A band director recruits a Harlem street drummer to play at a Southern university.
2.35 : 1
Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language.
Comedy, Drama, Romance, Music
University, Drummer, Fish Out Of Water, Marching Band, Dancing
Dolby Digital, DTS
Musical Drama, Coming-of-Age
Musician's Life, Underdogs, College Life
Rousing, Easygoing, Humorous, Warm, Stirring
Fish Out Of Water, Marching Band
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3, 7, 8
Count - Awards
US Box Office
Country Of Origin
Drumline is a 2002 American film directed by Charles Stone III. The screenplay, which was inspired by The Southwest Dekalb High School Drumline (SWD), was written by Tina Gordon Chism and Shawn Schepps. The story is about a young drummer from New York, played by Nick Cannon, who enters the fictional Atlanta A&T University and bumps heads with the leader of his new school's drum section. Leonard Roberts, Zoe Saldana, and Orlando Jones co-star.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Youtube Video Code
The story concerns Devon Miles (Cannon), a teen who has just graduated from high school in New York City. Upon graduating, Devon heads to Atlanta, Georgia to attend the fictitious Atlanta A&T University, a historically black college that takes enormous pride in its marching band. Devon was personally invited to attend on full scholarship by Dr. Lee (Jones), head of the band, for his prodigious talents. The A&T band separates itself from its competitors by requiring all members to read music, by focusing on various styles of music rather than what music is currently popular on the radio, and by dedication to the teamwork emphasized "one band, one sound" concept. The band has a preseason that is similar to an athletic team's induction in that it is very physically and mentally difficult. It challenges all recruits to push themselves past what they previously thought were their limits. At the end of preseason, the musicians audition for spots on the field, and Devon is the only freshman to make P1, the highest level player. While going through his rigorous process, Devon also finds time to romance an upperclassman dancer, Laila (Saldana).
College life starts well for Devon, as he has the girl and a spot on the field. Things begin to sour when Sean (Roberts), Devon's percussion leader, begins to grow weary of Devon's cocky attitude. Sean later challenges Devon to take a solo in his first game, believing the freshman will panic and be embarrassed in front of everyone. Sean is shocked when Devon takes the solo and is subsequently humiliated. This sets up some tension in the drumline which is exacerbated when Dr. Lee is told by President Wagner (Afemo Omilami), the school's president, to change his focus from music to entertainment or lose his funding. Lee does not want to give Devon more playing time because he feels Devon's attitude and respect are lacking. The situation further deteriorates when it is revealed that Devon cannot read music. Devon is demoted to P4 by Dr. Lee until he learns, then later put back on P1 when Wagner pressures Dr. Lee to do so. However, after inflaming a melee with a visiting band at A&T's homecoming game after Devon plays on an opposing band member's drum (a serious insult in drumline mythos), Devon is finally kicked out of the band by Dr. Lee. The fight also harms his relationship with Laila as she is embarrassed to introduce him to her parents, who attended the game.
Devon contacts A&T's rival school Morris Brown College, to discuss playing for their band next season. Mr. Wade (J. Anthony Brown), Brown's band leader, says that Devon does not need to know how to read music and will likely get a full scholarship and a good position on the drumline. When Wade wants to know what Dr. Lee is planning for the BET Big Southern Classic (a large competition of college bands), Devon realizes that his heart and honor are still with the A&T band. He rejects the scholarship offer from the rival band and returns to A&T.
Though Devon is still not playing for the band, he cannot give up his drumming. He is sent cassette tapes from his estranged father and gets some ideas for new drum arrangements. He and Sean have a final confrontation that clears the air and they begin to work together. The two present their idea for an entrance cadence to Dr. Lee who decides they will be used during the Classic. Devon helps the drumline prepare and patches up his relationship with Laila.
At the Classic, the bands are shown performing a mixture of popular songs. Morris Brown's band even gets rapper Petey Pablo to perform during their routine. A&T is not fazed by this and performs their mix of retro and current sounds. A tie results and the Morris Brown and A&T drumlines face off. Dr. Lee tells Devon he can play for this face-off, showing his faith in Devon's improved character and in thanks for all the hard work he has done in getting the band ready for the Classic. Morris Brown goes first and A&T responds. Morris Brown's second cadence i
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