Twentieth Century Fox | Release Date: December 10, 2021
7.1
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Generally favorable reviews based on 199 Ratings
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Positive:
145
Mixed:
24
Negative:
30
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6
robomartionJan 18, 2022
It's good but I don't see why musical movies are just musicals filmed with a camera. If I wanted to watch West Side Story the musical I'm sure its on somewhere. Although it is good I don't see any point to his film existing. It is a carbonIt's good but I don't see why musical movies are just musicals filmed with a camera. If I wanted to watch West Side Story the musical I'm sure its on somewhere. Although it is good I don't see any point to his film existing. It is a carbon copy clone of the musical but instead projected onto a screen. The problem is there is no depth to the characters outside of their songs and when the characters switch from a serious conversation to dancing and singing in the middle of the street you can't help but face palm. You could adapt the musical into a real film with real believable characters instead of theatrical, singing cardboard caricature cutouts, but then you would lose the charm of the whole thing in the first place. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. If you ask me musicals are best left where they came from - on the stage.

The other pain in this movie is the un-subtitled Spanish dialogue which is probably nearly a third of the words spoken. Whatever reason they want to give for that given isn't good enough. It actually divides the audience because its like the Puerto Ricans are speaking under their breath so the Americans can't hear it. Although Ansel Egort does very well singing, his acting in this movie reminds me a lot of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker - which I don't know if it fits the character - and Maria does not seem to have a moral compass or any values that make her likeable at all. Overall I got a bad taste of Puerto Ricans as duplicitous and conniving from this movie and it made me like them less than went I went in and I can assume that is the probably opposite of the aim of the movie.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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6
HerickDienerMar 6, 2022
A versão apaixonada de "West Side Story" por Steven Spielberg é um espetáculo sem som. Tudo está em seu perfeito lugar, mas nada a acrescentar ou falar.

A indiferença para com o assassinato de um dos personagens e um número musical inserido
A versão apaixonada de "West Side Story" por Steven Spielberg é um espetáculo sem som. Tudo está em seu perfeito lugar, mas nada a acrescentar ou falar.

A indiferença para com o assassinato de um dos personagens e um número musical inserido em um dos momentos mais dramáticos do filme me fez ter certeza de que não foi uma boa ideia ressuscitar essa história que envelheceu como leite.

Mas, apesar de tudo, pelo menos serviu para Ariana DeBose dar o seu show particular. Cada segundo que ela está em cena é dela, que de coadjuvante não tem nada. Seja cantando ou dramaticamente atuando, ela entrega.

No geral, eu só queria que eles realmente se matassem para o filme acabar.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
SerengetiDec 22, 2021
Having just watched the original, I feared this Spielberg remake would pale in comparison. It did not! I sat through the 2-1/2 hours of the new version as mesmerized as I had through the original. The music and the story are unchanged andHaving just watched the original, I feared this Spielberg remake would pale in comparison. It did not! I sat through the 2-1/2 hours of the new version as mesmerized as I had through the original. The music and the story are unchanged and still filled with incredible energy, although, for some reason, the dancing in the original seems more frenetic. The new actors are a bit hit and miss for me. Ansel Elgort is so perfect as Tony, and so much more age appropriate than Richard Beymer, who seemed like a grown man. Elgort brings his youth and vulnerability to the role. I loved him as Tony. Rachel Zegler is pretty good as Maria, and as all the others this time around, sings her own songs. She also is more age appropriate than Natalie Wood. Ariana DeBose is a great, fiery Anita. The only disappointments in casting for me were Riff, as played by Mike Faist and Bernardo, played by David Alvarez. Neither one of them has the command of the stage as either Russ Tamblyn or George Chakiris. They are both slight in frame and lack that phsical presence of the original actors. But, all the main characters are Broadway stars who can sing and dance, and a couple have won Tony awards, or been nominated. Spielberg’s vision seems a bit more contemporary even though it takes place in the same timeframe. I loved it! It will never replace the original for me, but if it can expose new generations to this timeless classic and have them fall in love with the music and dancing and the story, that will be amazing. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
ryanoliveira3Dec 17, 2021
Breathtaking Spielberg brings west side story to the 21st century. Yayyyy so good
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
EonoxolDec 22, 2021
Have supported the movie from Russia! I love musicals so much and this one is not an exception. The story and the songs are simple but not in a bad way. The dances are the best part and the actors are stunning. Thanks to all the people involved!
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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2
superduperrandoDec 12, 2021
The only question I have after watching this film is why did it have to be made, and aren't people tired of the endless deluge of remakes of old classics?
12 of 15 users found this helpful123
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3
Butterballer1Dec 14, 2021
Spielberg accelerates his descent into irrelevence with a forgettable musical that should have been a lot of fun.

