La La Land - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

La La Land Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Shone
Newsweek
January 20, 2017
A toasty splash of sound and color .
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Gary M. Kramer
Salon.com
December 31, 2016
La La Land is a worthy showcase for the magnificent Stone's talents, and she is heartbreaking throughout.
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Karen D'Souza
San Jose Mercury News
December 30, 2016
If you haven't already fallen for this gauzy romp through the city of Angels at this point, you surely will during the last scene, with its bittersweet homage to the way times goes by.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
December 30, 2016
It asks what the characters of a Cinemascope musical would have to dream about, and answers with a finale that lifts the film to a higher plane of wish fulfillment and melancholy.
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Jim Slotek
Toronto Sun
December 22, 2016
I have yet to meet someone who's watched it and come out in a bad mood.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 22, 2016
People say the movie musical is dead. Tell that that to your tapping toes while watching the enchantment of La La Land, one of the year's best films.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Barry Hertz
Globe and Mail
December 22, 2016
Almost anyone who happens to see it will be converted by minute three. Guaranteed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
December 18, 2016
Chazelle has reinvigorated the big-screen musical by embracing the present while paying tribute to the past, by balancing irony and innocence, novelty and nostalgia.
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Adam Graham
Detroit News
December 16, 2016
"La La Land" is a special, special experience, and movies like this don't come around too often.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 15, 2016
The movie comes off as a well-intended tribute to the fabulous MGM musicals of the great Vincente Minnelli, made by people who have never seen one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Marks
San Diego Reader
December 15, 2016
This is one crowd-pleaser worth getting behind.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
December 15, 2016
It's simply wonderful.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 15, 2016
Working together for the third time, Stone and Gosling quickly establish an easy rapport with one another, their surpassingly attractive physical features the perfect foils for Chazelle's aesthetic approach of naturalism and extreme stylization.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 15, 2016
Chazelle is a born filmmaker, and he doesn't settle for rehashing familiar bits from musicals we already love. He's too busy giving us reasons to fall for this one.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 15, 2016
This is a joy to watch, with a rhapsody of love and lightness in the performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 15, 2016
At a time when musicals seldom grace the big screen, "La La Land" is practically a miracle.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 15, 2016
The musical numbers are distinctly Minnellian in their sense of lovers being swept away by the whirlwind of their mutual regard.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 15, 2016
During one musical number, when fireworks start going off in the sky, you can feel them going off in your head too.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 15, 2016
It's a film for those who feel a little out of step with the 21st century, as Mia does with her love of classic cinema and Sebastian does with his angry jazz certainty. A lot of us can relate. If you can't, we don't really want to hear about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 14, 2016
If you have friends who say they don't make good movies anymore, drag them to this.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 13, 2016
That not every note or dance step is perfect isn't the point; it's that the actors find perfection - and magic - in the moment, in that flight.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 13, 2016
We don't generally think of musicals in these terms, but, following the impersonal splashiness of the opening number, "La La Land" slowly dawns as a film of great intimacy. It's as if it were whispering to us.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Richard Brody
New Yorker
December 12, 2016
The one thing that Chazelle seems to have little interest in is life. He turns Mia into an absolute cipher, giving her nothing whatsoever to talk about.
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Brian Lowry
CNN.com
December 9, 2016
As good as La La Land is throughout, the last act elevates the movie considerably. And while everything here has roots elsewhere, the way Chazelle strings these notes together somehow looks and sounds fresh and new.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 9, 2016
The movie ends with a what-might-have-been fantasia that is one of the most emotionally moving passages I've ever seen in a musical. It's like a bluesy jazz piano chord, full of hurt and healing, that slowly fades to silence.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Dana Stevens
Slate
December 9, 2016
For all its borrowing and bricolage, La La Land never feels like a backward-looking or unoriginal work. Even when not every one of its risks pays off the way that first song does, this movie is bold, vital, funny, and alive.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 8, 2016
It's more vibrant than Chicago, more heartfelt than Les Miserables, and more successfully staged than a chorus of other contenders.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tim Grierson
The New Republic
December 8, 2016
"La La Land" is as delightful and magical as you've heard -- a big, joyful celebration of old-school Hollywood musicals -- but it's also smarter, tougher, and sadder than its moonstruck trailer might suggest.
