La La Land

Light and sweet, the new movie musical LA LA LAND infuses just enough bitter into its confection–a romance between a budding actress (Emma Stone) and a struggling jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) amid the other fame-and-fortune strivers in Los Angeles–to give it substance, rather than empty calories. Sure, it would help if Stone and Gosling were actually singers, but they overcome their limitations with charm, sincerity, and smooth moves, not to mention help from any number of whimsical moments and catchy tunes (by Justin Hurwitz). Writer-director Damien Chazelle may not spawn a rebirth of original movie musicals with this, but for anyone who’s ever thought for even a split-second of bursting into song and having the whole world dance along, LA LA LAND is pure joy. –YSM

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We love to sit in the dark with a big tub of popcorn amid a roomful of strangers. Reports on what we witness there come in two varieties: Bullet Reviews quickly and concisely convey our take on a film, always in spoiler-free fashion; Trailer Trash reveals Your Sacrificial Moviegoer's best prediction on whether an upcoming movie is worth seeing, based solely on the trailer (the short "previews" before the feature presentation).

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