Bring It On (film)

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Bring It On
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeyton Reed
Produced by
Written byJessica Bendinger
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyShawn Maurer
Edited byLarry Bock
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • August 25, 2000 (2000-08-25)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$11 million[1]
Box office$90.5 million[1]

Bring It On is a 2000 American teen cheerleading comedy film directed by Peyton Reed and written by Jessica Bendinger. The film stars Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, and Gabrielle Union. It was the first of the Bring It On film series and was followed by five direct-to-video sequels, none of which contain any of the original cast members: Bring It On Again (2004), which shared producers with the original, Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006), Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007), Bring It On: Fight to the Finish (2009), and Bring It On: Worldwide Cheersmack (2017). The plot of the film centers around a team's preparation for and participation in cheerleading competitions.

Bring It On was released in theaters in the North America on August 25, 2000. Bring It On earned a worldwide gross of approximately $90 million. Since its release, the film has become a cult classic.[2]


Torrance Shipman is a senior at Rancho Carne High School in San Diego. Her boyfriend, Aaron, is at college, and her cheerleading squad, the Toros, is aiming for a sixth consecutive national title. Torrance is elected to replace the team captain, "Big Red", after Red graduates. Soon, however, teammate Carver is injured and can not compete with her broken leg. Torrance holds an audition for Carver's replacement, and gains Missy Pantone, a gymnast transferred from Los Angeles to the school for senior year with her twin brother Cliff. In a side-plot, Torrance flirts with Cliff. While watching the Toros practice, Missy recognizes their routines from a rival squad her previous high school used to compete against. After accusing Torrance of lying and stealing the routine, she learns from Torrance's reaction she was unaware. Missy drives Torrance to her hometown of Los Angeles; they watch an African American and Latino/Hispanic team, the East Compton Clovers, perform routines identical to theirs. Isis, the Clovers' team captain, angrily confronts the two. Torrance learns "Big Red" videotaped the Clovers' practice, and stole their routines. On the ride home, Torrance confesses to Missy she believes she is cursed after dropping the Spirit Stick at cheer camp.

Isis informs Torrance of her plans to defeat the Toros at the regional and national championships. The Clovers never attended because they couldn't afford the fees. After Torrance tells the Toros about the routines, the team votes in favor of using the current routine to win; Torrance reluctantly agrees. At the Toros' next home game, Isis and her teammates perform the Toros' routine in front of the whole school, humiliating them. The Toros realize they have to learn a different routine. In desperation, they employ a professional choreographer named Sparky Polastri to provide one, as suggested by Aaron. But, at the Regionals, the team scheduled immediately before the Toros performs the routine they practiced. Torrance speaks to a competition official, and learns Polastri provided the routine to other California squads. As the defending champions, the Toros are granted their place in Nationals, but Torrance is warned a new routine will be expected. Torrance, crushed by her failure to lead the squad successfully, considers quitting.

Cliff encourages and supports her, intensifying their growing attraction. Aaron says she is not leadership material, and recommends she step down from her position, selling her out to Torrance's rivals, Courtney and Whitney. After Cliff sees Torrance and Aaron together, he severs his friendship with Torrance, to her distress. But her confidence is re-newed by Cliff's encouragement, and she convinces her unhappy squad to create an innovative new routine instead, disinspite the original routine was stole from an all black cheer squad. She dumps Aaron, but Cliff refuses to forgive her. Meanwhile, the Clovers are unable to compete at Nationals due to financial problems. This prompts Torrance to get her dad's company to sponsor the Clovers, but Isis rejects the funding, and gets her team to Nationals by appealing to a talk show host. In the finals, the Toros place second, due to the fact they change the routine so they do not rip off another cheer squad, the Clovers win. However, after the Nationals, Torrance and Isis respect each other. Cliff forgives Torrance as they share a romantic kiss.



Bring It On was produced by Marc Abraham and Thomas Bliss. It was the debut film of director Peyton Reed. The film pushed the 'sex aspects of cheerleading' without losing a PG-13 rating.[2] Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun-Times argued this agenda followed a trend of films at the time—dumbing-down material to avoid an R rating to increase profits.[3]

Prior to auditioning for the film, actors were expected to have a cheer prepared.[4] I To avoid the use of stunt doubles, Reed required all the actors to participate in a four-week cheerleading camp.[4] Reed and Gabrielle Union met numerous times to discuss the best way to approach her character.[4] "I think she was able to find what was cool about that character, in a way, I doubt other actresses could," Reed explained in an interview, "Whenever she's on the screen she has this charisma."[4] While editing the film, Reed and editor Larry Bock watched cheerleading exploitation films from the 1970s.[2]

The movie clip, seen in the 'types of inspiration' montage, is from Sweet Charity.


