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Take the Lead

Antonio Banderas has the moves. So it’s a kick to watch him play Pierre Dulaine, the dance teacher who took his skills into New York’s public-school system and turned troubled teens into ballroom smoothies. Inspired by a true story (translation: a lot of it is made up), the movie shucks its corn straight from the cob. But it’s no less engaging for that, thanks to the enthusiasm of the young cast and the fusion of classic dance with hip-hop moves courtesy of Rich and Tone Talauega. First-time director Liz Friedlander, who did videos for U2 and Blink-182, wisely lets Banderas tango with Katya Virshilas, who’d make anyone sign up for lessons. They’re mad hot.

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