Tom Cruise isn't the only movie star who knows how to rock
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'School of Rock' (2003)
Richard Linklater spins Jack Black's manic energy into pure gold in this lighthearted comedy, which tells the story of a cash-strapped heavy metal guitarist who poses as an elementary school substitute in order to pay the rent - and in the process forms a kiddie rock band made up of his pre-pubescent charges. What could have been instantly-forgettable fluff becomes, in the hands of its perfectly-matched director and star, a winning crowd-pleaser with real heart, effectively maintaining a tone that makes it one of the rare films that's equally enjoyable for both adults and children. Black and Linklater are both well-known rock aficionados, and they imbue the film with a genuine enthusiasm for the music that can't be faked.
- Chris Eggertsen