Movie Review: “In The Heights” is an enjoyable, high energy time at the movies

Big screen musicals that can deliver for the entirety of their running time without wearing you out are few and far between, and each of them have a unique formula to work. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s latest vision, “In The Heights” accomplishes that with an immersive vibe that delivers a feel-good outing, even if you’re not the biggest fan of the genre like me.

The film follows Usnavi (played by Anthony Ramos, and don’t worry there is a story behind the name) as he navigates tough life decision in Washington Heights, New York. We follow the events in the film as he looks for happiness, along with everyone in his life as they just try to find their place in the world.

This film hooks you almost immediately.

As you’ve probably heard by now, the musical numbers are all amazing lead by terrific vocal performances starring Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, and Corey Hawkins, with choreography that showcases all of the talent on screen but never flying too high away from the reason why you’re there to begin with. There is also a lot of meat between the music. The film would theoretically still work without it, and maybe that’s why it’s a strong film. Director Jon M. Chu (Crazy, Rich Asians) is in command the entire time.

At 2 hours and 23 minutes, it’s a little long, but not everyone will notice it. And then you might not be a big fan of musicals, and hey, I understand that, I’m usually not either. That could get in the way of you enjoying this film too.

But “In The Heights” hums along seamlessly and still delivers despite the hype and pandemic delays. I recommend it with no reservation.

In The Heights

GRADE: A-

Running Time: 2 hours 23 minutes

Rated: PG 13

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