La La Land

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 434


Audience Score

User Ratings: 70,406
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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 (434) | Top Critics (62) | Fresh (395) | Rotten (39)

Audience Reviews for La La Land

  • 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, 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
  • Aug 06, 2017
    blah blah land is a bright colour fest which doesnt make much sense. however it is fabulously visual if you like only that sort of thing. there's a couple of good songs but after just seeing it i cant recall any of them. it's great to see ryan gosling and emma stone act alongside each other as they're both great actors. it's way hyped up though. the dancing isnt anything special and neither is the singing. i envision the market for this being middle aged women that fancy ryan and are willing to overlook the rest of it.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Apr 26, 2017
    La La Land is a charming musical that about the magic of LA and chasing dreams. The story follows an aspiring actress and a struggling jazz musician who fall in love. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling both give extraordinary performance and have great chemistry together. And the comedy is really well-done, and has a subtle and clever humor to it. Also, the musical numbers are quite good and are integrated in a very natural way; particularly the choreography, which is incredibly creative. However, the film kind of gets tripped up on the ending, and whether one should sacrifice love for dreams. It's not without some flaws, but overall La La Land is touching and beautiful film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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