From teen queens to senior citizens, the silver screen is full of notable cheerleaders. To celebrate the May 10, 2019, release of "Poms" — a movie starring Diane Keaton as Martha, an older woman who moves into a retirement community and rallies her fellow golden-agers (played by Rhea Perlman, Pam Grier, Jacki Weaver, Phyllis Somerville and more) to form a spirit squad — Wonderwall.com is taking a look at our favorite films about cheerleaders…
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The epitome of cheerleading movies is, of course, the instant classic "Bring It On" (and all of its sequels). It's hard to pick a favorite from this star-studded franchise, which spans the years 2000 to 2017, but we're going to go with the fierce original featuring Torrance Shipman (played by Kirsten Dunst) and Isis (played by Gabrielle Union) as rival team captains for their Southern California squads.
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Megan Fox headlined as Jennifer Check in the Diablo Cody-penned 2009 dark comedy-horror flick "Jennifer's Body," which follows what happens when a high school cheerleader becomes possessed after a satanic sacrifice goes dreadfully wrong. In the last few years, this flop has reemerged as a cult feminist hit.
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Stuff Tommy Lee Jones in a sorority house with five college cheerleaders, and comedy is bound to follow. In 2005's "Man of the House," the Oscar winner plays Roland Sharp, a Texas Ranger tasked with protecting a group of sorority sisters after they witness a violent murder. But the real stars (and eventual heroes) are cheerleaders Anne (Christina Milian), Teresa (Paula Garces), Evie (Monica Keena), Heather (Vanessa Ferlito) and Barb (Kelli Garner).
It's hard not to root for the rare teenage guys who dare to don a cheerleading uniform. In 2009's "Fired Up!" Eric Christian Olsen and Nicholas D'Agosto portray two bold football players who ditch their starting spots for the sidelines when they discover the wonderful world (and girls) of cheer camp.
Natasha Lyonne starred in 1999's "But I'm a Cheerleader" as a stereotypical peppy high school cheerleader who gets sent to a conversion therapy program after her conservative family begins to suspect she's a lesbian. It's only when her character, Megan — one of Natasha's first headlining roles — dumps her pompoms and begins to embrace her homosexuality that the fun really starts.
Mena Suvari shot into the spotlight with her portrayal of vain but beautiful high school cheerleader Angela Hayes, who seduces her best friend's dad in 1999's "American Beauty." The critical hit won an Academy Award for best picture while Mena snagged a BAFTA Award nomination for her efforts.
In the 2001 flick "Sugar & Spice," a pregnant high school cheerleader turns to bank robbery to support her growing family because… well, it seemed like a good idea at the time? Marley Shelton's Diane Weston is perhaps not the brightest felon around, but she's certainly one of the more lovable bank robbers in the business. The flick also notably starred Melissa George and Mena Suvari.
When the pro football league and its cheerleaders go on strike, it's up to a bunch of has-been players and some local strippers to finish the season. As head cheerleader Annabelle Ferrell in 2000's "The Replacements," Brooke Langton finds herself falling for the fill-in quarterback (played by Keanu Reeves) as she attempts to turn a bunch of exotic dancers into an acceptable sideline squad.
A combination of a typical teen movie and a gory slasher flick, 1988's "Cheerleader Camp" incorporated the best of each genre. Talented but unlucky squad member Alison Wentworth (played by Betsy Russell) headlined as a cheerleader whose time at camp goes dreadfully wrong. Bonus trivia: The film's original title was "Bloody Pom Poms."
Just as 2001's "Not Another Teen Movie" is a parody of typical adolescent films, Jaime Pressly's Priscilla is a caricature of the nasty cheerleader seen so often in the genre. In this flick, petty and vain Priscilla is the absolute personification of that girl we all love to hate.
The cheerleading scene in 2004's "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" might be short, but it's definitely worth some chuckles. Lori Beth Denberg steals the scene as Martha Johnstone, an endearingly peppy hopeful team member.
Erin Byron and Charity Rahmer starred as Angela and Parker in this 2003 straight-to-DVD flick about cheerleading camp gone terribly wrong. "Cheerleader Massacre" is filled with sex, blood and gore, making it the perfect slacker flick for horror fans with serious spirit.
With drinking, bullying, cheating and more, 2008's made-for-TV movie "Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal" has all the elements of a typical Lifetime drama. Its wild high school cheerleaders Brooke Tippit (Ashley Benson), Jeri Blackburn (Jessica Heap), Lisa Toledo (Aimee Spring Fortier), Ashley (Stephanie Honore) and Tabitha Doering (Ashlynn Ross), though, who really elevate this ripped-from-the-headlines classic.
High school is hard… but high school in a town that's actually a hotbed of satanism is really hard. In the 1977 horror-comedy "Satan's Cheerleaders," Patty (played by Kerry Sherman) and the rest of her squad race to escape a kidnapper who's intent on sacrificing them at an upcoming black mass.