This felt like a bland paint-by-numbers musical with nothing new to offer except what I later found out is Spielberg's
Spielberg accelerates his descent into irrelevence with a forgettable musical that should have been a lot of fun.

This felt like a bland paint-by-numbers musical with nothing new to offer except what I later found out is Spielberg's heavy-handed diversity quotient. Diversity doesn't make a product good. It can only make a product better if it is suited for the material and if the actors are also chosen for their talent and the scripts are written to their strengths. This clearly was not the case with this film in which Spielgberg cares only about casting for race (which is not inherently bad in such a story, but it can't be the only thing...) and insists on making the Spanish language sections be unsubtitled in order to shame people who don't speak Spanish. This is a nice-looking nothing burger with a heavy side of forced social lecturing for absolutely no reason. The original material already handles such topics in a much more entertaining and effective way.
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10 of 13 users found this helpful103
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8
ambientdropDec 10, 2021
Beautifully shot by Janusz Kaminski and team. The big dance numbers really stood out to me. America was fantastic, as was every scene Ariana DeBose was in.
7 of 10 users found this helpful73
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9
TVJerryDec 10, 2021
In his first musical, Steven Spielberg chose to revive this 1957 classic, while bringing Tony Kushner along to re-work the script in some major ways: There’s more backstory for some of the characters and more attention has been paid toIn his first musical, Steven Spielberg chose to revive this 1957 classic, while bringing Tony Kushner along to re-work the script in some major ways: There’s more backstory for some of the characters and more attention has been paid to accurately depicting the Puerto Rican community (including some dialogue in Spanish with no translation). Most surprisingly, several of the songs have been reworked in the setting or the singer: Rita Moreno, who plays the owner of Doc’s Drugstore’s widow, sings “Somewhere” and it’s the most touching song in the film. The actors all excel in acting and singing and the dance numbers, while enthusiastic, don’t have the elegance or beauty of Jerome Robbins’ original. Fortunately, in one of Spielberg’s wisest choices, he shot most of the big dances in long wide shots, as opposed to lots of bothersome quick cuts, so you can appreciate the ensemble. The first few scenes get things off to a slow start with too much political positioning, but soon the drama ramps up into a truly poetic tragedy. Expand
4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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8
moviemitch96Dec 10, 2021
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this is a remake about the classic 1957 Broadway play and 1961 film of the same name that sees star-crossed lovers (Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Ziegler) from rival gangs and different ethnicities within theDirected by Steven Spielberg, this is a remake about the classic 1957 Broadway play and 1961 film of the same name that sees star-crossed lovers (Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Ziegler) from rival gangs and different ethnicities within the upper West side of Manhattan fighting for each other and their love, all while battling the disapproval from their family and respective gangs they happen to be a part of. It's a more modern Romeo and Juliet of sorts. I had mixed feelings about this film being remade, especially when the original is just so perfect and holds up so well even today, despite some glaring issues of whitewash casting (such as Natalie Wood as Maria). Here however, Spielberg rights that wrong by not only assembling a large and respectable cast consisting largely of Latino actors suited perfectly for their roles, but also giving them a sense of individuality and showing great respect and insight towards them and their culture by not even including Spanish subtitles. My other initial concern was that this film would simply just be a copy-and-paste remake of the original, following it beat for beat. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this film instead honored and followed the spirit of the original while also feeling polished and fresh in its own right. The grain texture and cinematography of the film even felt like it tried to pay homage to the original, as it felt and looked slightly older as if we were meant to relive the sixties and the experience that film gave us all over again. The songs and choreographed dances and battles throughout are al so unbelievably impressive, and the late, great Stephen Sondheim's songs and lyrics are still just as fun as they were back then and remain timeless and more than hold up to this day! Their timeless commentary on racism and other social tensions ring loud and true. As for the performances, Ansel Elgort and Rachel Ziegler's chemistry is unmistakable whenever they share the screen with each other. However, they each more than hold their own in separate scenes as well. Other big standouts include Ariana DeBose as Anita and Rita Moreno (who played Anita in the 1961 film) who plays Valentina in this remake. Each of these ladies gives it their all, bearing their heart and soul in each and every one of their scenes and songs. The film does match the length of the original at two and a half hours, which was another initial cause of my concern of it being a beat for beat remake, and it still does feel a little long at times, but overall, this film and this story proved to be wholy entertaining and impeccably put together thanks to another solid cast, elaborately choreographed and impressive song and dance/fight sequences, and stellar and faithful direction from Spielberg. Expand
5 of 8 users found this helpful53
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1
berkcansDec 13, 2021
if Spielberg wanted a musical, he should have created his is own musical like Damien Chazelle. This polished yet shallow version of the classic musical wont be remembered. Ansel Elgort is very wooden.
11 of 18 users found this helpful117
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2
MateokubrickDec 14, 2021
Are you serious?????
Made just for the damn box office
Don't be so cowardly and don't be afraid of FAMOUS NAME
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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9
Sassypants25Dec 11, 2021
Truly a masterpiece. The cinematography and choreography shine bright. The screenplay by Tony Kushner adds motivation and richness to the characters and the story. Everyone is superb. Ansel Elgort’s Tony is the weaker of the leads, but it’sTruly a masterpiece. The cinematography and choreography shine bright. The screenplay by Tony Kushner adds motivation and richness to the characters and the story. Everyone is superb. Ansel Elgort’s Tony is the weaker of the leads, but it’s simply due to a lack of joy or effervescence in some parts. His Brando-esque performance could be due to direction, but when he needs to be lighter, he isn’t. Otherwise it’s still an incredible film! Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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8
itsjustamovieDec 17, 2021
On September 26, 1957, West Side Story (WSS) opened on Broadway to rave reviews. It has not been out of production since then. The story of star-crossed lovers from rival families or clans or gangs is an old one. Shakespeare penned the mostOn September 26, 1957, West Side Story (WSS) opened on Broadway to rave reviews. It has not been out of production since then. The story of star-crossed lovers from rival families or clans or gangs is an old one. Shakespeare penned the most famous version and called it Romeo and Juliet. Three Hundred and Fifty years later, Jerome Robbins, an American choreographer and director, had the idea of updating the story and putting it to music. Leonard Bernstein, boy wonder conductor and composer, was enlisted to write the music and an even younger prodigy, Stephan Sondheim, was commissioned to write the lyrics. Veteran playwright, Arthur Laurents, wrote the book. Together, they created one of the great works of the 20th Century - and they never all worked together again.

