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7/10
Dreams
SnoopyStyle24 September 2021
On a beach, Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) tells a group of youngsters about a place called Washington Heights in the faraway Nueva York. It's the days before the 1999 blackout. Usnavi runs a bodega but dreams of returning to his childhood home of Dominican Republic. He has a crush on the beautiful Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) who dreams of being a fashion designer. Nina returns from Stanford and is unwilling to go back especially if her father Kevin Rosario (Jimmy Smits) has to sell off his business to pay the tuition.

It's a Lin-Manuel Miranda musical directed by Jon M. Chu. I really loved some of this. It is too long and probably has too many story elements. The two main young couples could be combined into a simpler single Romeo and Juliet romance. It would allow the DACA story to have more space to breathe. Despite all the hot young things, the most emotional song is Abuela's powerful life story. I do like the visual of Vanessa running down the empty street with the fabrics flowing down the buildings. I don't know if it's possible but Vanessa may be too beautiful. I would have liked for Nina's college drama to be shown. The emotional climax is really Abuela's song and the DACA protest. The movie drags on a bit long after that although that is a fine ending. The main theme of this movie is dream which does present a minor problem. By itself, it does not give that much kinetic energy to the story. Everybody is just pining for money (from the lotto) to make their dreams come to life. All in all, I love quite a bit of this even if it is long.
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6/10
The Heights And Depths
boblipton20 June 2021
It 's a big, sprawling movie about a Hispanic block in upper Manhattan's Washington Heights, and how each of them has his or her own dream, most of which are some variation of getting out of Washington Heights. It's a steady, dependable sort of multi-generational plot that was paying Fanny Hurst's bills more than a century ago, the stories and dreams seem well told, even if there are too may of them to keep in your head when we return to a particular character. It's also a musical, the one that Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and directed and starred in to make his bones. John Chu has taken over the direction and Anthony Ramos the role.

There's some handsome, if not original choreography in this movie, bits lifted from WEST SIDE STORY and ROYAL WEDDING. It follows the tendency to make a big production number out of every dance. Until the next to last one, I experienced the despair I so often feel looking at modern movie musicals, convinced they've forgotten how to move the camera, but instead cut, cut, cut. The last dance, however, showed they hadn't. They just would rather do a zip cut than plan out the complex movements.

Sigh. Still, the songs were surprisingly strong, particularly "Paciencia Y Fe", sung by Olga Merediz. It's a skilled and enthusiastic cast, and it makes me hope that Hollywood will go back to making musicals, that are more than Broadway musicals filmed in front of a proscenium arch.
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9/10
And oh, what heights we'll hit...on with the show, this is it!
lee_eisenberg14 June 2021
I first heard of Lin-Manuel Miranda when his "Hamilton" made a splash. I was surprised to learn that he had written another musical a few years earlier. Well, the movie adaptation of "In the Heights" is here. What a show! Basically, it's a look at the efforts to preserve the spirit of one's neighborhood amid pressure to change both from inside and out. The musical numbers are like nothing that you've ever seen. I'll be eager to see Miranda's next production.

