Our Favorite Movie Musicals

We love musicals, but we can’t always see them live on stage. Thankfully, there are also some excellent movie musicals. Here are some of our favorites!

La La Land

La La Land stars Ryan Gosling (Sebastian) and Emma Stone (Mia). Mia is an aspiring actress working as a barista at the Warner Bros. studio lot. Sebastian is a restaurant pianist who meets Mia just as he is fired. Each struggles to achieve their goals, and when they finally meet, they sing and dance as they wander the city. Los Angeles invites them to dream and set on a new path. Watch now on Netflix.

Tick, Tick…Boom!

The musical Tick, Tick…Boom! premiered off-Broadway in 2001, though the autobiographical piece was written more than a decade earlier by the late Jonathan Larson (creator of “Rent”). The movie version (directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda) was released by Netflix in 2021. The story takes place in the early 1990s as Jonathan (Andrew Garfield) feels pressured to write a musical masterpiece in his 20s. Jon tries to leave the industry for a “normal” job but quickly loses interest. While experiencing another professional disappointment, his girlfriend, Susan, and best friend, Michael, each give him news that changes his life. Watch now on Netflix.


If you’re looking for an upbeat, quirky musical, 2007’s Hairspray is the movie for you. Based on the Broadway show that debuted in 2002, the story takes place in 1962 in Baltimore, with Tracy Turnblad (Alison Faircloth) at the center. Tracy dreams of dancing on the “Corny Collins Show” but is sent to detention. But with the help of some new school friends, she learns to dance, landing her on the show. Set in a time of segregation, the musical brings a beautiful message of integration and human rights being equal rights. Watch now on HBO Max.

Mamma Mia!

The movie musical Mamma Mia! is based on the Broadway show, which uses tunes by ABBA, such as “Mamma Mia,” “Chiquitita,” and “Honey Honey.” The film takes place on a Greek island, where we meet Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), who longs to know her father so he can walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Chaos ensues when three possibilities show up – much to her mother’s (Meryl Streep) distress. Watch now on Amazon Prime.


There is nothing like a feel-good classic! For us, it’s the 1982 release of Annie featuring Carol Burnett (Miss Hannigan), Tim Curry (Rooster), and Bernadette Peters (Lily). The musical follows orphan Annie who goes on to live with Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks (Albert Finney) but longs to find her real parents. Watch now on Apple.

What is your favorite movie musical? Share with us in the comments below!

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