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Whip It

Sport . Drama

In Bodeen, Texas, Land Of The Dragon, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.

Actors: Mary Callaghan Lynch , Edward Austin Kelly , Marcia Gay Harden , Alia Shawkat , Juliette Lewis , Zoë Bell , Kristen Wiig , Shannon Eagen , Sarah Habel , Drew Barrymore , Landon Pigg , Ellen Page
Directors: Drew Barrymore
Country: USA
Release: 2009-10-02
More Info:
  • Roger Ebert

    An unreasonably entertaining movie, causing you perhaps to revise your notions about women's Roller Derby, assuming you have any.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Sweet without being sticky and funny without getting silly, Whip It introduces Barrymore as a director with a keen eye, a good ear for tone and an inspired touch with actors.

    New York Post Full Review
  • M. E. Russell

    Barrymore is terrific with her actors, finding moments for even the smallest supporting players.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Peter Brunette

    Clicks on so many levels -- heartwarming family story, rough-and-tumble display of grrrl power and a secondary but tender and convincing romance.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    It's that happiest of surprises: a multiplex movie that genuinely respects its young audience.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Kim Newman

    Barrymore, among the most consistently admirable women in showbiz, can proudly add a Guides badge for Meritorious Directing to her many other achievements. Excellent emo chick coming-of-age drama plus broads in fetish gear battering each other on roller skates -- frankly, a film that offers something for everyone.

    Empire Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Marcia Gay Harden is the picture’s treasure; watching her swell with concern at her daughter’s choices, you understand how hard it is to let go.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    What makes Whip It a blast is the action in the rink. What gives Whip It heart is the pathos, pain and mettle-testing elements that accompany any serious athletic competition. It doesn't hurt that its diminutive star is surprisingly athletic and agile on the track.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Rob Nelson

    Laced with good-natured hipster kitsch and endearingly goofy girl power, director Drew Barrymore's roller-derby dramedy, Whip It, is a gas.

    Variety Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Barrymore’s casting choices are intrinsic to the success of the film. Lewis, under her rink name, Iron Maven, hasn’t had this meaty a role in maybe 15 years, while Wilson as the team’s shaggy male coach is a hoot to watch. Harden and Stern, as Bliss’ parents, create fleshed-out characters instead of lazy depictions of the paper tigers that grown-ups usually are in teens’ stories.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Barrymore’s direction is generous to a fault, and there are times when you wish Whip It simply moved faster, on and off the track. It succeeds because of the emotional rather than comic payoffs.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Whip It is completely predictable from the first frame. It also is ridiculously, utterly entertaining.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Whip It (which takes its name from a play in which skaters hold hands and form a human whip to propel the last skater forward) is heaven on wheels.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    For all the hip checks and bloody noses, it doesn't have a mean bone in its body.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    Most crucially, Barrymore encourages Page to just let herself go. The sight of her making her way up residential streets in a pair of Barbie roller skates or screaming “Marco’’ in a game of Marco Polo is simply joyful.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Boisterous, cloying, simultaneously raunchy and innocent, hip and klutzy.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    What Barrymore brings is good-natured, girl-powered subversion, a sense of when to flaunt clichés and when to flip them over the rails.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Page is softer than in "Hard Candy" and "Juno." Without Diablo Cody comebacks, she’s even more marvelous.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    You might, nonetheless, want to see this movie, even -- or maybe especially -- if you have seen “Billy Elliot” or “Bend It Like Beckham.” Familiarity is not always a bad thing, and if the script, by Shauna Cross, piles sports movie and coming-of-age touchstones into a veritable cairn of clichés, the cast shows enough agility and conviction to make them seem almost fresh.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Arriving on the nastier heels of the horror comedy "Jennifer's Body," Whip It plays like that movie's more wholesome twin, delivering the same jolt of anarchic guerrilla-girl empowerment, only with a far less threatening disposition.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    A surprisingly credible coming-of-age story.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    At moments, especially in the conflicted intimacy between Marcia Gay Harden and Daniel Stern as Bliss' parents, Barrymore shows real directing chops. But in Whip It she's painting inside the box.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    The movie ended just in time. Any more of it, and I'd have been crying uncle. Or maybe, given the grrrl-power of it all, crying aunt. This is one supposedly contrarian film that rouses the counter-contrarian in you.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    The result is a film that is equal parts fluff and tough.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Jessica Baxter

    Whip It doesn’t just refer to whipping around the track or whipping ass. It’s about a girl who must whip herself into shape and grow up.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The movie is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut (she also plays fellow Hurl Scout Smashley Simpson), and it's clear she's more attuned to grrrlishness than real athletic power.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    It’s virtually impossible to hate the film, but Barrymore’s presence behind the camera suggests more calculation than vision; like a lot of actors who direct, she tends to the performances, but her style never rises above bland proficiency.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    The derby sequences are just OK, and the conflict between Bliss and her uncomprehending parents, played by Marcia Gay Harden and (a fine) Daniel Stern, is so predictable that you wish someone had rolled onto the set to whip it into shape.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    To paraphrase Devo: Whip It, not so good.

    USA Today Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    At its best, this could have been a passable distraction and at its worst, it could have been unwatchable. Barrymore manages to bring it in somewhere in between those extremes.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Has such a sweet spirit that it's easy enough to let its flaws sail by. Full Review
  • Robert Wilonsky

    Highlights: Andrew Wilson as the roller girls' coach (ah, so there's the Wilson brother who can act) and the roller-derby vets (played especially well by Juliette Lewis and Kristen Wiig) about whom we learn just enough to wish the movie was focused on them instead.

    Village Voice Full Review
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