20th Century Fox Released 2002


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Movie Summary

Charles Stone III

Drumline is a 2002 film about Devon Miles (Nick Cannon), a teenager attending A&T University in Atlanta on a marching band scholarship for his skills at drumming. When he arrives, he makes a connection with Laila (Zoe Saldana), but his place on the band isn't going as smoothly. At A&T they require their band members to read music, which Devon can't do. He also clashes with Sean Taylor (Leonard Roberts), the percussion leader, as a result of his arrogance and cocky attitude. Meanwhile, Dr. Lee, head of the band and the person who gave Devon his scholarship, is under pressure from the school's president, President Wagner (Afemo Omilani) to ditch the music-based routines that incorporate different genres and focus on using new, popular songs for entertainment value. At a game against their rivals, Morris Brown College, Devon's cocky attitude ruins everything for him when he plays a member of the opposing team's drum, considered a serious insult. He is kicked out of the marching band and Laila is embarrassed of him. Devon learns that there's an easy way out of his situation- joining the Morris Brown team, where he would get a scholarship and not need to learn how to read music. He knows his heart lies with A&T, but to stay there, he'd have to prove himself, which would include not drumming for the band, at least for a while. The teams will show down at the BET Big Southern Classic, and Devon must decide- which team will he be on when they both take the field?



Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Every holiday season needs a pleasant surprise, and this year it's Drumline. This entertaining and enthusiastically told tale shrewdly energizes its way-familiar plot line by setti...

  • 70

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    If all this does not quite add up to a coherent movie, it does produce a bouncy, boisterous and charming one, which becomes downright thrilling when it shows the bands in action.

  • 70

    Variety Joe Leydon

    Brimming with heart and humor -- Drumline is a formulaic crowdpleaser set in the competitive world of university marching bands at predominantly black universities.

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Arts, Comedy, Music


Romantic Comedy, Musicals