La La Land (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

La La Land (2016)



Critic Consensus: La La Land breathes new life into a bygone genre with thrillingly assured direction, powerful performances, and an irresistible excess of heart.

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Written and directed by Academy Award (R) nominee Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

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Ryan Gosling
as Sebastian
Amiée Conn
as Famous Actress
Terry Walters
as Linda (Coffee Shop Manager)
Thom Shelton
as Coffee Spiller
Cinda Adams
as Casting Director (First Audition)
D.A. Wallach
as '80's Singer
David Douglas
as Radio DJ
Nicole Coulon
as Josh's Fiancee
Zoe Hall
as Chelsea
Shaylah J. Stevens
as Echo Backup Singer
Natalie Imani
as Echo Backup Singer
Briana Lee
as Echo Backup Singer
Bobo Chang
as Photographer's Assistant
Robert Haynes
as Angry Neighbor
Nicole Wolf
as Amy Brandt's Assistant
Corrin Evans
as New Barista
Camryn Ray Cavaliero
as Mia's Daughter
Eddie Clifton
as Seb's Drummer
Cal Bennett
as Seb's Sax Player
Nerda Wheeler
as Seb's Assistant
Javier González
as Seb's Trumpeter
Khirye Tyler
as Seb's Pianist
Arthur Horowitz
as Fantasy Baby
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News & Interviews for La La Land

Critic Reviews for La La Land

All Critics (305) | Top Critics (55)

A toasty splash of sound and color .

January 20, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

La La Land is a worthy showcase for the magnificent Stone's talents, and she is heartbreaking throughout.

December 31, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

December 30, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

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.

December 30, 2016 | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

I have yet to meet someone who's watched it and come out in a bad mood.

December 22, 2016 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
Toronto Sun
Top Critic

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.

December 22, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for La La Land

Damien Chazelle is no less than a Dr. Frankenstein, taking bits and pieces of an old (and curiously disrespected) genre and re-infusing the thing with fresh life. From the first frame to the last here is a new musical, no doubt, and yet at the same time it breathes nostalgia for the sense of unlimited possibilities that the old films used to leave one with. "It's alive! It's alive!" The stars, as in days of yore, deliver stardom.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


I wasn't expecting to like this movie as much as I did. It pulls off a remarkable shift in tone around the midpoint, and I come away from it thinking that the main characters aren't Mia and Sebastian so much as Hollywood itself. The dramatization of the sacrifices made--the real cost--of becoming part of the fantasies of making it in Hollywood hits hard in the end, but it's not a downer, somehow. Lively, creative, and visually beautiful in places. If only these actors could sing, too...

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

In today's day and age, musicals have surely become a thing of the past. From Rock of Ages to Mamma Mia, this genre has been on the decline for years. Back in the days of Sound of Music or even Grease, people were flocking to the cinemas to see the latest foot-tappers. With the exception of a few recent films like Les Miserables (which wasn't globally loved) or the Oscar-winning Chicago, musicals just haven't had the flare like they used to, until La La Land was unleashed for the world to see this year. I will not be surprised if this film sweeps every awards show it is nominated at, because it truly is a must-see. La La Land is without a doubt, one of the best films you will see this year and here are a few reasons why that is. I am not a massive fan of this genre, but I won't ignore the greats. Singin' in the Rain is one of my favourite films of all time and this is right up there in terms of quality musicals. Look, this is a story you have seen a million times, but not exactly told quite this way. As a barista/struggling actress (Emma Stone) works to accomplish her dream, she continuously bumps into a struggling pianist (Ryan Gosling) from time to time, making it seem like fate. Exploring their feelings for each other and learning to love each others passions, this is a beautifully crafted picture that is both a love letter to Hollywood and an exploitation of it. Time progresses rapidly throughout this film and the time in between each transition seems flawless, as do the musical numbers that explain each scene in depth. This film is a true marvel and what filmmakers should always strive to achieve. Whiplash was one of the greatest films of 2014, due to its passion and simplicity into the life of a passionate drummer. Director Damien Chazelle knows exactly how to put music on screen. He clearly has found a niche in the type of films he will be exploring in the future and I am completely on board. Whether a drummer is being showcased on screen, a pianist playing their heart out, or a big musical number is being performed, there is something special about the way that Chazelle directs his films. The music in his films may be displayed perfectly, but nothing about this film is more perfectly executed than the style (cinematography to be exact. From the opening sequence to the subtle transitions, there is not a single moment that felt off to me during my viewing of La La Land. When this film began with a seemingly continuous take, I was already hooked. From then on, this film was finding new ways to impress me in more ways than one. Whether it was subtle callbacks to moments from Singin' in the Rain or making a film fan like me drool at the site of an imitated shot from Rebel Without a Cause, this was classic Hollywood filmmaking at its finest. The visual effects in certain sequences only added to the film and the fact that almost every high-end extravagant-looking sequences was done practically, just goes to show that this film needs even more recognition than it's already receiving. The 2000s have given us musicals in Moulin Rouge!, Chicago, Dreamgirls, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Hairspray, and Les Miserables. There are many I left out there, but you get the point. I have seen most of the aforementioned pictures and I can say with the utmost confidence that La La Land is the best musical since 2000. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone share impeccable chemistry, but audiences should not be surprised by this. They both give award-level performances, the music is stellar and memorable, it makes you feel amazing, the direction is off the charts, and the imagery is something that you would find in a classic Hollywood picture from the 50s. There are a few instances where I felt the film would go into cliches, but there is a reason that everything is shown on screen. I loved every minute of La La Land and it's one of the best films of 2016.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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