Best Recent Musical Movies, Ranked

There’s something truly magical about musical theatre, and it’s even more magical when these musical works are made into movies, making the spectacle of stage performances widely accessible. Musical films are not a new concept. There have been hundreds over the years, including big ones like Cabaret, fat, the sound of music and The Wizard of Oz, with new features constantly being added to the list.

There are also instances where musical films, such as those by Disney Frozen, turn into musicals after their success at the box office. This has happened with many great works, including Beetlejuice, Heathersand Bad girls.

The musical film genre is great because it offers something for everyone. There’s drama, romance, comedy, and even a bit of action, and it’s all topped off with song and dance. It’s a unique and really fun viewing experience for the whole family. The genre is so successful that there are new musical films in production all the time, like the upcoming Nasty movie starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo. It was also recently revealed that the sequel to Jokerwith Joaquin Phoenix, could be a musical.

While gearing up for some of the exciting musical releases to come, here are six of the best musical movies released in recent years.

6 The Greatest Showman (2017)

Released in 2017, The greatest showman is a biographical musical about famed entertainer PT Barnum (Hugh Jackman) and his creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus attraction. Along with Jackman, The greatest showman sports a talented cast including Zac Efron (musical high school), Zendaya (Euphoria), Michelle Williams (shutter island), Rachel Ferguson (The girl on the train) and Broadway star Keala Settle. The greatest showman grossed $435 million worldwide and won acclaim for its dazzling visuals, performances, and original music.

The greatest showman also found success on the big screen in the form of music streams. Most notably, “Rewrite the Stars”, sung by Efron and Zendaya, and “This is Me”, sung by Settle, became the film’s standout tracks. “This is Me” was nominated for several awards, including the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2018. Although it didn’t win, it is still popular among music fans and those who loved the film. . If you are looking for a larger than life romantic watch, The greatest showman is a perfect choice.


5 Dear Evan Hansen (2021)

Dear Evan Hansen premiered last year and is based on the 2015 musical of the same name. Directed by Stephen Chbosky (Charlie’s world), Dear Evan Hansen is – in a nutshell – a coming-of-age musical about an isolated, anxious high school student who seeks a sense of belonging and understanding, sending him on a journey of self-discovery. Ben Flat (Perfectlisten)) plays Evan Hansen, which is a reprisal of his role from the show’s stage representation.

Dear Evan Hansen features a beautiful and poignant tracklist, with songs like “Waving Through a Window” and is a heartwarming film for anyone, especially teens and young adults, who may find they can relate directly to the concept and the characters. Certainly, Dear Evan Hansen is one of those musicals that isn’t quite as good as the original source material. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, but was well received by mainstream audiences and maintained a certain level of popularity despite its negative reviews.

Related: 12 highest-grossing musical films of all time

4 La La Terre (2016)

The Earth is romantic, cheerful and full of Old Hollywood energy. It’s about a jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Emma Stone), who meet and fall in love while chasing their dreams in Los Angeles. Full of swing jazz, driving beats and amazing dancing, The Earth is energetic and bursting with life. The budding romance between Gosling and Stone’s characters is dreamy and gripping, and both of their performances are exaggerated in a way that only works in musicals, which is what makes this such a fun watch.

At the 74th Annual Golden Globes, The Earth was nominated in seven categories, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Director (Damien Chazelle) and Best Original Song for “City of Stars.” The Earth won in all seven categories for which it was nominated, setting a record for most Golden Globes won by a single film. It’s been out since 2016, but if you haven’t checked The Earth yet, it’s guaranteed to make you smile and stomp uncontrollably to the mind-blowing melodies of the soundtrack.

3 In the Heights (2021)

This musical drama is based on the stage performance of the same name by Quiara Alegria Hudes and Lin Manuel Miranda (hamilton). Released in 2021, In the heights concerns the community of the predominantly Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York. The film follows community members as they work to pursue their dreams of a better life.

In the heights is a vibrant celebration of culture, community, love and perseverance. It captures the beauty and vitality of a neighborhood with a unique heritage and brings the stories of its characters to life through the use of upbeat and upbeat songs. It’s a great example of adapting a stage performance into a movie the right way. The film version of In the heights still captures all the necessary essence of the stage version and simultaneously breathes new life into the musical film genre.

Related: 8 musical films told entirely in song (and without dialogue)

2 West Side Story (2021)

Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s timeless musical, West Side Story, was originally published in 1961. It tells the story of the Jets, a group of white men, and the Sharks, a group of Puerto Ricans – two gangs constantly at odds in New York City. The story centers on Tony and Maria, two star-crossed lovers from each rival gang, who eventually fall in love, despite the disapproval of their friends and family. Steven Spielberg directed a remake of the film last year, which received rave reviews.

West Side Story is complete with stunning dance routines and iconic songs that have become pivotal parts of musical theater history. The remake of this Romeo and Juliet-inspired work is just as good as the original, and in some cases you can even say it’s better. On the one hand, Spielberg’s version aimed to repair the portrayal of the Puerto Rican community that the original film had tarnished. Moreover, the cinematography of the 2021 movie is stunning and truly beautiful to watch. The re-imagined West Side Story is a total knockout and fans of the original will have no problem loving it, which really is the true indicator of a successful remake.

1 Tick, tick… Boom! (2021)

Released last year on Netflix, Tick, tick… Boom! is a biographical musical based on Jonathan Larson (Lease) musical of the same name. The story chronicles his journey of writing a musical that will succeed in the theater industry, while simultaneously balancing love, friendship, and everyday life as an aspiring composer. Tick, tick… Boom! was Lin Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut and stars Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) in the lead role, which also earned him his first Golden Globe.

Tick, tick.. Boom! is a raw and heartbreaking look at the creative process. While it’s heartbreaking and sad at times, it’s also vibrant and beautiful, in a way a tribute to Larson’s work. Tick, tick… Boom! was extremely well received and its accessibility on Netflix added to its success. Tick, tick… Boom! came out at a time when musicals were seemingly popping up around every corner, but it stands out as one of the best. It grips you from start to finish and is truly a masterclass in clever storytelling.

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