In 1961, a movie was made based on the show and was greeted with even greater acclaim, winning 10 Oscars. The new WSS movie, directed by Steven Spielberg and with a script by Tony Kushner, has kept all the elements and characters that are important to the story including its original late 1950s time - rival gangs, the Jets (white) and the Sharks (Puerto Rican), fight for turf on the West Side of NYC when a former Jet (Tony) and a Puerto Rican (Maria) fall in love. Riff, leader of the Jets, is best friends with Tony while Bernardo, leader of the Sharks, is Maria’s brother and lover of Maria’s best friend, Anita. The main characters are rounded out by two police officers and the owner of a neighborhood store, Doc in the original show and movie and his widow, Valentina, a Puerto Rican woman, in Kushner’s script. Kushner also adds another level of conflict by setting the action in the ‘slum’ that is being cleared (destroyed) so that Lincoln Center can be built.

The changes are minimal in spite of the news stories about how the new movie has eliminated racist Puerto Rican references. The real change is that the new script provides a more complete backstory for the main characters - Tony is on parole for having almost killed a rival gang member in a previous rumble or fight, Bernardo is a professional prize fighter, Anita and Maria don’t work in a local dress shop but instead Anita works from home as a seamstress and Maria as an overnight cleaner at Gimbels. Chino, Maria’s Bernardo-approved Puerto Rican suitor, is made an accountant-to-be and a more sympathetic character than in the original where he is really just a vehicle for the plot. Go see it. WSS still has the ability to move you in a multitude of ways and the new movie has the most important element from the original - the music and lyrics. There are just very few musicals that have music this good - Gustav Dudamel does the conducting. And the lyrics keep on giving voice to the basic emotions that still drive human actions - the pride of belonging (When you’re a jet, you’re a jet all the way form your first cigarette to your last dyin’ day), the magic of first love (Maria! Say it loud and there's music playing— Say it soft and it's almost like praying), the impatience of youth (Today, The minutes seem like hours, The hours go so slowly, And still the sky is light . . . Oh moon, grow bright, And make this endless day endless night!) and the longing for a place in this world (There's a place for us, A time and place for us. Hold my hand and we're halfway there. Hold my hand and I'll take you there…Somehow, Some day, Somewhere!)

A big deal was made about the fact that the Puerto Rican characters sometimes speak Spanish with no subtitles - it does add to the authenticity and is perfectly understandable by anyone. The Doc - Valentina switch is more problematic. Played by Rita Moreno who played Anita in the 1961 movie, Valentina sings Somewhere instead of Tony and Maria which makes the reconciliation of Tony and Maria after the rumble seem forced and choppy. Also, by having Valentina and the late Doc as a ‘mixed’ couple (white and Puerto Rican), it diminishes the difficulty and uniqueness of Tony and Maria’s relationship. Also, there has been much written about how the violence of the sexual assault on Anita by the Jets is more realistic than the original movie - not true. In fact, the violence of this scene in the original is much more visceral.

