James Donner’s review published on Letterboxd:
What a great welcome back to the Coolidge Corner Theater. As somebody who can tire of musicals fast, this one is a blast. Jon M Chu cares more about making a crowd pleaser that plays to the strength of the moviegoing experience rather than winning an Oscar here, and it absolutely pays off. I’d normally say that the entire movie feeling like a superbowl commercial would be a bad thing, but it just feels so alive and focused on creating an adrenaline rush of pure cinematic joy. I missed this scale so much. I won’t say which number it is, but there is one transcendent number here that elevates this from a good time to a great movie that Chu transforms into something stunning that I couldn’t imagine a stage version topping. You’ll know.
I went into this blind (look I have only seen Lin-Manuel Miranda on Curb Your Enthusiasm where he’s hilarious and once I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack because my friend played it in her car when we drove to Ikea), and really fell in love with this one. Honestly, Lin-Manual Miranda knows how to write a musical. I get the hype.
Maybe I’m just super excited to be back at the movies again, but this movie is great and going back is a euphoric experience. Go see a movie and clap and laugh with a crowd instead of watching something at home. You’ll have a great time and you won’t miss your TV. Even if you have a 4K TV and Dolby Atmos trust me nothing beats the real theatrical experience.