5.8/10
32,167
184 user 63 critic

Drumline (2002)

Trailer
0:34 | Trailer
A band director recruits a Harlem street drummer to play at a Southern university.

Director:

Charles Stone III

Writers:

Shawn Schepps (story), Tina Gordon (screenplay) (as Tina Gordon Chism) | 1 more credit »
13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Cannon ... Devon Miles
Zoe Saldana ... Laila (as Zoë Saldana)
Orlando Jones ... Dr. Lee
Leonard Roberts ... Sean Taylor
GQ ... Jayson
Jason Weaver ... Ernest
Earl Poitier ... Charles (as Earl C. Poitier)
Candace Carey ... Diedre
Shay Roundtree ... Big Rob
Miguel A. Gaetan ... Trey
J. Anthony Brown ... Mr. Wade
Afemo Omilami ... President Wagner
Angela Elayne Gibbs ... Dorothy Miles (as Angela E. Gibbs)
Tyreese Burnett ... Henry
Brandon Hirsch ... Buck Wild
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Storyline

A fish-out-of-water comedy about a talented street drummer from Harlem who enrolls in a Southern university, expecting to lead its marching band's drumline to victory. He initially flounders in his new world, before realizing that it takes more than talent to reach the top. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Half time is game time

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drumline See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,604,705, 15 December 2002

Gross USA:

$56,399,184

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$57,588,485
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Da Brat was considered for the role of Diedre. See more »

Goofs

Size of burger when Ernest is sitting at the table eating. See more »

Quotes

BET Announcer #2: What's up Atlanta, how y'all doing?
BET Announcer #1: What's up, ATL?
BET Announcer #2: I'm Free, y'all!
BET Announcer #1: And I'm A.J. for B.E.T.'s Top 10 Live, how y'all doing out there?
[entire stadium cheers]
BET Announcer #2: It has been an amazing night, y'all. We haven't stopped grooving since we started.
BET Announcer #1: No doubt all the bands have performed and put it down, you made it very difficult for the judges to decide...
BET Announcer #2: So hard...
BET Announcer #1: Uh...
BET Announcer #2: So hard in fact that today we have...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the MBU band plays one more time over the credits, the names for each principal actor appear on the screen (and exit) in patterns resembling marching formations, such as spinning into frame and then out again like a drumline. See more »

Connections

References G.I. Jane (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Apache
Written by Jerry Lorden
Performed by Morris Brown Marching Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Could have been a lot better
17 September 2007 | by sroyjonesSee all my reviews

The "talented young smart-ass goes to college and learns there's more to life than being skillful or clever" theme is an old one and it's been done better many times in the past. Robert Young learned about teamwork in "Navy Blue and Gold." More recently Rob Lowe learned the lesson in "Oxford Blues." The difference between Drumline and these and other older films on the same theme is that the lead characters evoked more sympathy. Nick Cannon's Devon Miles character is a self-centered, posturing, swaggering jackass who evokes immediate dislike and though you see him grow up a little in the course of the film, you never really learn to like or respect him.

Drumline also suffers from an identity crisis of its own. You're never really sure what sort of story it wants to tell. Is is a "coming of age" story, a drama, a comedy, a romance? It tries to be all of these at once and never seals the deal on any of them.

Drumline could have told a good story about a New York kid learning that there's more than one way to be black in this world. There are a couple of hints of that in Devon's relationship with Laila. Her comment to Devon: "Southern sisters don't date...we have boyfriends," could have been an opening to a good subplot about differences in black culture between different parts of the US, but, as with so many other possible plots, the story touches it lightly, and then flits off to something else. An arrogant young freshman such as Devon would have had many lessons to learn while finding his way in this environment, but the film misses nearly every opportunity to show us the relationships between the characters in any depth, so the performances come off as predictable and mechanical.

All the same, I've seen Drumline several times and enjoyed it for what it does very well. The presentation of the music and and the work that goes into running a big university marching band are very good. I could have done with more of both. The all-too-brief glimpses of life at a black southern university are well done. Again, I could have done with more of that as well. Drumline also had moments of humor, and some visually engaging camera work, especially in the music scenes.

I like this movie. I just wish it had been better done.


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