People who "hate musicals" must be out of their minds, because, IMO, there's one for everybody. There are some major movie musicals scheduled for 2020, including blockbusters like In The Heights and Stephen Spielberg's West Side Story remake. as well as some smaller musicals (that Broadway geeks are just as hype for) like The Prom on Netflix and Everyone's Talking About Jamie. Until then, ready for the recommendations? Five, six, seven, eight!
West Side Story
I mean... you have to start at the top, right? While we're excited for the remake, the original star-crossed romance totally holds up.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
Show this to anyone who says musicals are too "corny" and "cheerful" for them.
Am I nuts to say that I genuinely think this adaptation is underrated? You know how every time a Broadway musical gets adapted into a movie, there's always one annoying new song? Hairspray is the one movie where I actually f*ck with the new songs.
A Chorus Line
The stage musical won a Pulitzer, NBD, and the movie adaptation is... totally wild in a '70s way. Weirdly perfect for anyone who likes So You Think You Can Dance or The Masked Singer, since the whole thing is about a competitive audition.
Singin' In The Rain
I mean, it's an absolute classic. But I won't tell anybody if you skip that dream ballet within a dream ballet.
Barbra Streisand may be more known for movie musicals like Funny Girl or even Yentl, making this low-key a hidden gem. Bonus: it's Wall-E's favorite musical. Remember how that Pixar movie opens with "Put On Your Sunday Clothes"?
Sunshine On Leith
Did you know there's a jukebox musical starring George MacKay from 1917 and Antonia Thomas from The Good Doctor (or Lovesick or Misfits, if you're a British television lover). There is! Go watch it!
Technically, this is a biopic... but it so desperately wants to be a musical, don't you think? I'm totally counting it.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
Twist! The original Mamma Mia is great, obviously, but somehow the sequel is better?? Sorry, I don't make the rules.
This one is fighting West Side Story for the GOAT movie musical, IMO. The plot doesn't quite hold up, but the dance numbers are *fire* and the songs are super catchy.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This funny, creepy, and super horny musical a cult classic for a reason.
Little Shop Of Horrors
I recently referred to this musical as "the one that taught straight boys in drama club how to riff," and I stand by it.
Don't think too hard about the gender politics on this one. The music still slaps, and that's all that matters.
Tired: The Wizard of Oz. Wired and inspired? This updated Motown adaptation.
"Cell Block Tango" for life! Plus, if you're the kind of person that's all "Why are they always breaking into song?" about musicals... well, first of all, you're boring; but second of all, Chicago justifies that by making every musical number a dream sequence.
Why isn't Amy Adams in more musicals?! I bet you forgot how good this movie is. While I'm still mad that Idina Menzel doesn't have a song in this pre-Frozen world, "How Does She Know" is maybe one of the best musical numbers ever put to film.
High School Musical
I am also obviously a huge fan of High School Musical 2 and Senior Year, but it's hard to beat the OG that re-invented the Disney Channel Original Movie and made singing teens cool again, way before Glee.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Literally do not ever talk to me about the Tim Burton reboot. It does not exist.
Across The Universe
Might be a little jarring to revisit this one after watching Evan Rachel Wood on Westworld, but Julie Taymor's film is nothing short of magical.
Try to find a musical more charming than this Irish coming-of-age film about boys who rebel against their teachers and start a band that copies every ridiculous '80s trope you've ever heard of.
While we're across the pond, this indie Irish romance will break your heart and sooth you with all of the beautiful Glen Hansard songs.
That Thing You Do
Only '90s kids remember this super cute musical about another teenage band that shoots to fame.
The Last Five Years
If you had a friend who took voice lessons in the 2000s, you've probably heard at least one of these songs. Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan play a couple who meet, marry, and divorce within the span of five years. Kendrick's songs start at the end and go back, Jordan's start from the beginning, and they meet for one duet in the middle. Heartbreaking.
Come for Dick Van Dyke's hilariously bad Cockney accent, and stay for a musical that's heartwarming, even when it's sad, and silly when it's serious. Mary Poppins Returns ain't so bad, either!
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Another cult classic whose rock songs are on another level entirely.
Were The World Mine
An underrated indie, this one is inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's about a gay teenage boy who gets revenge on his bullies (and his crush) by turning them gay too, which is so 2008.
A Little Night Music
This musical has Elizabeth Taylor and Diana Rigg (Olenna "Tell Cersei It Was Me" Tyrell from Game of Thrones). This has been a PSA.
My Fair Lady
Currently seeking one (1) phonetics professor to "fix" my accent and be a little rude to me.
Shoutout to everyone who awkwardly sang "Come What May" at their middle school talent show.
It was already a good musical, but then the movie cast Beyoncé? And we started thinking about how the plot mirrors Bey's own career? And also Jennifer Hudson is going off? Game changer.
The Muppet Movie
You deserve to watch The Muppet Movie in all its wacky musical glory.
The first movie is so good, and when Ben Platt starts singing at the end... reader, I cried. Aca-ouldn't believe it either.
La La Land
The ending is weirdly depressing for a film based on Old Hollywood romance, and I'll never get over the fact that the song above is about *checks notes* the importance of networking, but hey! It almost won the Best Picture Oscar.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Since we're talking about La La Land, we simply must acknowledge the French film that inspired it. Jacques Demy's film has that same candy-colored, yet melancholy, quality.
Another old musical that's off the beaten path, Stormy Weather stars Lena Horne and an almost entirely African American cast—which was super rare for 1943.
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
If you don't immediately follow "Cinderella" with "the one with Brandy," we cannot be friends.
No disrespect to the original movie, but the 1999 TV remake is way less problematic.
Inside Llewyn Davis
10/10 would let Oscar Isaac sing me sad folk songs at any time. Also, huge kudos to whatever Adam Driver is doing in this movie, I am obsessed with it.
A Star Is Born
There's like a million versions of A Star Is Born but like AS IF I was gonna not choose the one with "Shallow."
Into The Woods
This movie's not perfect, but Chris Pine certainly is, and "Last Midnight" is uhhhh... a mood.
The Sound of Music
You didn't really think I was going to skip the Von Trapps, did you? Movies in general don't get much better than The Sound of Music and this one just happens to be a musical.
You Might Also Like