Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this film's second scene is violent, then sad: A fight between groups of boys (featuring hectic editing and aggressive camerawork) ends when the main character's brother is shot and killed (bloody wound is visible). Characters discuss sex (one young man shows his selection of condoms) and use sex-infused slang. Aggressive language includes "bitch," "s--t," "hell," "asshole," and derogatory terms; a couple of African-American characters use the "N" word to show hostility. R&B singer Ne-Yo is one of the film's stars.
Several scenes feature college-age students dancing provocatively (in clubs and in competitions) with girls wearing midriff/cleavage-baring outfits; sexual connection between characters; romantic slow dance leads to a kiss on the dance floor; DJ makes fun of his own flirting with April by making kissy noises in the library; start of their sexual relationship is signaled by her entering his dorm room and him shutting the door on the camera; handsome, well-toned step team goes jogging in slow motion, sweaty and shirtless; couple does homework in underwear and T-shirts.
Early scene shows the murder of the protagonist's brother by gunshot (bloody, upsetting); stepping routines are aggressive (one team uses a live snake to show "potency," another wears wolf masks and costumes).
A couple of uses of the "N" word (by African-American characters); other language includes "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "hell," and "damn."
Protagonist is initially aggressive, then both chastened and frustrated by his brother's murder; aggressive competition between fraternity steppers; very positive and welcome affirmation of African-American historical legacies; doing the "right thing" by his girl wins honor for the hero in the end.
Coca Cola logos (film is set in Atlanta); MTV News (Sway "covers" and narrates the final competition).
Drugs / Tobacco /
Drinking (beer, shots, other liquor) in clubs; background characters smoke cigarettes.