Great one.
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7/10
In the Heights
jboothmillard25 June 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I was debating about this movie, but after hearing about it receiving very positive reviews, I gave it a chance, based on the Broadway musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and Quiara Alegría Hudes, directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D, Now You See Me 2, Crazy Rich Asians). Basically, Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos), named after an American vessel saying "U. S. Navy", tells his story to a group of children about his time in Washington Heights, New York. Years earlier, Usnavi is the owner of a neighbourhood bodega (convenience store). He introduces: Abuela Claudia (Olga Merediz), the neighbourhood matriarch and woman who raised him after the death of his parents; Kevin Rosario (Jimmy Smits), who runs a taxi company; Kevin's employee Benny (Corey Hawkins); the salon ladies Daniela (Daphne Rubin-Vega), Carla (Stephanie Beatriz), and Cuca (Dascha Polanco); Usnavi's unrequited crush Vanessa (Melissa Barrera); and his cousin Sonny (Gregory Diaz IV) ("In the Heights"). Attorney and family friend Alejandro (Mateo Gómez) informs Usnavi his late father's business in the Dominican Republic, which he dreams of reviving, is for sale. Meanwhile, Kevin's daughter Nina (Leslie Grace) has returned from Stanford University. After seeing Benny ("Benny's Dispatch"), she finds her father, she tries to tell him she cannot pay tuition, but he ignores her, telling her not to worry ("Breathe"). Daniela is moving her salon to the Bronx due to rent going up. Nina arrives for a treatment, but reveals she has dropped out of Stanford, and leaves ("No Me Diga"). Vanessa dreams of becoming a fashion designer, but her downtown rental application is rejected ("It Won't Be Long Now"). She heads to Usnavi's shop, where Sonny asks her out for him. The results of a lottery, with a $96,000 prize, has been announced, and Sonny learns that the winner bought the ticket from the bodega. At the public swimming pool, everybody in the neighbourhood fantasises about what they would do with the money ("96,000"), while Piragüero, the (ice lollies) Piragua Guy (Lin-Manuel Miranda) laments how he has lost business to a Mister Softee ice cream truck ("Piragua"). That weekend, Benny and Nina reminisce about their childhoods. She expresses her doubts and fears, but he reassures her she is destined for greatness ("When You're Home"). Meanwhile, Usnavi talks to Sonny's father about Sonny coming with him to the Dominican Republic, but Sonny's father implies he and Sonny are undocumented immigrants and cannot leave. That evening, Kevin reveals he sold his business to pay for Nina's tuition. But she is outraged, refuses the money and storms out. Usnavi and Vanessa head to the salsa club for their date, with Benny and Nina. At the club, Usnavi is nervous and declines a dance with Vanessa. A man steals her away for a dance, allowing multiple men to dance with her. Wanting to make Vanessa jealous, Usnavi dances with another woman ("The Club"). Then there is a neighbourhood power cut, and Sonny and Graffiti Pete (Noah Catala) light up fireworks, illuminating the neighbourhood. Vanessa and Usnavi argue, and she rejects him ("Blackout"). Meanwhile, Abuela lies in bed reminiscing about her childhood in Cuba, and how she came to New York, enduring hardships to be where she is today ("Paciencia y Fe"). She dies that night, and the neighbourhood gather to mourn and sing her praises ("Alabanza"). At a protest for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an immigration policy), Sonny learns that he cannot go to college, as he is an undocumented immigrant. Learning this, Nina resolves to go back to Stanford to help him and other undocumented immigrant children. Usnavi finds Vanessa's rental application in the trash and goes to Daniela to ask her to co-sign it. Disappointed with the block's negativity over the blackout and Abuela's death, Daniela rouses the neighbourhood into a celebration ("Carnaval del Barrio"). The blackout ends at the moment the song concludes. A month later, Nina is about to return to Stanford. Benny promises to find a way to join her in Palo Alto, and they kiss ("When the Sun Goes Down"). As Usnavi prepares to leave for the Dominican Republic, he discovers that Abuela had the winning lottery ticket, and left it to him. Vanessa arrives with champagne, having found out that Usnavi got Daniela to co-sign on her lease. He refuses when she suggests staying, she kisses him, and confesses her feelings for him, although it is too late ("Champagne"). After leaving, Vanessa sees a number of paint drip sheets on the ground that Pete does not need, she is inspired to use them for clothing material and asks to take them. Usnavi gives Alejandro the lottery ticket to use to pay for Sonny's DACA fees. Later, Vanessa takes Usnavi to the bodega and shows him a fashion line she created the previous night from the sheets. Seeing Pete's mural in the store, celebrating Abuela, Usnavi decides to stay. The story returns to the present day, where Usnavi is not on a beach in the Dominican Republic, he is telling his story in the remodelled bodega, and one of the children is Usnavi and Vanessa's daughter. They sing and dance in the street ("Finale"). In a post-credits scene, the Mister Softee truck breaks down and the Piragüero celebrates his victory by raising his prices ("Piragua (Reprise)"). Also starring Marc Anthony as Gapo, Patrick Page as Pike Phillips, Olivia Perez as Iris, Analia Gomez as Rosa, Dean Scott Vazquez as Sedo and Mason Vazquez as Miggy. The cast of predominantly Latino stars all get their moments in the spotlight, it is a little long but a nice simple story, the use of colour and costume looks terrific, many of the songs are catchy, and the choreography is stupendous, especially the inventive dance sequence on the side of the apartment building, overall, a worthwhile musical drama. Very good!
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Did not enjoy it
Gordon-1110 June 2021
The film is not an upbeat musical that I was expecting. It is actually quite depressing, about an immigrant community experiencing hardship in a deprived area. The story is quite slow. The only impressive scene was the synchronised scene, but that was too short. The songs are not very good, and I found a particular song likening New York subway to slave trade rather distasteful. Overall, I did not enjoy it.
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6/10
I wanted to love this but couldn't
preppy-321 June 2021
Musical about a bunch of latinos trying to make it in Washington Heights NY. All the songs were great! Everybody could sing and the dancing was incredible full of energy and color. A big production number at a community pool is a jaw-dropper! However there were two big issues--it's too long at 2 1/2 hours and the two leads can't act. Their singing and dancing was great but str8 acting didn't work. That really lessens the film as a whole. So I sort of liked it.
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7/10
inspiring the next generation
ksf-23 August 2021
Another Lin Manel project! So there will be singing. Lots of it! Mostly rapping. Here's what i know about it. I was thinking it was meant for kids, until he said up s**** creek, and sh** in both english and spanish. And another spanish word i used to use, until my mexican friends told me not to say that. Much spanglish. The characters keep saying nouns in spanish... i know a fair amount of spanish, but i missed many words, and they aren't translated in the captions, which i had turned on, just in case. The whole story is a flashback, much discussion about "the dreamers", the immigrants. And starting your own business. It's long .. 2.5 hrs ! As of today, only 400 votes on imdb. I don't trust their ratings until it has about 1000. The story is solid. Our main character is getting ready to leave town, but things keep pulling him to stay. And oh, the good ol days, when they remember this business on this corner, and life was hard, but we were happier. A clever song about some latino greats, but i'd be surprised if the younger crowd knows who they were... there are some pretty old references. But i guess L-M is trying to change that. Directed by Jon Chu, who had also done crazy rich asians.
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8/10
Delightful
cherold3 October 2021
Surprisingly old-fashioned musical with little plot and some big, imaginative dance numbers. The cast is charming, the songs are quick and clever, and there's a wonderful sense of place.