These are minor defects compared to the achievement of bringing this great musical to life for a new generation of cast and crew. Justin Peck did the choreography, borrowing heavily from Jerome Robbins’s original direction. The cast are uniformly very good with a stand-out performance by Mike Faist as Riff. In the end, we have a new WSS to enjoy and that can’t be anything but good news for fans of the much too Disneyfied movie musicals of our time. It makes one long for more - how about a new Guys and Dolls movie?

itsjustamovie.com
armen pandola
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2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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8
JLuis_001Dec 14, 2021
Perhaps I have a nostalgic appreciation for the 1961 film, because even after 60 years, it's still one of the best musicals in history, but this one is also really, really good.

I never doubted this remake/new adaptation. Did anyone really
Perhaps I have a nostalgic appreciation for the 1961 film, because even after 60 years, it's still one of the best musicals in history, but this one is also really, really good.

I never doubted this remake/new adaptation. Did anyone really think Spielberg was going to **** it up? C'mon!!!

I wasn't very happy with the male lead, I'm not really sure to this day what the directors and producers see in Ansel Elgort, but that's really a minor problem. He doesn't affect the rest of the film at all.

Everything else, from the direction, the script, the performances of the rest of the cast, the solid musical numbers, the excellent cinematography, the sets, the production values, and the respect for the '61 film, deliver an extremely rare case where a new version deserves to stand entirely alongside its predecessor as an equal.

Give it a chance and go see it in theaters. Prove to the box office that these films deserve their place, and deserve to continue to be produced.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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3
ElthorMar 7, 2022
I suppose the original material is so good Spielberg couldn't completely destroy it, but he tried. 3 pts to Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim for the source material. None for the director of this film.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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7
GemsicleDec 20, 2021
Steven Spielberg has presented a style in choreography and vocal music, but does not beat the original "West Side Story". In 1961, we witnessed a musical that has encapsulated audiences and critics alike and we were meet with the exact sameSteven Spielberg has presented a style in choreography and vocal music, but does not beat the original "West Side Story". In 1961, we witnessed a musical that has encapsulated audiences and critics alike and we were meet with the exact same reaction when Oscar-winner Rita Moreno was brave to survive long enough to cast in the remake promptly six decades later.

New Yorkers vs Puerta Ricans, English tongue vs Spanish tongue, Tony vs Chino for a girl; too much rivalry just makes me want to withdraw from these characters' prescence, but learn from them by society.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
HabibiehakimDec 10, 2021
8.5/10
Is there a time that i feel it was too long? yes, did i still prefer the original than this? yes, is it bad? no, is it perfect? no, is it still great? yes, it's Spielberg's musical debut, remaking one of the Musical Masterpiece, it's a
8.5/10
Is there a time that i feel it was too long? yes, did i still prefer the original than this? yes, is it bad? no, is it perfect? no, is it still great? yes, it's Spielberg's musical debut, remaking one of the Musical Masterpiece, it's a charming movie, when it's charm it's charm, it's groovy it's fun, and i just can't get over the Tonight song, it always give me chills, as a guy who very loved the 1961 movie, it is feels not fresh, and that was one important thing on making a remake, that's the challenge, making it still fresh like it was new, and for a people who never saw the 1961 movie, i think they gonna like it more than i am, besides the lack of the movie, Steven Spielberg's West Side Story is beautifully shot, same like they do in the original, the performance are all brilliant, and the 50s set and style are perfect, overall Steven Spielberg's West Side Story was not as good as the original but it still a very well made film, a great movie, and i still like it.
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3 of 7 users found this helpful34
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10
Davo7007Dec 10, 2021
Vibrant and beautiful. The reimagining of the character anybodys is so clever and timely. Really enjoyable.
4 of 11 users found this helpful47
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7
Compi24Dec 11, 2021
Whereas Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins's 1961 film felt more like a filmed rendition of the actual experience of watching the musical in question, Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" feels like a true cinematic adaptation of the narrative atWhereas Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins's 1961 film felt more like a filmed rendition of the actual experience of watching the musical in question, Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" feels like a true cinematic adaptation of the narrative at hand, complete with more realistic-looking sets, a more frank approach to handling the racially charged subject matter at hand and more immersive choreography. It's been a minute since I've seen the original adaptation, but at first blush I'd say this gives its predecessor a solid run for its money -- and that movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The cast is terrific, the music is (expectedly) fantastic and the changes made -- while slight and few -- are handled with a tender hand. Definitely a hard film to bag on. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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9
Dostoyevsky3Dec 20, 2021
West Side Story (2021) is vivaciously spirited as it is artistically exquisite on its own. Above all, this remake keeps the heart and emotional power of its original without straying far. Rita Moreno is a welcome return and thematically fitsWest Side Story (2021) is vivaciously spirited as it is artistically exquisite on its own. Above all, this remake keeps the heart and emotional power of its original without straying far. Rita Moreno is a welcome return and thematically fits the setting. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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8
AJ_13Dec 28, 2021
Vibrant, dinamic and flawlessly crafted. Huge technical achievement by Spielberg. Songs and choreographies are simply perfect. Nevertheless the script didn't work for me in the last third of the film, and that makes me mad. DeBose and Faist:Vibrant, dinamic and flawlessly crafted. Huge technical achievement by Spielberg. Songs and choreographies are simply perfect. Nevertheless the script didn't work for me in the last third of the film, and that makes me mad. DeBose and Faist: top-notch. Zegler: great. Elgort: okay. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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9
beno1998Dec 13, 2021
This is a fantastic musical. The dancing scenes are simply spectacular. The acting is phenomenal. Steven Spielberg is the GOAT!!!
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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8
New-mombasaDec 15, 2021
Honestly I am not a big fan of musical movies but I watched it because of a friend and I ended up liking it. It’s not 10/10 movie but it’s a good one
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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10
Eturner14Dec 11, 2021
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
2 of 8 users found this helpful26
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8
bertobellamyDec 11, 2021
Musicals are not my thing; in fact, I was kind of bored towards the end of 'West Side Story," but I must admit that Steven Spielberg proves once again that he's a master of classical film conventions.

