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May 01, 2006

Stick It

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A message of competitive independence permeates debut director Jessica Bendinger’s spunky movie about Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym) a headstrong gymnast-disguised-as-rebel who learns to embrace her talents by way of careful coaching from Jeff Bridges. As girls’ gymnastics coach Burt Vickerman, Jeff Bridges gives a fully rounded performance that bristles with sincerity and trust. Bendinger (screenwriter on "Bring It On") sets the story in Houston, Texas where Haley contemplates her judicial rehabilitation under a court-ordered semester at the Vickerman Gymnastic Academy. Burt understands Haley’s fiercely independent streak and fosters an unconventional team atmosphere that inspires a surprising succession of tricks at the team’s championship event. "Stick It" is a feel-good movie parents will enjoy as much as their kids.

Rated PG-13. 105 mins. (B-) (Three Stars)

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