In a world in which the movie musical, is often, like The Greatest Showman, aggressively modern in its music and overwrought in its performance, the loveliness of In the Heights cannot be overstated. You should watch it.
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6/10
Not For Me, But 96,000 is a Hit
ThomasDrufke6 July 2021
Knowing that Hamilton wasn't necessarily my jam last summer, I was hopeful but hesitant about In the Heights. While I think the big screen, to showcase set pieces and big musical numbers, is a much better way to show off Lin-Manuel Miranda's talents, I still found myself complaining about the runtime, uninterested in a few plot points, and wanting more with a few of the numbers. But most people will have a great time with this one.

6.6/10.
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7/10
Hamiltonian
Cineanalyst10 June 2021
Not that "Hamilton" (the musical turned canned theatre on Disney+ from 2020), at least not entirely, which, besides, came after Lin-Manuel Miranda's collaboration on the stage musical, now, made into a movie, "In the Heights." They do, however, contain a similar-sounding blend of popular music and the usual musical theatre, which in both cases is felicitous to the diverse American stories--the historical founding of the nation of and by immigrants in "Hamilton" and the modern multicultural (and multilingual) American Dream and undocumented Dreamers here (and, by the way, I love the wordplay--even the "power" stuff). Anyways, the Hamilton I'm evoking is the mathematician, not the politician--William Rowan Hamilton, not Alexander Hamilton. And, to get the obvious questions that raises out of the way: yes, rhyming Hamilton with Hamilton is about as much poetry as I'm capable of--I'm not Miranda--and, yes, I'm mathematically illiterate and so will undoubtedly be annihilating this analogy. I'd like to pretend there's a symmetry here between the dotted subway routes mapped out in the movie, the meter of the lyrics, or the plot paths of the characters' dreams, but I don't know.

So, simply put, my point is to compare the filmed "Hamilton" to that of "In the Heights." To my understanding, Lagrangian mechanics may best apply to "Hamilton," as it takes the simplest path from stage to screen. It's just about capturing the energy of the play and so was filmed on the stage, in a theatre, aided by only slight cinematic momentum in montage or shot changes and camera positions beyond a seat at the proscenium arch. "In the Heights," however, is a full-fledged cinematic adaptation. Its release was even delayed during the pandemic so that it could premiere in cinemas as well as streaming; not the case with "Hamilton." In mathematician Hamiltonian speak, that's the kinetic energy of the play plus the potential energy offered by movies. More Hamiltonian than "Hamilton."

