How She Move 

Directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid

How She Move meshes the standard coming-of-age tale with the dance competition movie to create a familiar, yet not unwelcome addition to both genres. What Move does better than its predecessors Step Up, Stomp the Yard, and You Got Served (just to scratch the surface) is temper its sappy storyline with heady doses of hot dance steps and semi-realistic characters that utter intelligent dialogue (regardless of what the title suggests). This doesn’t mean there aren’t moments that are a little too convenient or cute, but all is forgiven once the hip-hop starts and the dancers start steppin’. The titular stepper in Move is Raya (newcomer Rutina Wesley) who returns home to the projects from boarding school after her older sister dies from a drug overdose. To get back to the academy, Raya must perform well on a scholarship exam. Assuming she flunked it Raya takes another route to pay for her tuition — she joins the local all-male steppin’ team headed by old flame Bishop (Dwain Murphy), to compete for a $50,000 competition prize. As quaint as the plot sounds, the gritty look and feel of the film lend credibility to Raya’s predicament — and after seeing the fervid choreography you really wonder how does she work those moves.

Opens January 25

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