This new adaptation to the Broadway
Musicals are not my thing; in fact, I was kind of bored towards the end of 'West Side Story," but I must admit that Steven Spielberg proves once again that he's a master of classical film conventions.

This new adaptation to the Broadway musical looks gorgeous in every way — the initial sequence is flawless —, and it feels like you're watching something out of the '50s. Will I watch it ever again? Of course not. Will it win Oscars? For sure.
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1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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10
hydrallusDec 12, 2021
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is to counter the weird guy who review "balmed" us and who hadn't even seen it Expand
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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10
leticiasillyDec 14, 2021
Simply amazing, the emotions were captured so beautifully by the perspective of Spielberg. Loved the way songs were put, it didn't changed completely the first wild side story yet appears to be so original like it's own. the chemistry betweenSimply amazing, the emotions were captured so beautifully by the perspective of Spielberg. Loved the way songs were put, it didn't changed completely the first wild side story yet appears to be so original like it's own. the chemistry between Maria and Tony is wild, just simply amazing,pure love. Expand
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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10
mstiversDec 11, 2021
This is not just an improvement on the original (especially with the two leads) but one of the best movie musicals I've ever seen. No one moves a camera better than Spielberg, and Kushner added depth to the characters and gave more time toThis is not just an improvement on the original (especially with the two leads) but one of the best movie musicals I've ever seen. No one moves a camera better than Spielberg, and Kushner added depth to the characters and gave more time to the Puerto Ricans, including much dialogue in Spanish with no subtitles. This is the first West Side Story I've seen, on stage or in film, where the gang members seemed dangerous. No one is wearing tennis shoes!! I've always considered this show to have a great score but a problematic book full of clinkers like "I want you to dig this, and dig this the most!" Tony Kushner fixed the book. Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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10
fra92Dec 12, 2021
I loved this new West Side Story! It's such a great story, all the performers were incredible - and Rita Moreno - she is just amazing. Spielberg surprised me once again.
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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10
HealingToolboxDec 19, 2021
Puertoriquena WOMEN RISING. The women have all the sanity. The boys on both sides have no good sense. A PRO-IMMIGRANT movie. The women want to and work to get ahead; the males get pulled into the quicksand of violence. In 2021, I think noPuertoriquena WOMEN RISING. The women have all the sanity. The boys on both sides have no good sense. A PRO-IMMIGRANT movie. The women want to and work to get ahead; the males get pulled into the quicksand of violence. In 2021, I think no other movie equals the stature of movie-making craftsmanship, daring and competency displayed here. No one slacking off in any department. On-set morale looks like it was high. I believe about half the choreogaphy is new and striking. Best Picture of 2021?
If you have NOT seen the 1961 version, THIS IS A BIG ADVANTAGE. Spielberg makes a point of VISUALLY explaining the 1950s and the unhappiness of people were back then, to younger generations. I didn't see any VFX at all and I follow the field closely as a fan.
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1 of 6 users found this helpful15
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10
KeirdanceJan 4, 2022
Easily the Best Film of 2021. Still timely and relevant as ever, with appropriate changes and updates from the 1961 version, an adaptation from the revised WSS on Broadway in 2020. Everything old is not just new again, but better. SpielbergEasily the Best Film of 2021. Still timely and relevant as ever, with appropriate changes and updates from the 1961 version, an adaptation from the revised WSS on Broadway in 2020. Everything old is not just new again, but better. Spielberg has made a musical from cinematic heaven. 10 out of 10. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
Brent_MarchantDec 31, 2021