Whether Hamiltonian as opposed to Lagrangian mechanics in "In the Heights" and "Hamilton" is reflected in cinemetrics (the collection from films of statistics such as average shot length), about the only numerical measurement of motion one learns from film studies, has as far as I know yet to be demonstrated. But, to paraphrase from the other Hamilton's frenemy, the truth that "In the Heights" is more cinematic in a Hamiltonian sense is self-evident. Even though it's limited by its source to its Washington Heights neighborhood, the art form of cinema allows it to in a sense dream bigger, or at the very least differently. Thus, more extras singing in unison, more intricate settings, camera positions unrestrained by fourth walls and ultimately the real walls of a theatre. The perspective between a swooping wide view of the entire chorus and an intimate close-up of a lead may be completed seamlessly.

Narratively, this is standard dual-focus, with a common subplot of a secondary romance, which is so common in movie musicals that Rick Altman literally wrote the book on it, "The American Film Musical." This sort of integrated musical has existed at least since "The Love Parade" (1929). Moreover, musicals are inherently reflexive whether backstage, with their shows-within-a-show, or integrated, as here, because of the unreality of normal people breaking out in song and dance during their daily lives, although this one adds to this the framing device of the story being told within the story, and he's furthermore in love with an artist, a fashion designer. Most of that could just as well be done on stage (theoretically, that is, as I didn't see the play). Maybe that's why I think the secondary romance here is ultimately the more affecting one and which leads to the picture's pinnacle moment where they dance on the walls. That's pure Busby Berkeley geometry, fantastical Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers symmetry there. It doesn't require an equation to figure out that much.
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A Joyful Celebration Of Life, Culture & Community
CinemaClown9 July 2021
Packed with singalong songs, buzzing with an unbridled energy & exuding a warm, exuberant quality from its opening moments, In the Heights starts on a promising note and makes for an entertaining & effervescent musical delight during the first half but the longer it goes on, the more wearisome it becomes and all the spirited magic & momentum it was riding on begin to dissipate in the final hour.

Directed by Jon M. Chu (best known for Crazy Rich Asians), the film feels fresh & fascinating from the get-go and the character introductions are clever & captivating to say the least but the musical numbers, even though expertly choreographed, are a tad too many and offer no respite for viewers to breathe or room for dramatic portions to ground the story. Also, after a while, it all just starts feeling repetitive.

There are several segments it could've done without but in an effort to capture the milieu of its lively neighbourhood, the filmmakers just cram everything into the final print, making it all seem overstuffed to the point that the story buckles under its own weight. It sure is overlong, its 143 mins runtime is strongly felt in the second half, and its finale is rather underwhelming. Performances from the entire ensemble however is top-notch.

Overall, In the Heights is a wonderful celebration of its community, a reminder of preserving one's cultural roots, and a heartfelt tribute to all who dare to chase their dreams. It radiates life, is inhabited by vibrant characters, and retains its sense of joy. But the rhythm eventually falls out of sync as the film ends up overstaying its welcome. Still, there is plenty to like here, a lot to enjoy, and its zestful breeze will keep most viewers effortlessly amused & pleased.
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6/10
Good enough, but I'm glad Lin-Manuel Miranda's work has improved since this
cricketbat14 June 2021
I was excited to see In the Heights. I've never seen this production on stage, but I am a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda's work on Hamilton and Moana. It's kind of obvious this musical came before those two, as it feels more amateurish. The songs are enjoyable in the moment but aren't very memorable and go on a little long. Plus, the story doesn't have enough dramatic tension. I'm glad Lin-Manuel Miranda finally got his first Broadway musical to the screen, but I'm also glad his work has improved since then.
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The name Lin-Manuel Miranda is guarantee of quality
harry_tk_yung28 August 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Initially, I was attracted to this movie by dance numbers in the trailer, bursting with energy. And, of course, the name Lin-Manuel Miranda (writing, production) is a guarantee of quality. Upon watching it, I was delightfully surprised to find the affecting, affirmative stories.

When everything is said and done, you finally realize that this is so affectionately familiar: there is no place like home. You can almost hear Dorothy say "we are in Kansas after all". Let me back up a little.

The movie opens with a beautiful sledge-of-hand (which I'll explained later) of an idyllic Dominican Republic beach when we see Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) captivating the imagination of four lovely kids with the story he is telling. You don't know yet the relationship, if any, he has with the kids. The story seems to be told in flashback, teleporting their collective imagination to Upper Manhattan or, more specifically, Washington Heights during a humid, hot summer.

