Category: musical

Beauty And The Beast [2017] ★★½

 “Beauty and the Beast” is one of my favorite Disney animated movies, so naturally, I wanted the live action version to be as enchanting. First the good news: the film is beautiful to look at and well cast. Emma Watson needs no introduction, and she effortlessly becomes Belle, […]

La La Land [2016] ★★★★

  Hollywood has always had a soft spot for musicals. “The Broadway Melody” in the 1920’s, “Singin’ in the Rain” and “An American in Paris” in the 1950’s, “Oliver!” in the 1960’s and “Chicago” in the early 2000’s. In 2011, french director Michel Hazanavicius hired Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo […]

Pitch Perfect 2 [2015] ★★½

It doesn’t break any new ground, but “Pitch Perfect 2” provides lively entertainment as it builds on a template that’s familiar to anyone who’s seen such movies as “Bring it On” and “Step Up”. Once again, the people behind this comedy use an engaging cast and a selection of popular […]

Into The Woods [2014] ★★

 As a long time fan of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales, I had high hopes for this elaborate musical adaptation (which in turn is based on a Broadway play). I’m sorry to report that I came away disappointed. It would take a lot to completely spoil the original material, […]

Annie [2014] ★½

What a disaster. Jamie Foxx is such a fine actor that matching him up with Quvenzhané Wallis (who was Oscar nominated for her role in 2012’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild” at the age of 9) to modernize the beloved stage musical “Annie” sounds promising. On paper. What’s onscreen feels squeezed, dull […]

Begin Again [2014] ★★★

Summer brings out the big guns in Hollywood with blockbusters ready to crush any movie that values simplicity and sincere emotion. Well, don’t let summer squash “Begin Again”, the new musical drama from writer-director John Carney, who did such a fine job with “Once” a few years ago (and won an […]

Les Misérables [2012] ★★★

Tom Hooper’s flawed but frequently dazzling “Les Misérables” is a hot-blooded musical fantasia full of songs, songs and more songs. There’s barely any spoken dialogue so basically everyone sings for nearly three hours without giving us a chance to take a deep breath! If this isn’t your cup of tea, […]

Rock Of Ages [2012] ★★½

There’s nothing inherently wrong with “Rock of Ages”, a movie with a killer soundtrack and a brilliant performance by Mr. Tom Cruise, but there’s nothing special about it either. This is a situation where audiences will go into the theater humming the featured songs, and while the movie they see […]