Stars: Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White
They say: After pissing off fellow band-members with endless power solos and poorly received stage-dives, Dewey Finn (Black) gets pushed out of the rock group he founded. Broke and depressed, when a call comes through to his straight-laced flatmate (White) for a substitute music teacher at Joan Cusack’s swanky private school, Dewey talks his way in. Naturally, within days, the 10-year-olds are swapping cellos for Strats, studying punk family trees and saluting our portly hero with “the goblet of rock”. But can Dewey fast track his mini-pops, mini-groupies and mini-manager into shape in time to win the Battle Of The Bands?
We say: He rocks on stage as half of stoner metallers Tenacious D, and now Jack Black finally gets to rock on screen. It’s a mark of the man’s comic genius (with the help of director Richard Linklater) that what sounds like a wince-inducing feelgood cheesefest – and yes, there’s a concert at the end where uptight oldsters learn to headbang – is, in fact, an amp-blowing, axe-smashing triumph. AC/DC, the Who and the Ramones on the soundtrack accompany a fat man playing guitar and falling over. Lovely.
Best bit: “Your children have touched me,” Dewey explains to a bunch of angry parents. “And I believe I have touched them as well.”