Usnavi's dream is to go back to Dominican Republic. His other dream is to win the heart of gorgeous Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) who, in her turn, aspires to be a successful fashion designer. The other pair, completing the quartet, is Usnavi's childhood friend Nina (Leslie Grace) and her sweetheart Benny (Corey Hawkin). He is also a valued employee of Nina's financially successful father Kevin. Nina, on her home visit, drops the bombshell that she wants to drop out from Stanford. Despite her good grades, she feels alienated as a visible minority.

A splendid collection of various support characters light up the screen with this ode to the Latino community in Washington Heights. They strive for "little details that tell the world we are not invisible". While the main thrust is rap and rhythm, the music offers a rich variety. For example, there are opera-like recitatives such as the "Champaign" number.

Sincere apologies. I am not going to reveal the sledge-of-hand after all, of the opening scene suggesting that Usnavi has realized his dream and is now telling his story to these children. It would spoil your fun in watching this delightful movie.
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7/10
Beautiful but too long...
Thanos_Alfie19 June 2021
"In the Heights" is a Musical - Drama movie in which is based on a Broadway musical where a bodega owner in New York trying to save as much money as he can in order to accomplish a dream of his. Everybody knows him and he also knows them since he is very sympathetic and polite.

I liked this movie because it had a simple but beautiful and interesting plot. The music and the songs of the musical were also very good and listening to them, it was like you were there with them. The only thing I would change it would be the duration of it because for me it was too long. The interpretations of Anthony Ramos who played as Usnavi and Melissa Barrera who played as Vanessa were very good and their combination worked very well. Some other interpretations that have to be mentioned were Leslie Grace who played as Nina Rosario, Olga Merediz who played as Abuela Claudia and Gregory Diaz IV who played as Sonny. Lastly, I have to say that "In the Heights" is a nice, beautiful musical and I highly recommend you to watch it because I am sure that you will like it and you will enjoy it.
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10/10
Beautiful musical with heart and soul
cruise0128 June 2021
5 out of 5 stars.

Great musical film. With a touching story. And message. Love the cast ensemble which they all did great with there musical cues. The soundtrack and musical sequences are amazing. Love every one moment of it. The direction is powerful and colorful. Making it one fun musical film.
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8/10
A whimsical film arriving at the perfect time in the world
eddie_baggins15 June 2021
Arriving into a world that hasn't had a whole lot of joy and happiness shared around over the previous 12 months, Broadway musical adaptation In the Heights drops into a time and place where its dosage of colour, energy and Hollywoodized views of life where everyone is friends and loved up couples can dance along the side of a building in gravity defying displays arrives in what's a case of perfect timing for all concerned.

A passion project for Hamilton heavyweight Lin-Manuel Miranda who has helped bring this musical to life on the big screen as both a producer, consultant and supporting star, Heights is vividly bought to life by the Broadway star and hot right now director Jon M. Chu, who on the back of his work with Crazy Rich Asians and this film here has showcased a real ability to craft culturally diverse products for a landscape crying out for more variety in the media they consume.

There's no true plot holding everything in Heights together and not a single villain to lay your eyes on (unless you count the neighborhood's newest dry-cleaner and his exorbitant prices) and at 140 minutes in runtime there's a case to be made for this tale benefiting from a further trim in the editing suite but Chu and Miranda ensure this heart-felt and upscale Hallmark offering is a film impossible to hate as we as an audience are invited to a block party we can't help but be glad we made the effort to attend.

Built around Anthony Ramos's Usnavi (a star making turn for the young performer), a corner store grocery manager with dreams of escaping the neighborhood of Washington Heights to return to his home country of the Dominican Republic but torn due to his love of fellow Washington Heights resident Vanessa (another star making turn from actress Melissa Barrera), Heights throws countless musical numbers at us thick and fast and while some of the numbers are a little underwhelming, when Heights hits the high notes there aren't many modern day musicals that could stand alongside it and Chu and Miranda should be commended for embedding their creative feature with heart, soul and fun to spare creating an often magical movie going experience.

Opening with an extended entrée to the main course that Hamilton fans will be pleased too know takes the same hip-hop inspired approach to song and dance numbers that made Miranda's work such a talk-worthy exercise, Heights is rarely too far away from another eye-popping set piece that will have your feet tapping and your heart beating and whether the film is taking us on a sojourn to the local swimming pool, walks through the streets with nothing more than fireworks lighting the way or showcasing the local battle of wits between a shaved ice salesman and the local ice cream truck, there's a lot too love here and while cynics will find lots to pull apart and find issue with, its hard to imagine how one could not find joy in such a whimsical ride.

