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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Movie Info

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 (419) | Top Critics (59)

It is joyful. It leaps off the screen.

Oct 10, 2018 | Full Review…

It's just gorgeous, like a flipbook made of dreamy vintage postcards that are somehow about contemporary life in Los Angeles.

Jan 30, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A toasty splash of sound and color .

Jan 20, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

Dec 31, 2016 | Full Review…

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.

Dec 30, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

Dec 30, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for La La Land

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


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.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

In La La Land the "City of Angels" is reimagined through the glorious sheen of the late 40s/early 50s Hollywood musical. For examples, watch An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain, or The Band Wagon to see what I mean. What makes Chazelle's 3rd feature so incredible is how brilliantly he understand how to reference history. He skillfully recontextualizes the vernacular of the American musical for the modern age. The exquisite score by Justin Hurwitz, elaborate production design by David Wasco, those costumes by Mary Zophres, the Technicolor, the romance - La La Land's aesthetic borrows from history but the time period and the characters are rooted firmly in contemporary society. 2016 is all here: cell phones, Hybrid vehicles, the part-time job as a barista. Chazelle makes our present era seem so much more magical. There is an exuberant quality I haven't seen recently. Mia and Sebastian radiate sweetness too. This uncorrupted pair shares a purity. You want them to be together. Their emotion is real. You fall in love. This why we go to the cinema. If I may paraphrase a famous expression once said by Humphrey Bogart, La La Land is the stuff that [movies] are made of. It is sublime.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

Very well made, though I don't generally like musicals and there is nothing in the songs here to change my mind. Emma Stone is fantastic as always. The story felt flat at the end. That is to say I really didn't like it. Very meh and was a let down to a decent build up.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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