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Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Top 10 Movie Musicals According to Experts

AP Images
The premiere of West Side Story (2021)

Dazzling images on a silver screen. Movie musicals transport us to another world; the world of Broadway. From Madonna in Argentina to street cats brawling it out, anything can happen in the land of musicals. Here are the top 10 of the genre, true testaments to the genre.

  1. Cats

Yep. You read that right. Cats the movie. Cats is a wonderfully choreographed film that has a stellar plot which serves as a trans allegory. Cats is a spiritual experience; it takes the soul on a journey that anyone who has been lost before can relate to. Following a gang of street cats, Cats follows the lives of several lost souls in the mystical realm of the Heaviside Layer. The deep emotional themes mixed with the stellar direction by Tom Hooper makes this film an instant film.

  1. Rent

“Rent” emerges as a poignant exploration of love, friendship and the struggles of life in a big city. It captivates audiences with its raw emotion, compelling characters, and unforgettable soundtrack. Set against the backdrop of New York City’s East Village during the height of the AIDS crisis, “Rent” confronts societal issues with honesty and compassion. Several characters in the story struggle with HIV/AIDS themselves which adds an extra layer to the plot of this story. Its powerful storytelling and universal theme of resilience makes it a timeless masterpiece that continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.

  1. Evita

Broadway musicals and Madonna: a match made in heaven. “Evita”, the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about Eva Peron, is a marvelous film starring the queen of pop. Madge takes on the gigantic role of Peron, the Argentine icon and wife to president Juan Peron. Filled with classics like “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” which charted on the Top 100, an accomplishment for a Broadway song. Alongside Antonio Banderas, Madonna brings the Broadway show to the silver screen masterfully.

  1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has solidified its status as a cult classic for its electrifying blend of camp music and unconventional storytelling. This iconic movie musical changes expectations with its gender-bending characters and provocative themes, inviting shy audiences into a world of liberation and self-discovery. With its catchy soundtrack and interactive theatrical experience, “Rocky Horror” transcends boundaries, and encourages audiences to embrace their quirks and celebrate their personal uniqueness. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal and rebellious spirit.

  1. Annie

Somewhat of an American classic, “Annie” stands as a triumphant movie musical despite its somewhat overbearingly positive message. Annie follows the story of an orphan who always looks on the brightside, no matter what. An inspiring story with catchy tunes and unforgettable performances from Broadway titans like Bernadette Peters, Annie is an unmistakable classic that solidifies itself as one of the best musical movies.

  1. Hairspray

“Hairspray” stands as a testament to the power of inclusivity and the joy of self-expression. This infectious movie musical attracts audiences with its catchy tunes and heartwarming message of acceptance. Set against the backdrop of 1960s Baltimore, its colorful characters challenge societal norms, promoting diversity and unity. Tracy struggles with bullies and adversity because of her weight and the underlying theme is racism in Baltimore during that time period. With its toe-tapping soundtrack and spirited performances, “Hairspray” celebrates individuality and reminds us of the transformative potential of music and dance.

        4. Cabaret

Set in pre WW2 Berlin, Cabaret stands out as one of the most harrowing movie musical experiences. Starring Joel Grey and Liza Minelli, who both won Oscars for their stellar performances, Cabaret follows the life of Sally Bowles, a down on her luck club singer who seems to attract misfortune. Directed by Broadway legend Bob Fosse, Cabaret exudes an unparalleled cool factor that most movie musicals strive to achieve. The film’s soundtrack elevates it even further as Minelli belts the film’s show stopping number, “Maybe This Time.” Despite its 1972 release, Cabaret still manages to shock and stay relevant.

          3. Les Miserables

“Les Misérables,” running approximately 134 minutes, captivates the viewer to the very last second. With a cast of Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Russel Crowe the movie was bound to be a fantastic watch. The story takes you from a dreary prison cell, to a small French town and it follows Jean Valjean as he escapes his life as a prisoner and becomes the mayor of a town and father to his adopted daughter Cosette all while being constantly aware of the police officer that has dogged his steps since his release from prison. This is a tragic story interwoven with wonderful singing performances and acting that puts you right in the middle of war-torn France.

         2. Chicago

“Chicago” stands out as the epitome of a mesmerizing movie musical, seamlessly blending captivating performances, dazzling choreography, and a compelling narrative. Its stellar cast, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger, deliver powerhouse performances that breathe life into their complex characters. Choreographed by Rob Marshall, the film should be considered the paragon of dance on film. With catchy and timeless songs like “All That Jazz” and “Cell Block Tango,” “Chicago” weaves together themes of ambition, fame, and deception, resonating with audiences across generations. Its enduring relevance, combined with its artistic excellence, solidifies “Chicago” as the gold standard of movie musicals, a timeless classic that continues to enchant and entertain audiences worldwide.

  1. West Side Story (2021)

“West Side Story” (2021) reimagines a classic with breathtaking artistry. Steven Spielberg’s vision brings fresh life to the beloved story of star-crossed lovers stuck between two rivaling New York City gangs. The film’s stunning cinematography, fantastic choreography, and stellar performances give the viewer a powerful cinematic experience. Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler shine in the leading roles, while the vibrant ensemble cast elevates every scene. With its poignant themes and timeless music, this adaptation honors the original while carving its place as a modern masterpiece in the world of movie musicals.