Accessible to those of varied age, background or race, Heights is going to be a film that is oft-enjoyed for the years yet to come and while its not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, right here and now this fun and exciting bout of goodness and goodwill arrives at the perfect time.

Final Say -

A fun and enthusiastic Hollywood musical with a great ethnic twist, In the Heights may outstay its welcome in parts and feature a few song and dance routines that could've been cut without issue but as a whole this is a joyous movie going event that showcases what big screen magic is all about.

4 lottery tickets out of 5.
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10/10
The first real post-pandemic masterpiece.
A celebration of the crucial mundanity we miss when we're focused on our dreams. A love letter that makes you nostalgic for a place you've never been. A story of Home that anyone can relate to, but particularly the immigrant/displaced community. A film that leads you dancing (metaphorically or literally) out of the theater on an emotional high, ready to love & engage with your community. A stunning achievement in every way & the perfect 2021 salve.
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8/10
Another surprising Classic Musical adaption after 'Hamilton'. Forget overhyped 'Chicago' and 'La La Land' and enjoy a Real Musical Carnival.
SAMTHEBESTEST11 June 2021
In The Heights (2021) : Movie Review -

In this millennium two of those most popular Musicals were oscar winning 'Chicago' (2002) and 'La La Land' (2016). Chicago still had prime musicals to remember with enough intelligence in the choreography but La La Land was below par in everything. Remember that opening number in La La Land? It was so fascinating but did we see any such number in rest of the film? Forget great, did we even see any good or decent musical number with excellent choreography? No. Eventually, the film lacked the essential touch too so i don't really understand why people have overhyped it so much. I mean i am fan of those Classic Musicals of Hollywood which have great musicals and fine storyline too. Just to name a few i would say, 'The Wizard Of OZ', 'Singin In The Rain', 'West Side Story', 'Sounf Of Music' etc. To be frank, that golden era of Musicals has been gone since years and expecting the same stuff Today is a very expensive demand. The audience who have overhyped Chicago and La La Land must have been unaware of those classic musicals so it's okay if they liked it too much. For me, Chicago was fine and La La Land was mediocre and digested it quickly because i knew that those golden days are not gonna come back. Suddenly, there was something astonishing like 'Hamilton' hit the digital platforms and i was stunned to see a groundbreaking Musical in today's time. The reason i mentioned Hamilton is, it was a Broadway phenomena, which unfortunately couldn't hit the theatres so had its original presentation and In The Heights came as a feature film adaption of a Musical Play. In the Heights is as amazing as Hamilton at almost many levels and even though it doesn't match the final level of Hamilton, it finishes off very close to it which is a big achievement anyway.

The story is set over the course of three days, involving characters in the largely Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. In the beginning there was a mention of 'Blackout' and i was like, what is that? Chuck it, let's enjoy the tappy numbers and creatively designed choreography. Till the interval point I even forgot that Blackout mention but finally it hit, and what a tremendous impact it had. It divides the narrative in two parts, before blackout and after Blackout..well, that's how you create a linear equation of storytelling. Not a single moment where you'll get bored, it has such an amusing atmosphere to keep you grooving on it. I was grinning constantly and was tapping my foot on the ground throughout those 140 minutes. I don't even remember when I did the same thing for any Musical made after 70s in Hollywood. That's the bigger achivement for the team of In The Heights.

In the Heights has good performances of all the artists. It could been better though, i mean that intensity was slightly less. Cinematography, story, art designing, choreography, musicals, lyrics, production value all these things will surpass your expectations even if you have some high. I wasn't expecting anything great so for me it was all like a Big Pleasant Surprise! Miranda's original version is adopted very well by Jon Chu. The main credit goes to Miranda of course, but the Cinematic evaluation and its merits belongs to Jon Chu only. Overall, if you are a matured cine-viewer who understand the quality musicals with brainstorming choreography (not the one who calls La La Land and Chicago Classics) then In The Heights is an entertaining and amusing carnival for you. Don't miss it and kindly use subtitles to understand Spanish lyrics.

