7:04]
27. Chapter 27 [7:43]
28. Chapter 28 [4:25]
29. Chapter 29 [5:24]
30. Chapter 30 [:06]

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