Box office[edit]

Bring It On was released in North America on August 25, 2000. The film grossed $17,362,105 in 2,380 theaters during its opening weekend, ranking first at the North American box office.[5] Although it experienced an 18% decline in gross earnings, the film held the top position for a second consecutive week, and later on a third.[5] The film went on to gross $68,379,000 in North America and an additional $22,070,929 in other territories for a total gross of $90,449,929.[1]

Critical response[edit]

Many critics felt the film displays Dunst's range as an actress.

The film received a 63% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 117 reviews, with an average rating of 5.97/10. The site's consensus reads: "Despite the formulaic fluffy storyline, this movie is surprisingly fun to watch, mostly due to its high energy and how it humorously spoofs cheerleading."[6] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 52 out of 100, based on 31 reviews, indicating "Mixed or average reviews".[7] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B on scale of A to F.[8]

A. O. Scott from The New York Times commended the film for the ability to "gesture toward serious matters of racial/economic inequality", as well as for its "occasional snarl of genuine satire".[9] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times also favored the film, calling it a "Smart and sassy high school movie fun for all ages."[10] Steven Rae from The Philadelphia Inquirer found it to be a "likable low-budget teen comedy".[7][better source needed] Meanwhile, Kim Morgan of The Oregonian dubbed it the "newest, and probably first, cheerleading movie."[7][better source needed]

However, some reviewers criticized the plot of the film. Although David Sterritt of The Christian Science Monitor gave praise for the writing, he likened the storyline's simplicity to "the average football cheer".[11] Kim Edwards from the Chicago Tribune, in a negative review, found the film "Absurdly unrealistic at times."[12] The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Paula Nechak concluded the film was "predictable and surprisingly-confusing in its 'ultimate message'."[13]

Many critics praised Kirsten Dunst's performance. In his review, A. O. Scott called her "a terrific comic actress, largely because of her great expressive range, and the nimbleness with which she can shift from anxiety to aggression to genuine hurt."[9] Charles Taylor of Salon notes "among contemporary teenage actresses, Dunst is the sunniest imaginable parodist."[14] Jessica Winter from The Village Voice shared this sentiment, commenting "[Dunst] provides the only major element of Bring It On plays as tweaking parody rather than slick, strident, body-slam churlishness."[15] Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle, despite giving the film an unfavorable review, commended Dunst for her willingness "to be as silly and cloyingly agreeable as it takes to get through a slapdash film."[16]

Cultural historian Maud Lavin says despite Bring It On's predictable plot, its depiction of aggressive and competitive women, the differences shown between class and race, and the playful way it deals with homophobia, it offers deep cultural clout and meaning. In particular, Lavin says the film suggests "Race relations [could be] smoothed and transcended through level-playing-field sports competitiveness."[17]


The film ranked #30 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies.[18] Initially unimpressed with the film and giving it 2 of 4 stars, Roger Ebert later referred to it as the "Citizen Kane of cheerleader movies."[19]


Several of cast members from the Bring It On film franchise went on to greater fame or notoriety. Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union, Jesse Bradford, Clare Kramer, Lindsay Sloane, and several others from the original film were notable entertainers and television actors or grew into roles since their participation in the film. Felicia Day of Bring It On Again, became a respected actress in Joss Whedon's projects such as Dollhouse and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, as well as a screenwriter for a web series called The Guild.


Bring It On preceded five direct-to-video sequels:

The only sequel to feature any of the original crew from Bring It On was 2004's Bring It On Again. It shared the producers. These producers did not return for the subsequent sequels, and none of the films share recurring cast members. Original star Eliza Dushku is quoted in interviews as never invited to participate in the sequels. Steve Rash directed two of the sequels, Alyson Fouse wrote four screenplays. Otherwise, none of the films in the Bring It On franchise share personnel.

The five films following Bring It On share tenuous links. The plot of each film typically follows the first film—a competitive cheerleading team changes routines or other elements to win.