RATING - 8/10*
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8/10
Wonderful movie is just what the doctor ordered to start this summer
paul-allaer11 June 2021
As "In The Heights" (2021 release; 143 min.) opens, we are introduced to Usnavi, who is getting ready for a new day at the convenience store that he runs in Washington Heights. It is "3 Days till Blackout" and neighborhood people are stopping by (mostly for coffee). Usnavi is originally from the Dominican Republic and dreams of going back and rebuild his parents' house that was destroyed by a hurricane. We then get to know Nina, who has just finished her freshman year at Stanford and she feels dejected about her experience there. Then there is Vanessa, who works at a beauty parlor but hopes to start her own fashion line... At this point we are 15 min. Into the movie.

Couple of comments: "At the Heights" is the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of the Broadway play from creator Lin-Manuel "Hamilton" Miranda. Let me state upfront that I have not seen the Broadway show so I cannot comment on how closely the film sticks to the original play. What I can say is this: the film is an absolute wonderful experience from start to finish. The story line works well. Most of the songs are immediately appealing singalongs. And then there is the dancing: there are several utterly stunning dancing sequences (the 10 min. Sequence at the pool with hundreds of extras while singing to "96,000"; the gravity-defying sequence by Kevin and Nina on the side of the apartment building; etc.). And yes, there are also time-defining reminders of the "Dreamers", DACA, and being visible. In fact, I'd say that "In The Heights" is a celebration of not just music and dance, but also diversity, inclusion, equality, respect and encouragement. So that makes "In the Heights" not only a wildly entertaining movie but also a deeply political statement, and one that will not be welcomed by the MAGA crowd. As a legal immigrant myself to this country (I arrived here from Belgium in the early 80s), I found "In The Heights" to be refreshing and above all super-entertaining. These 2 1/2 hours flew by in no time.

"In The Heights" was originally scheduled to be released in theaters in Jun, 2020, but of course a little thing called COVID-19 had different plans. Fast forward a year later, and the movie was finally released this weekend and it also is available for streaming on HBO Max (which is where I caught this last night). As we all move closer to 'normalcy' with each passing day and week, "In The Heights" is a wonderful movie and just what the doctor ordered to start making the summer of 2021 a summer to remember. Enjoy!
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5/10
Poor man's West Side Story in which great music and dancing can't save mediocre storyline
Turfseer19 June 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I saw In The Heights when it was a musical on Broadway years ago and had the same reaction to it after coming out of the movie theater. Basically I wasn't thrilled despite some great musical numbers, nifty lyrics and some unbelievably great choreography (featuring a humongous group of dancers in the film version!) The film has the added bonus of featuring the show's creator, the extremely likable Lin-Manuel Miranda, as Piragüero, the Piragua Guy, getting his comeuppance on a Mister Softee franchisee, while selling his wares on the street.

In the Heights aspires to be modern day update of West Side Story. Both deal at least in part with young people and Hispanic culture in New York City. The latter set in the area behind where Lincoln Center is now and the former in Washington Heights (upper, upper westside Manhattan).

Unlike West Side Story, there is no central antagonist to sink your teeth into here-nor are the stakes very high in contrast to the life and death machinations of the characters in West Side Story. The principal story here revolves around the oddly named Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos), who dreams of refurbishing his father's business, leveled by a hurricane in the Dominican Republic. Usnavi is conflicted about selling his bodega and abandoning his community in Washington Heights by moving down to DR. In addition, he's taking care of his teenage cousin, Sonny, who's here illegally and must obtain a green card so he can work out his dream of getting ahead.

The other significant principal here is Nina (Leslie Grace), daughter of Kevin Rosario (Jimmy Smits) who owns a local taxi dispatch company. The big conflict here is Nina's decision not to return to Stanford to complete her studies there much to the chagrin of Kevin, who wants to pay the rest of the tuition (but doesn't really have the money to do so).

Usnavi's love interest is Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) who also has a surfeit of dreams including becoming a successful fashion designer.

A good deal of the plot ends up centering on a winning "Take Five" ticket worth $96,000 (the name of one of the songs), which the aging community matriarch "Abuela" (Olga Merediz) wills to Usnavi following her death due to a heart attack (there's a big number in which the community mourns her death).

In the Heights suffers from some predictable sentimentality in which there's a happy ending for all the principals including Sonny, who Usnavi establishes a trust fund for using Abuela's lottery winnings along with hiring a lawyer to attempt to obtain a green card for the teenager turned clever rapper wordsmith. Usnavi also convinces Daniela (Daphne Rubin-Vega), the recently moved salon owner to co-sign a rental agreement so that Vanessa can open up her own shop. Nina finally decides to go back to Stanford making her dad happy.

