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High School Musical is brazenly saccharine, but it makes up for it with its memorable show tunes, eye-popping choreography, and appealing cast. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), the star athlete at a small-town high school, falls for nerdy beauty Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) at a holiday karaoke party. When they return to campus, Troy and Gabriella audition for the upcoming school musical. Meanwhile, the jealous Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) conspires to squelch their chances. The two must struggle to make it to auditions while also meeting their existing obligations to the basketball team and the academic decathlon.

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Critic Reviews for High School Musical

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (7)

  • Although the plot's not particularly novel, writer Peter Barsocchini's script maintains the fantasy elements while incorporating topical and relevant themes into the story.

    September 10, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It would be unfair not to salute the movie's message about broadening one's horizons and not being limited by stereotypes or peer pressure. But when an admirable message is packaged in such treacle, it just makes the message seem treacly, too.

    September 9, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Mostly, High School Musical makes an appealing case for an idealized vision of high school, where individuality is celebrated and even the mean kids know everyone's name.

    September 9, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • As a marketing phenomenon, this has exceeded all expectations for a TV movie. However as cinema... maybe you just really need to be a teen to get it.

    December 30, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • High School Musical is kitsch, sexless and hopelessly clichéd, but it manages to offer a giddy sense of fun to a generation that's overdosing on seriousness.

    September 10, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Sure, it has its flaws... but the film skilfully crafts an exuberant uplifting climax that results in a warm smile-inducing feeling that remains after the credits have rolled, and sometimes that's all a film needs to do.

    September 10, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for High School Musical

  • Nov 24, 2012
    Corny, to be sure, High School Musical is most appealing to those below the age of 13, but even older viewers can appreciate the important message the film carries. Despite a few cringe-worthy moments, this made-for-tv phenomenon has relatively catchy and memorable songs and features charismatic, albeit exaggerated, performances.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    High School Musical is just not my thing, maybe it me but I didn't like the plot or acting, but I guess the songs were okay.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2011
    High School Musical is just not my thing, maybe it me but I didn't like the plot or acting, but I guess the songs were okay.
    Jim C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2011
    Now that I think about it, it's not half bad. I don't like musical but some of the songs are catchy. Disney movie in general.
    Mesh B Super Reviewer

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