Ever since I saw the delightfully campy opening musical sequence of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984), I've always wanted to see Steven Spielberg direct a full-length feature movie musical (even though it's far from my favoriteEver since I saw the delightfully campy opening musical sequence of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984), I've always wanted to see Steven Spielberg direct a full-length feature movie musical (even though it's far from my favorite film genre). And, in the case of his remake of this beloved movie classic, he does quite a commendable job overall, yielding an offering that I enjoyed far more than I expected I would, even at its protracted though surprisingly well-paced two-and-a-half-hour runtime. While some have questioned the filmmaker's decision to attempt a reboot of a cinematic icon like this (a decidedly risky venture in the movie biz), I believe it ultimately proved to be a wise choice, despite its tepid box office performance. Its stylish re-creation of something familiar with music that's actually memorable (unlike that found in most other contemporary movie musicals) automatically earns this production more than a few gold stars. The same can be said for the positively superb choreography, the excellent renditions of the time-tested musical numbers, the solid supporting portrayals of ensemble members like Ariana DeBose and the casting of returning veteran Rita Moreno in a fine supporting role. Despite these many strengths, however, the picture still feels like it's lacking an engaging emotional undercurrent beneath its high-gloss surface trappings. It also could have used a better casting choice than Ansel Elgort in the male lead. And the film's attempt at bringing the story in line with current political correctness in some of its screenplay and production decisions (like no subtitles for much of the dialogue spoken in Spanish -- lame!) speaks more to market and cultural pandering than wise filmmaking or bona fide narrative authenticity. Still, this is a film worth seeing for all of the things it gets right -- and, coming from me, that says a lot where a musical is concerned. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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1
perliMar 21, 2022
It's my personal predilection that I nowadays rarely like this type of musicals with 50s music and dance numbers. I prefer to originals with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, love Singin' in the Rain. Never really liked the original 60s version ofIt's my personal predilection that I nowadays rarely like this type of musicals with 50s music and dance numbers. I prefer to originals with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, love Singin' in the Rain. Never really liked the original 60s version of West side story and I haven not noticed any added value in Spielberg's remake - I see no relevance of the move for audiences in 2022, and rather lackluster theater attendance in US and internationally seems to confirm my suspicion. The institutions - some critics uncritical accolades, Oscar nomanations etc - are pushing it, but the movie is mediocre, it has nothing to say about our specific day and age. And I do not buy that this is a universal story with eternal value, no, not really, then I prefer Shakespeare's Rome and Juliet in original version. Expand
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8
DelayedReviewsJan 30, 2022
Very easy on the eyes, never seen the original but went back to the original and...this feels like a remake I don't mind watching. Really don't see anything wrong with it other than lack of originality, but it's a remake, I'm kinda glad it'sVery easy on the eyes, never seen the original but went back to the original and...this feels like a remake I don't mind watching. Really don't see anything wrong with it other than lack of originality, but it's a remake, I'm kinda glad it's just bringing back a piece of history. Expand
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10
LittlegizmoApr 12, 2022
loved it.. very beautiful and moving movie... guve me more movies like this... bravo
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7
MarkHReviewsDec 28, 2021
As many already know, when creating “West Side Story,” Writer Arthur Laurents re-set Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” in mid-1950s New York City, substituting two gangs, the white Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks, for the Montagues andAs many already know, when creating “West Side Story,” Writer Arthur Laurents re-set Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” in mid-1950s New York City, substituting two gangs, the white Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks, for the Montagues and Capulets of Renaissance-era Verona. Tony, a former Jet, meets Maria, whose brother heads the Sharks, at a school dance. They fall in love, despite the misgivings of everyone around them. Even with some serious flaws, the 1961 film version of this story is firmly established in the canon of American film, winning 10 Oscars, including Best Picture.

When reimagining this classic, Director Steven Spielberg has improved upon the original in some ways, while regressing in others. First, the good stuff. The casting here is considerably less painful than the original. In 1961, the female lead of Maria, a Puerto Rican, was played by Natalie Wood, who was not well known for her ethnic diversity. In her breakout role as Anita, Rita Moreno (who actually is Puerto Rican) was required to darken her skin to look more “authentic.” Bernardo, the leader of the Puerto Rican gang, was played by Greek actor George Chikaris. So there was plenty of room for improvement, given today’s expectations.