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Jocelyn Noveck
Associated Press
December 8, 2016
Long live the musical. Bring enough Kleenex.
Top Critic
December 8, 2016
La La Land is a full-service throwback to the Golden Age musical, transposed with lashings of romantic melancholy to a contemporary Los Angeles decked out in primary-colored plumage.
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Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times
December 8, 2016
Chazelle has assembled a vibrant, infectiously hummable pastiche of musical and cinematic styles - an entrancing ode to the glories of cinema past as well as a heartfelt expression of faith in the medium's future.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 8, 2016
I'm hoping that La La Land will be a hit for the ages, for all ages. It's a film that re-enacts, with rare originality, a classic role for the movie medium -- escapist entertainment in troubled times.
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Katie Walsh
Tribune News Service
December 8, 2016
As a candy-hued musical valentine to Los Angeles, "La La Land" is both a crowd-pleaser and a locals-only inside joke.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
December 8, 2016
Romantic, inventive, visually dazzling - and yet, Damien Chazelle's ambitious movie promises slightly more than it delivers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.A. Dowd
AV Club
December 8, 2016
Song and dance in the key of life: That's the irresistible appeal of La La Land.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 8, 2016
It doesn't so much look back longingly at past masters like Vincente Minnelli, Nicholas Ray, Stanley Donen and Jacques Demy (to name a few) as tap into their mojo, insisting on their modernity and its own classicism in the same gesture.
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Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
December 7, 2016
It's stunningly ambitious and thrillingly alive the way the best movies are.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
December 7, 2016
I wish La La Land felt more like Chazelle's personal vision - that he tap-danced his own path - instead of this eager-to-please mash-up, the movie equivalent of samba tapas.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 7, 2016
"La La Land" deserves credit for high spirits even if it's essentially a collection of glamorous throwback music videos for so-so songs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
December 7, 2016
Again and again La La Land cuts to some vibrant vision, and it's often funnier about its outsize old-school ambitions than any cutting critic could be.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 7, 2016
There's more to a Hollywood musical than the musical. There's fantasy. There's magic. There's a genre which isn't afraid to recreate what romance actually feels like. And that's where "La La Land" soars.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 6, 2016
La La does nothing less than jolt the movie musical to life for the 21st century. You leave exhilarated by Damien Chazelle's nonstop inventiveness, dazzled by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and thrilled how they made movies magic again.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 6, 2016
The closest thing since Cherbourg to a unified-field theory of music and film.
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Joe Dziemianowicz
New York Daily News
December 6, 2016
Both old-fashioned and contemporary, the movie understands and celebrates what makes musicals tick. People sing because they feel so much. Emotions have to come out.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Brian Truitt
USA Today
December 5, 2016
A fabulous old-school Hollywood musical in modern-day Tinseltown with joyous tunes, exceptional choreography, a feel-good love story and a hint of bittersweetness to keep all that wonder grounded.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
December 5, 2016
Catch the film on the largest screen you can find, with a sound system to match, even if that means journeying all day.
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Mara Reinstein
Us Weekly
November 30, 2016
A gorgeous homage to the golden age of Hollywood musicals in the 1950s, the film has the power to make audiences laugh, weep and feel as if they can float on air.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 3, 2016
If you haven't succumbed to the joyous magic of La La Land by the end of the Fred-and-Ginger-flavored "A Lovely Night," well, then, pick up your Official Curmudgeon badge and head for the exit.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Brian Tallerico
RogerEbert.com
September 14, 2016
La La Land serves to remind us that movies can still be magical, and they can still provide the channel for us to see magic in the world around us.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
September 2, 2016
Breaking into song and dance can be both deadly serious and a whole lot of fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephanie Zacharek
TIME Magazine
September 1, 2016
It's a movie with the potential to make lovers of us all. All we have to do is fall into its arms.
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Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
August 31, 2016
"La La Land" is magically in tune with its reference points even as falls a few notes short of their greatness.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
August 31, 2016
For Chazelle to be able to pull this off the way he has is something close to remarkable.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Variety
August 31, 2016
The most audacious big-screen musical in a long time, and - irony of ironies - that's because it's the most traditional.
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
August 31, 2016
The musical is as malleable and eclectic a genre as any other, and Chazelle reminds us how effectively it can be applied to intimate moments as well as huge ones.