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La La Land breathes new life into a bygone genre with thrillingly assured direction, powerful performances, and an irresistible excess of heart. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

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Critic Reviews for La La Land

All Critics (462) | Top Critics (101) | Fresh (419) | Rotten (43)

Audience Reviews for La La Land

  • Mar 31, 2020
    One of the most magical, most heartfelt and most majestic movies I've ever seen in my whole life! This film wins thanks to a fantastic direction, unforgettable music, and mesmerizing performances!!!
    Serge E Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2020
    This film will captivate you from the opening sequence, which I dare say is maybe the best musical introduction since Chicago back in 2002. Gosling and Stone are charming and the cinematography of Sandgren coupled with a flawless direction from Damian Chazelle helped us care for both characters. It will however all be in vain if not for the sublime Justin Hurwitz who created one of the best scores of the decade. Mia and Sebastian theme in particular was so catchy and beautiful, and of course the Oscar winning song "city of stars" I'm sure many people will have some other better opinion of jazz music after this due to the simplicity of its melodies. The film will manage to take you slowly but surely to the realistic epilogue that will probably slap you so hard that you will keep on gazing at the screen long after the credits roll.
    Raja N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2018
    Singing and dancing its way into the hearts, minds, and ears of even those who think that Chicago was a complete waste of time, elegant, enchanting, edgy and elegiac tune-up La La Land often looks like an homage to Golden Age H'Wood but sports enough lovestruck spark and - alternately - jaded spunk to qualify it as a true modern-day genre original. In this PG-13-rated musical, a pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an actress (Emma Stone) fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future amid navigating their divergent careers in Los Angeles. Don't call it a throwback. Indeed, La La Land lovingly tips its hat to such entertainment industry-set musicals as Singin' in the Rain and New York, New York but also charts a millennial-appropriate melancholic course all its own. While some great musicals like All that Jazz get downright bleak, La La Land softshoes into the dark without every fully losing its color and buoyancy. Take for instance a date night rendezvous shot in the Griffith Observatory, which literally sees the leads taking flight and dancing among the stars. This could very easily have gotten so on-the-nose schmaltzy that the scene required an animated Disney sidekick. Instead, the entire song-and-dance - we're taking the film as a whole - knowingly keeps it from tripping over its own feet into a brink called cornball. It knows what it is. It's a dessert and a floor wax...er, rather, it's nostalgic, romantic, and also terminally cynical all at once while dancing backward in high heels. If that doesn't speak to many of today's workaday Americans, then the musical is not only merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead. Ultimately, La La Land is a hat-trick...albeit a very accomplished hat-trick. To remain vital in that gnat's-attention-span known as modern pop culture, a musical must implant one key feature into the brain of filmgoers: a hummable tune. Just as a western must present at least one key scene set in or that strongly brings to mind the untamed mythic expanse known as the American West, a musical has to boast at least one notable song. La La Land accomplishes this. Oh, "City of Stars" won't ultimately achieve the classic status of, say, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz, but definitely qualifies as toe-tapping and memorable. "Another Day of Sun" proves less of an earworm but backs the film's showstopper moment--a one-take, traffic-snarled freeway song-and-dance number. That this showstopper kicks off the film and a blue note ends it while still making the audience beam from ear to ear speaks to the brilliance of director Damian Chazelle. Neither a jukebox musical nor a Broadway adaptation, his La La Land is a rare beast thought extinct. Building upon his short musical Guy And Madeline On A Park Bench (perhaps a bit too much as the film's only failing is that it runs too long) with a cornucopia and cacophony perfectly suited for the here and now, his musical is original in the best sense. In fact, his hat-trick greatly one-ups 2011 Best Picture Oscar winner The Artist, which was a silent film homage accomplished through shear imitation. La La Land harks back without becoming its forebears--a love letter and a Dear John letter in one fell swoop. Chazelle shares this dignity not just with the genius-level choreographers and songwriters, but mostly with Gosling and Stone who pull all off the whole act with a ridiculous amount of grace and conviction. An impeccable latter-day Vaudeville team, their singing and dancing aren't perfect but you wouldn't want them polished to that vaunted degree. They're relatable...well, at least as relatable as people who break into song on a moment's notice. Working beautifully together, step for gorgeous step and note for lovely note, they provide the heart and soul to a film whose target demo are people with hearts and souls. To Sum It All Up: City of Starstruck
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2017
    While all musicals since West Side Story are inferior and therefore redundant by definition, this one actually works. Starting with a great number in LA traffic, it also helps that there is plenty of space for conversations between songs, are both are well written. Additionally there are a few pretty neat visual gimmicks, especially in the final act which even comes with a bit of a twist in the end. That's pretty sweet, entertaining and most importantly well acted. A genuine pleasure.
    Jens S Super Reviewer

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