For this film, Spielberg selected a cast of relative newcomers who allow this re-telling to focus on the story, since the audience is not distracted by a series of star turns by Hollywood A-listers (that’s right “La La Land”). And what a cast he’s selected. Rachel Zegler, in her first feature film, is splendid as a melodious, magnetic Maria. Broadway veteran Ariana DeBose (“Pippin,” “Hamilton”) is fabulous as Anita. Spielberg’s casting of non-binary actor Iris Menas as Anybodys adds additional interest to a minor role. The selection of members of the ensemble is equally inspired.

Spielberg and Writer Tony Kushner (“Angels in America,” “Lincoln”) also created a new role for Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the 1961 film. In this version, she is Valentina, the widowed owner of Doc’s Drugstore and the conscience of the piece. Appropriating the song “Somewhere” for Moreno is the most creative and inspired moment in the film.

Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (“Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan”), a frequent collaborator with Spielberg, gives this film some unique perspectives, with a series of wide-angle shots, swooping aerial perspectives and extreme close-ups. His use of color and shadow are visually much more interesting than the 1961 film, which was hampered by the limitations of the heavy, bulky film cameras of the day.

Two things don’t work. First, the back stories and explanations created by Spielberg and Kushner for some characters are clunky and unnecessary. Do we really need to know how Tony first became aware of The Cloisters, where he takes Maria on their first date? It all feels a little too packaged, a little too neat. Second, Ansel Elgort (“Baby Driver,” the “Divergent” series) as Maria’s love interest, Tony, feels miscast. Although his smooth tenor and clear falsetto contribute strongly to the musical numbers, Elgort’s character simply doesn’t have the can’t-look-away magnetism of Zegler, DeBose or David Alvarez (Bernardo).

Spielberg’s “West Side Story” is a handsome film that reveals expert craftsmanship at every turn. Sixty years from now, will it be viewed with the reverence of the original stage play and film? Not so much.
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6
MetacriticOnurFeb 24, 2022
admirable
[ ad-mer-uh-buhl ]

adjective
worthy of admiration; inspiring approval, reverence, or affection.
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10
lachlanmillsJan 1, 2022
I am a HUGE fan of the 1961 film, and was a bit sceptical about the remake after watching the trailer, however the remake is absolutely spectacular!! I applaud Spielberg for adding his own style to the film, as well as to produce a film thatI am a HUGE fan of the 1961 film, and was a bit sceptical about the remake after watching the trailer, however the remake is absolutely spectacular!! I applaud Spielberg for adding his own style to the film, as well as to produce a film that lives up to the 1957 Broadway show, without leaving you feel like you have watched an exact copy of the original. Expand
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10
KrishnangshuJan 12, 2022
Its one of the best musical films ever...... Steven Spielberg direction is op....
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8
tiomaayFeb 1, 2022
Overall, this film was great.
The whole star-crossed lovers from rival families is getting old and very predictable at this point, it would have been more interesting if Spielberg choose to create his own musical. But other than that, it was
Overall, this film was great.
The whole star-crossed lovers from rival families is getting old and very predictable at this point, it would have been more interesting if Spielberg choose to create his own musical. But other than that, it was still enjoyable thanks to how it was directed and I personally love Broadway, though I’m not certain that someone that don’t share that opinion would enjoy it as much: it could be boring at some moments. I note that some scenes were particularly remarkable, directed in the same way as it was done in 50’s and beautifully done, I was pleasantly surprised starting from the first scene.
I would say that it is the best musical of 2021.
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6
DukeJonMar 6, 2022
An almost carbon copy of the original movie. The only improved scene is the changes to the song "America", which is taken out into the street. The casting of Rita Moreno, who won an oscar for the 1961 version of the movie, is welcome thoughAn almost carbon copy of the original movie. The only improved scene is the changes to the song "America", which is taken out into the street. The casting of Rita Moreno, who won an oscar for the 1961 version of the movie, is welcome though what should have been a walk on cameo ends up being a minor role - it felt like she was shoe-horned in for the sake of it. I don't think the additions that included her improved the story. With Spielberg and the score I was expecting something amazing, but left with a feeling of a huge missed opportunity. I also don't know why there were so Spanish-speaking scenes, was this to shame the audience into not knowing the language? Expand
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10
katezoeDec 25, 2021
What a powerful experience! Brilliant! As good as it gets. We forgot the legends that created this musical...Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim...a masterpiece of American theater and movies.
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8
SoulWarfareMay 20, 2022
Legendary director, Steven Spielberg, tackles the iconic West Side Story. It has a stunning cinematography, an awesome jazzy soundtrack and great performances.

