Jack Black plays unemployed slob and hell-raising guitarist Dewey Finn, who needs to make a few fast bucks after being kicked out of his rock band. Posing as his reformed rocker-come-substitute teacher flatmate, he falls into teaching a class of prepubescent stiffs. After over hearing the kids practice in their school orchestra, Finn decides to teach the kids "the power of rock", and fulfil his life long dream of entering the Battle of the Bands competition.
Released in October 2003, School of Rock was the sleeper-hit that shot Jack Black into movie stardom, and it's really not hard to see how. Specifically written with Black in mind, this is the one film that can actually handle his absurd comedical stylings, and it's his obvious passion for anything 'Rock' related that makes his performance shine.
Screenwriter Mike White provides an incredibly sharp script, and although it sticks to all of the school-based musical comedy conventions (coming across as a sort of Twisted-Sister Act) it undermines them as much as it exploits them, especially in the pitch-perfect punchline to the Parent's Evening scene.
However, this film would have no chance of working were it not for the extraordinarily talented young cast that make up the School of Rock pupils. Each one of these brings a specific personality to the film (even if a few of these can be quite broad or stereotypical), with Zack Attack, Spazzy McGee, Mr Cool and Tuna Sub representing the true heart and soul of the film.
To summarise, School of Rock is the perfect feel-good film, and certainly not in the way that 'feel-good' is often used as a stand-in for 'rubbish'. With a witty script, great performances and an encylopedic knowledge of music, School of Rock stands among the best music-based comedies I've seen.
Overall: 8.5 (not an average)