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By Jess Fenton
18th August 2020

They're sexy. They're cute. They're popular to boot. I can only be talking about the Rancho Carney Toros... and the East Compton Clovers - because let's face it, the Clovers were so "bank" that the Toros ripped 'em off. I was 16 when 'Bring It On' hit the multiplex. 16! That's the greatest age to be when 'Bring It On' came out. My friends and I devoured that movie again and again and again. We memorised the cheers. We quoted it ad nauseam. We dressed up as Toros for costume parties. 'Bring It On' was the poo, so we took a big whiff. We didn't even question why the hell there was a person called Torrance, we loved it that much.

In the Cheerocracy known as Hollywood cheerleaders, the Toros have reigned supreme for the last 20 years, and will for many more to come. Even Roger Ebert himself called it "the Citizen Kane of cheerleader movies". Yeah, let that sink in for a sec. Many have tried to dethrone the Toros since 2000. Many have failed. Some both past and present have come close but as we've learned, second place (hell yeah!) can sometimes feel like first. So the next time you're wondering if you should watch 'Bring It On' (a film you can most definitely quote verbatim) for the 87th time, here are some other ways to get your cheer fix.

Cheer (2020 - Netflix)
Not a movie, but an epic six-part docuseries, 'Cheer' is what everyone was talking about for 10 glorious weeks at the beginning of the year before 'Tiger King' came along... and then that other small, tiny, little... pandemic thing took over conversations. This rollercoaster journey follows the Navarro College cheer team as they prep for Nationals. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want coach Monica to adopt you, you'll want team member Jerry to be you're BFF, you'll want La'Darius to be your "person", and you'll want more than anything "to make mat", even though you just literally learned what it means. Feeling happy? Watch 'Cheer'. Feeling sad? Watch 'Cheer'. In desperate need of a morale or self-esteem boost? Watch 'Cheer'.

Fired Up! (2009 - rent/buy on YouTube or iTunes)
Think 'Bring It On', but with three times the comedy and half the sass - this highly underrated gem from Will Gluck (the mad genius who also gave us 'Easy A', among others) is funny with a capital F-U! When two male whore football studs finagle their way into a cheerleading camp, they end up learning empathy, friendship and respect for women... as well as how to nail a reverse cartwheel and basket toss. There's even a hilarious and all-too-real nod to the reason we're all here. So be aggressive, B-E aggressive, and track down this tumbling good time.

John Tucker Must Die (2006 - rent/buy on YouTube or iTunes)
Alright, so this isn't technically a "cheerleading" movie, but it's got cheerleaders in it. Mostly, it's about baller women who all come together from four different cliques to extract their revenge on the men of all men in this great "sisters before misters" comedy that stars our favourite Barton Bella Brittany Snow, Ashanti, Sophia Bush, the first Mrs Dean Forester, Arielle Kebbel and a pre-'Gossip Girl' Penn Badgley. Get 'em, giiirls.

Sugar & Spice (2001 - rent/buy on iTunes)
If there's one thing cheerleaders are known for, it's incomparable teamwork and trust. So when the head cheerleader falls pregnant to the quarterback, this cheer squad bands together and turns to armed robbery to help their friend support her growing family. This black comedy is not to be missed. It has James Marsden in it, so 'nuff said. Okay, okay, it's also got Marley Shelton, Mena Suvari, Melissa George and Marla Sokoloff. Happy now? Crime and cheerleading - what a delicious combination.

Not Another Teen Movie (2001 - rent/buy on YouTube or iTunes)
Pulling from 'The Breakfast Club', 'She's All That', 'American Pie', 'Varsity Blues', 'Cruel Intentions' and, of course, 'Bring It On' just to name a few, this comedy satire rivals its source materials for laughs and hijinx. And it stars 'Captain America' himself - Chris Evans - recreating that scene from 'Varsity Blues'. You're welcome.

Stick It (2006 - I swear it's on 9GO! like, once a month)
As someone great and wise once told us, "Cheerleaders are gymnasts too, just no beam, no bar, no vault." Can't get enough of that 'Bring It On' vernacular? Hungry for more? Well, look no further. After the success of 'Bring It On', master scribe Jessica Bendinger decided to step behind the camera as well to write and direct 'Stick It' - the slick tale of a damaged teen forced back into the world of elite gymnastics... where The Dude is her coach. That's right folks, Jeff Bridges himself rocks high-waisted track pants and tucked-in polo shirts as he attempts to coach a group of ragtag gals to gold! It's sassy. It's hilarious. It will make your muscles hurt just watching what these girls can do in yet another underrated gem on this list.

Ant-Man (2015 - Disney+)
In a way... ants... are like cheerleaders... in that they work as a team and... um... okay, fine! 'Ant-Man' isn't a cheerleading movie, but you know who directed it? Peyton Reed! Yeah, that's right, El Capitan of the HMAS 'Bring It On'! Post-'BIO', he sold out and sold up by jumping on the MCU train, directing both 'Ant-Man' and 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' (and the impending 'Ant-Man 3' as soon as the effing pandemic fucks off!). Hey, you're reading this list because you're in search of more 'Bring It On', right? Well, how 'bout the guy who made the damn thing!

Fun Fact: Peyton was the mime in 'Bring It On'.

RUN TIME: 1h 38m
CAST: Kirsten Dunst
Jesse Bradford
Eliza Dushku
Gabrielle Union
Huntley Ritter
Clare Kramer
Nicole Bilderback
Tsianina Joelson
Nathan West
Shamari Fears
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed
PRODUCERS: Marc Abraham
Thomas A. Bliss
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