21st century musical movies to escape and feel better

We review 5 musical movies that you should see, infinite musicals that thrill. A delight for the senses and an excellent way to escape.

“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down, I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown ’em out. I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be, this is me”

“This is me”, The Greatest Showman (2017)

This anthem about self-esteem included in one of the main themes of the film The Greatest Showman makes the mind vibrate. It also reminds us of the important role that music plays in film. That’s what can happen when we bring together two fundamental arts: music and movie.

Essential musical movies of the 21st century

Moulin Rouge (2001)

Moulin rouge películas musicales

Paris, 1900. Young writer Christian (Ewan McGregor) falls in love with Moulin Rouge star Satine (Nicole Kidman). But Satine is allowed to do everything except one thing: fall in love. The film is inspired by Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La traviata and Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Lady of the Camellias

Directed by the Australian Buz Luhrmann (responsible for films such as Romeo and Juliet, Australia and The Great Gatsby), the film was presented at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

The film divided the critics. Some accused it of being simplistic, unoriginal and anachronistic. For others, it represented a revival of the musical genre, which had been in decline to date. Although it is true that it offers almost no original music, the film links very well songs by Elton John, Queen, Madonna or The Police, among others, interpreted with the voices of the protagonists.

The film won two Oscars (Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction) and three Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture Comedy/Musical, Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical and Best Score)

As a curiosity, the actress fractured 2 ribs while rehearsing a dance number, so many scenes had to be filmed from the waist up.


Chicago (2002)

Chicago películas musicales

Chicago, 1920s. Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) are in prison awaiting trial. Both, accused of a crime of passion, will be represented by the charismatic lawyer, Billy Flynn (Richard Gere).

Directed by Rob Marshall(Memoirs of a Geisha, Nine, The Return of Mary Poppins), the film is notable for its spectacular musical numbers that are perfectly tied to the story Vibrant spectacle at the height of the classics

The musical movie won 6 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, Best Editing and Best Sound


La La Land (2016)

La la land películas musicales

The paths of Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) eventually cross. She, an aspiring actress. He, a jazz pianist with big ambitions. Despite their differences, they end up falling in love. But fate sometimes complicates things: to love someone else or to love our dreams? What if we can’t have both?

Directed by Damien Chazelle, the film does not disappoint. Justin Hurwitz gives us a soundtrack full of catchy tunes.

The film won 6 Oscars including Best Director and Best Actress. The musical number at the beginning of the film is shot in a sequence shot (shot without cuts over an extended period of time in which different shot sizes and angles are used to follow the characters). Simply spectacular


The Greatest Showman (2017)

El gran showman películas musicales

The most recent of all. Impossible not to recommend it, and not only for its incredible and catchy musical numbers. The film mesmerises from the very first scene

The film conveys values of inclusion, equality, perseverance and self-esteem. It encourages respect and courage as well as the struggle to pursue one’s dreams. Throughout the 106 minutes of the film, the protagonists will have to face the rejection that, unfortunately, society still gives to people who are different. A beautiful story of overcoming and full of love and defence of equality.

Starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zacaries Efron, Zendaya and Rebecca Ferguson, among others, the film is based on the true story of the founder of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Excellent audiovisual work, winner of the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for This is Me. It is also ideal to watch with the family because of the values it conveys. Result: one of the best musicals for escapism.


Les Misérables (2012)

Los miserables películas musicales

Film based on the musical of the same name by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, itself inspired by the novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. The film deals with issues such as politics, justice, religion and the death penalty. It is, in short, a defence of the oppressed. The film is almost entirely sung, there is hardly any dialogue in the film and it has a brilliant cast (Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne, among others).

Directed by Tom Hooper, also responsible for films such as The King’s Speech, the film features a brief (just three minutes) but powerful performance by Anne Hathaway, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Her masterful rendition of the legendary song “I dreamed a dream” is heartbreakingly moving


why can musical movies be good for escapism?

  • Ithelps to cope with many pathologies by allowing us to escape and clear our minds
  • It improves sleep.
  • It relaxes us.
  • Itcan help us fight pain by keeping us distracted for a while. Time in which we might not be thinking about the pain we are suffering.
  • It exercises intellectual performance and allows us to develop critical thinking.
  • It can improve depression by keeping us entertained and arousing emotions in us

Plato: “Music is to the soul what gymnastics is to the body”

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