Stage musical[edit]

A stage version of the film premiered at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia on January 16, 2011. The musical has music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt, lyrics by Amanda Green, and a book by Jeff Whitty.[20][21][22] The director and choreographer is Andy Blankenbuehler. The cast includes Amanda LaVergne as Campbell, Adrienne Warren as Danielle, and Nick Blaemire as Randall, and "award-winning competitive cheerleaders from across the country".[20]

The Alliance Theatre production was nominated for eight Suzi Bass Awards, winning awards for Choreography (Andy Blankenbuehler), Sound Design (Brian Ronan), and World Premiere Play or Musical.[23] The production was nominated for ten Atlanta Theater Fan Awards from in 2011.[24] The production won for Best Musical and Best Choreography (Andy Blankenbuehler).[25]

A national tour of the musical started at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, November–December 2011 then traveled to San Francisco, Denver, Houston, and Toronto. The national tour stars Taylor Louderman as Campbell, and Jason Gotay as Randall.[26][27] The cast celebrated kicking-off the national tour of the musical on October 22, 2011 by performing skits from the show.[28]

The New York Times reviewer wrote of the Ahmanson Theatre production: "After an opening number truly-dazzles as it reveals the cast’s impressive gymnastic prowess, the score hits its stride after Campbell transfers to Jackson High. Surging R&B grooves and churning lyrics suggest the fingerprints of Mr. Miranda ... the dance numbers for the Jackson crowd kick the musical into high-gear for most of the first act.... Like most entertainments about the trials and triumphs of the teenage years, 'Bring It On' has as much sap as it does pep in its DNA, distinguished primarily by the electrifying dance routines and the elaborate cheer-squad performances."[26]

The musical opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre, in a limited run, starting on July 12, 2012, in previews, officially on August 1 through December 30, 2012.[29][30][31]


  1. ^ a b c "Bring It On (2000) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
  2. ^ a b c Rizov, Vadim (July 15, 2010). "The unexpected cult status of Peyton Reed's "Bring It On."". IFC. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 25, 2000). "Bring It On". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Kleinman, Geoffrey. "Peyton Reed - Director of Bring it On". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Bring It On: 2000". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  6. ^ Bring It On at Rotten Tomatoes
  7. ^ a b c "Bring It On". Metacritic. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  8. ^ "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  9. ^ a b Scott, A. O. (August 25, 2000). "Bring It On (2000) Film Review; Strong, Modest and Sincere Behind All the Giddy Cheer". The New York Times. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  10. ^ Kevin Thomas (25 August 2000). "'Bring It On' Has a Light Step". Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ David Sterritt (8 September 2000). "The Monitor Movie Guide". Christian Science Monitor.
  12. ^ Vicky Edwards (August 25, 2000). "NOT MUCH TO CHEER ABOUT". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 16, 2019. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  13. ^ Paula Nechak (2 October 2000). "Nothing new in banal 'Bring It On'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 2 October 2000. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  14. ^ Taylor, Charles (August 25, 2000). ""Bring It On": Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Spunky cheerleaders rip-up 'the color line'". Salon. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  15. ^ Winter, Jessica (August 29, 2000). "Cheer and Loathing". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  16. ^ Stack, Peter (August 25, 2000). "Navel Maneuvers / Cheerleader comedy `Bring It On' shows its stomachs, not its brains". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  17. ^ Lavin, Maud (2010). "Push Comes to Shove: New Images of Aggressive Women", p. 58. The MIT Press, Cambridge. ISBN 978-0-262-12309-9.
  18. ^ "50 Best High School Movies". Entertainment Weekly. July 31, 2008.
  19. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 18, 2009). "Fired Up". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  20. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth and Hetrick, Adam. Something to Cheer About: Bring It On: The Musical Begins Atlanta Run Jan. 16 After Ice Delay" Archived 2011-02-02 at the Wayback Machine, January 16, 2011
  21. ^ Rohter, Larry (October 27, 2010). "Lin-Manuel Miranda to Close Out Broadway Run of 'In the Heights'- ArtsBeat Blog -". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  22. ^ Listing Archived December 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, accessed November 10, 2010
  23. ^ "Suzi Bass Awards" Archived 2012-08-27 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Atlanta Theater Fan Award Nominations" Archived 2012-04-22 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Atlanta Theater Fan Award Winners Announced" Archived 2011-09-16 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ a b Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review:'Bring It On'. Power Struggles Over Pep and High School Popularity", The New York Times, November 22, 2011
  27. ^ "'Bring It On: The Musical' to Launch National Tour at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre", February 17, 2011
  28. ^ "Stage Tube Highlights"., October 28, 2011
  29. ^ Staff. "Three Cheers! Bring It On: The Musical Confirmed to Play Broadway This Summer", May 15, 2012
  30. ^ Bring It On - The Musical- at Playbill Vault
  31. ^ Broadway's Bring It On Sets New December 2012 Closing Date,, October 16, 2012

External links[edit]