All 2021 Live Action Movie Musicals Ranked (2023)

By Jennifer MacHugh

“I have the dreams, I have the style, I have the moves to make you smile…”

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2021 was one of the best years for movie musicals in a long time. It may not be the golden age, but there may be a revival of the genre. Whether you're a casual music fan or a music obsessive, this year seems to have something for everyone.

From sprawling, big-budget flicks to small, quirky indie flicks, here are the movie musicals of 2021, ranked.

RELATED:The Irony That 'West Side Story' Is Stephen Sondheim's Best Film Adaptation


7. Cinderella

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kay canyonofPitch perfectFame brings its own adaptation of the classic to the screenCinderella. On this version, Cannon draws on his family wheelhouse of using modern pop and rock hits and createsCinderellabe more jukebox thanrodgersmiHammerstein. starring pop starcamila cabelloasCinderellalike Broadway royaltybilly porteromiIdina Menzel,he had the best of intentions. It may have landed on the ground with critics, but it drew a huge audience on Amazon Prime. There likely won't be any Oscar nominations for this one, but if you can let go of the expectations, it could be fun to watch.

6. Caro Evan Hansen

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After winning the Tony in 2017, plans began for a film adaptation ofCaro Evan Hansen. FoundryBen Plattas the titular charactercame with some controversysince he was 28 years old playing a 16-year-old boy. To be fair, no one in the main cast of HS was under the age of 24, and Platt is notable in the role he originated on Broadway, so the criticism might be a bit of a stretch. This is the story of Evan Hansen, a high school student who poses as an acquaintance's best friend, Connor (colton ryan) who recently died by suicide. His lie, seemingly harmless at first, quickly spirals out of control. connor's parentsamy adamsmiDanny Pino) form a bond with Evan and he begins a romance with Connor's sister, Zoe (kaitlyn dever). The story has some problematic elements, but it could also be based on the fact that everyone does stupid things when they're 16. The point is that you grow and learn. And Evan Hansen does. The movie gets a bad rap, but it's not as bad as people say. It's worth it for the music.Benj Pasekmijustin paulwho have written hymns that will stand the test of time.

5. Anette

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If you're a traditionalist, this might not be the musical for you. However, if you're in the mood to see something completely different, this movie won't disappoint. Enrique (adam driver) is a subversive comedian who marries beloved opera singer Ann (Marion Cotillard). Their relationship is tumultuous, but results in a son namedAnnette. Plot-wise, it's hard to describe what happens from there, but it's a neo-noir psychological thriller that will stay with you long after the credits roll. From the mind of Ron and Russell Mael, better known assparks(Refer toDocumental de Edgar Wright The Sparks Brothersbecause of its history), this musical is brave, daring, and a wild ride if you hang in there. If nothing else, it's an example that there's no one way to write a musical, and between the visuals, performances, and concepts of high art,Annetteit is unforgettable

4. In the heights

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BeforeHamilton,lin manuel mirandaswept Tony's in 2008 with his first musical,in the heights. The film adaptation finally arrived in June after a year-long delay.Antonio Ramosplays Usnavi as he takes us through his daily life in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. Usnavi has big dreams of starting over in his native Dominican Republic as he watches his neighborhood succumb to the gentrification that surrounds it. It's a citywide blackout that brings the neighborhood together to celebrate what they've created. DirectorJon M Chumagically makes Washington Heights a welcoming place in the vastness of New York. Grandmother (Olga Merediz, reviving her role on Broadway) will touch your heart so much you'll practically smell the food cooking in her kitchen. Miranda's upbeat, danceable soundtrack makes for a fun summer movie, even in the dead of winter.

3. Everyone is talking about Jamie

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jamie new (Max Harwood)dream of being a drag queen. But as a gay 17-year-old in a small town in the north of England, his dreams seem out of reach. The his mother (Sara Lancashire), your best friend (lauren patel) and a local ex-drag queen, Hugo (Richard E. Grant) support him the best they can, but it's Jamie who needs to learn to be comfortable with who he is. The film itself is a colorful and joyous celebration, not forgetting the emotional turmoil and hardship it takes to be who you really are. Based on a true story, the stage musical began in London's West End and will make its American debut in Los Angeles in 2022. The film is genuine and entertaining and an example of what a great film musical can be.

2. West Side Story

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Remaking a classic musical film is no easy task, but leave it to yourself.steven spielbergformake it work. With a gritty touch of reality and a more culturally relevant cast than the beloved original, Spielberg is able to walk the fine line between reinvention and homage. It's the ladies that really shine in this newbie version.Raquel Zegler(Maria), Broadway vetAriana De Bose(Anita), and the EGOT recipient,Rita Moreno(Valentina) leads us flawlessly through a timeless tragedy. With new choreography byjustin they killand a script from the Pulitzer Prize-winningtony kushner, this movie was destined for greatness. Despite initial box office disappointment, this version is sure to be considered a classic, along with its predecessor.

1. Tic, tic… ¡Pum!

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Imagine being about to see your dream come true only to die the night before. It sounds like a movie, but unfortunately it's the tragic truth ofjonathan larson. The film examines Jonathan's life before he wroteRentand his fight to leave a legacy before time runs out.André Garfield,In an Oscar-worthy performance, he plays Larson as his entire world is swallowed up by his desire for musical success.PrideI have it. Your health, your relationships and your friendships are at stake, but the success of your work is the only thing that matters. Or is that it? lin manuel mirandamakes his impressive directorial debutbringing to life this one-man show-turned-biographical film. Broadway fans delight in the list of guest appearances by Broadway legends from every generation, but it's all about Garfield. His full incarnation of Larson is incredible and his heartbreaking rendition of the song "Why" is a cinematic moment in history. Whether you're a die-hard Larson fan or just someone who cares about giving it your all to make his dreams come true, this film will be a testament to the ambition of artists around the world.

honorable mentions

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Live musicals to record- There is a tradition of recording Broadway musicals on their Broadway stages with the original actors and turning them into a movie. This has been done for a long time (and still not long enough). WhenHamiltonreleased his recording in the summer of 2020, it was clear that there was a huge audience for this type of musical. In 2021, we saw two of these productions receive this treatment.diana: o musicalit will end on Broadway on December 19, 2021, so at this point, watching it on Netflix will be the only way to watch it. ANDcome from afarthat was stolen from a Tony Award in 2017 is available on Apple+ and is an absolutely unmissable masterpiece.

Television-annie: liveaired on NBC in early December, continuing the new trend of live musicals on network television. with stars likeHarry Connick Jr.,Nicole Scherzinger,Taraji P. Henson, and newly arrived,celina smithas the main character, it was definitely one of the best live performances yet. It is available on Hulu and Peacock for streaming.

Apple+ also jumped in with a 6-episode musical series,Schmigadoon. Herocecilia strongmiClave Keegan-Michaellike a couple that somehow gets trapped inside a musical. The show features many stars likeFred Armisén,Kristin Chenoweth,short martin,jamie camil,alan cummingJust to name a few. No plans for a second season have been announced, but there is hope.

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