Usnavi decides to stay in Washington Heights after seeing murals of Abuela around the neighborhood. One wonders how he planned to move to the Dominican Republic since the bodega had not been sold on the day he was supposed to depart.

Go see In the Heights for the music and the dancing and forget about the thin storyline which unfortunately will not bowl you over.
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Loud and Boring
drednm9 June 2021
Ain't my cup of tea. Long and loud, it's the musical story of a group of Washington Heights (New York City) residents. The overall plot is broken down into several subplots but they're not very interesting. Mostly it's the story of wanting to get out of the "barrio," which is spotlessly clean ... as clean as any New York scene in a Woody Allen movie. The killer for me is the endless rap soundtrack in which every tuneless song sounds like the one before and the one after.

This is from the desk of Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) who also plays a small role. Now too old for the lead, which he played in the Broadway production a decade ago, he's passed the baton to Anthony Ramos as the protagonist. It'll be interesting to see if this resonates at the box office.
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10/10
A delight
DarkVulcan2913 June 2021
I'm glad I saw this, has far has musicals go, this was quite a fun time, I never knew going into that it was already a broadway musical, I thought it was a new thing.

Songs are really good, you'll feel like singing with them, not to mention the dance scenes are also good. The scenery becomes a character itself, feeling the beauty of being in the heights. The actors don't disappoint either, really get there roles so well, I forget I'm watching a movie.

If you love musicals then give In The Heights a look.
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7/10
Not My Favorite Type of Movie
stevendbeard28 June 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I saw "In the Heights", starring Anthony Ramos-Honest Thief, Godzilla:King of the Monsters; Corey Hawkins-Kong:Skull Island, Iron Man 3; Leslie Grace-her first movie; Melissa Barrera-Vida_tv, Perseguidos_tv and Jimmy Smits-How to Get Away With Murder_tv, the Star Wars movies.

This is a musical-not my favorite type of movie-that is based on a Broadway musical that was the brainchild of Lin_Manuel Miranda. With his track record, you know he knows what he is doing-as far as musicals go, anyways-and he does have a few cameo scenes where he is selling his wares on the streets. He wrote the music and lyrics. There are several stories taking place but the main one is about a store owner, Anthony, living in Washington Heights New York that dreams of saving enough money to move back to the Dominican Republic. Melissa plays the girl he likes but he is too shy to ask her out. Corey is Anthony's friend that likes Leslie, who has been away at college and just got back into town. Jimmy plays Leslie's father that scraped and saved money to send her to college but discovers that she may not be happy at school. There are lots of great choreography concerning the dance moves and everyone sings their hearts out-as to be expected in a musical-so if you like musicals, you should enjoy this one. If you stay after the end credits, Lin_Manuel has a little scene with an ice cream vendor.

It's rated "PG-13" for language and has a running time of 2 hours & 23 minutes.

As I said earlier, musicals are not my favorite type of movie so I don't think I would buy this one on DVD. If you are a fan, go for it. Otherwise, it would be alright as a rental.
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8/10
In the Heights
JoBloTheMovieCritic13 June 2021
8/10 - what was supposed to be our next mega musical to hit the big screen felt a little fragmented and underwhelming, but was a huge win for Latino representation.
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8/10
This flick does a bang-up, top-notch, spot-on excellent job of . . .
tadpole-596-91825630 June 2021
Warning: Spoilers
. . . warning our USA Homeland about a threatening incursion of an invasive counter-culture which belligerently refuses to assimilate into our hallowed melting pot. Viewers need look no further than the flags of IN THE HEIGHTS to detect how divisive, imminent and overwhelming these insurgent dangers actually are. You'll be able to see one single, solitary Stars and Stripes out of your peripheral vision during HEIGHTS' 133-minute running time (blink, and you'll miss it) as opposed to at least 74 Communist Cuban banners front and center for seemingly half of this dance marathon. Beyond the grotesque gyrations constantly blockading the U. S. taxpayers' public streets, this cautionary tale stresses the wanton moral turpitude of the foreign flag loyalists. Everyone knows that "Tee Key Torch" marchers are as vile as they come, so of course we see such a burgeoning parade here at 1:31:42. Whether it's fixing the lottery results, evading immigration laws, purse-snatching, shoplifting or violent ice cream wars, HEIGHTS deftly depicts an incoming tsunami wave rife with lawless disrespect of American norms, expectations and traditions.
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