We can’t stop making movies about inner city teens, however, just because we’ve seen their plight before.  And we certainly can’t stop making movies about people like Pierre Dulaine, simply because he’s a dance instructor – especially when actors like Banderas do such a fine job of portraying them.  Equally adept is Woodard, who handles every role brilliantly.  And, nowhere among the young actors is there a moment of bad acting – pretty good for a large ensemble.

Several DVD extras also make this a worthwhile rental, especially the featurettes and, if you’re so inclined, an on-camera tango lesson.  Younger audiences should steer clear, however, as the film does deal with mature themes, with language to match.

Regardless of the fact that the subject matter has been tackled before, “Take the Lead” is a moving story that should coax a smile, however wry, from the most cynical of critics.  If it was just another dance film, it might be less inspirational.  But because the film is based on a true story, it’s hard not to walk away at least a little encouraged about life, and the ability that we all possess, no matter what our circumstances, to change.
      
DVD EXTRAS:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Three Trailers Remixed by Well-Known DJs
  • Three Behind-the-Dance Featurettes
  • “You Take the Lead” – Interactive Tango Demonstration
  • Audio Commentary by director and editor

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  In a few scenes, drug use and drug trafficking is implied. One or two scenes with social drinking (in background).
  • Language/Profanity:  A few mild obscenities and profanities; some lewd lyrics can be heard in rap music.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  Suggestive dancing.
  • Violence:  Several scenes with guns and/or fighting, but no murder.  In one, a main character is beaten and his life is threatened.