Steven injects a classic Romeo and Juliet tale with modern filming style that
Legendary director, Steven Spielberg, tackles the iconic West Side Story. It has a stunning cinematography, an awesome jazzy soundtrack and great performances.

Steven injects a classic Romeo and Juliet tale with modern filming style that makes it somehow feel fresh. This remake might actually surpass the original 1961 film. A phenomenal musical and another great film from Steven Spielberg.
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9
MarkiniMar 17, 2022
West Side Story (2021) is one of the best musicals I've seen in a long time. The musical numbers rival or even surpass some of the original ones. The choreography is top-notch, you can not help but be in awe of the scale of some of theseWest Side Story (2021) is one of the best musicals I've seen in a long time. The musical numbers rival or even surpass some of the original ones. The choreography is top-notch, you can not help but be in awe of the scale of some of these musical numbers, looking at you America. The cinematography is some of the best work Speilberg has done in a long while. He has always been a sucker for using lighting to portray certain emotions. Highly recommended for both musical lovers and film geeks. Expand
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5
Mauro_LanariApr 15, 2022
(Mauro Lanari)
Elegant, fluid, rhythmed. Ordinary administration for Spielberg. Three notes. 1) If it's a musical, why not judge the quality of the score as well? It was not done for the mediocre ones of "Les Misérables" (Hooper 2012) and "La
(Mauro Lanari)
Elegant, fluid, rhythmed. Ordinary administration for Spielberg. Three notes. 1) If it's a musical, why not judge the quality of the score as well? It was not done for the mediocre ones of "Les Misérables" (Hooper 2012) and "La La Land" (Chazelle 2016), in this case "America" is catchy and little more. Among the problems of recent Disney musicals there is precisely a deficit of unforgettable songs. 2) Who compares it to "Romeo and Juliet" has ever read Shakespeare's version? Does he know that tragedy was not invented by him, that it has a very long tradition, did he ever watch the underrated film adaptation directed by Castellani in '54? 3) The youthful social clash does not dare or risk Coppola's experimentalism ("Rumble Fish" 1983) with his compositional masterpiece "Don't Box Me In". Why is Spielberg always so classic?
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10
jackieddMar 4, 2022
A remake which far exceeds the original. The best movie of 2021!!! I want it to win every Oscar it's nominated for.
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8
DawdlingPoetApr 9, 2022
This is a bright, colourful and very energetic (vibrant) musical film. It reminded me somewhat of La La Land, for the urban setting, the energy, bright colours and the optimstic numbers (at times). I recognised a few songs from it - I can'tThis is a bright, colourful and very energetic (vibrant) musical film. It reminded me somewhat of La La Land, for the urban setting, the energy, bright colours and the optimstic numbers (at times). I recognised a few songs from it - I can't say I knew beforehand that they were songs from this show but there you go. Its a fun watch. While this film is a musical and does have quite a few numbers, I personally thought the mix of dialogue based scenes to musical performance numbers was about right. The songs were quite catchy and I enjoyed watching it - of course its quite sentimental at times (which may put some people off perhaps?) but that's very much to be expected. I quite liked some of the settings, such as a church, with some songs sung near the sunlight streaming through a stained glass window - very pretty.

It's quite long at about two hours and forty but I enjoyed it for its duration, so I'd certainly say its a decent watch, worth looking out if it interests you, yes.
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10
KylofilmFeb 3, 2022
West Side Story to me is the definition of cinema. It’s beauty made me shed a year which I am not afraid to say. It’s direction is some of best of the year with its elaborate sets and it’s flawless dance numbers. Spielberg in recent years hasWest Side Story to me is the definition of cinema. It’s beauty made me shed a year which I am not afraid to say. It’s direction is some of best of the year with its elaborate sets and it’s flawless dance numbers. Spielberg in recent years has been a little hit or miss but this is by far one of my favourites from him. It’s his first musical which is surprising considering his track record and he made a flawless musical epic.

The performances in this film range from joyous to emotionally heartbreaking such as the final 20 mins. Ansel Elgort was excellent but the real shining star to me was Ariana Debose. She was incredible and I hope the academy recognises her otherwise I will be very upset. Rachel Zegler who plays Maria is absolutely stunning. She brings an effortless feeling to her character of which was very important in the original, he nailed it. I’m super excited to see her in other projects in the future.

West Side Story has some of the best cinematography of the year with its long takes and incredibly beautiful colour correction. It’s very vivid when it needs to be and is dark when valid. It uses a lot of lens flares which can sometimes be overkill in certain instances in movies, but they work so well here. They give a certain feel to a scene and set the mood for what is happening in that moment.

This has the best music of 2021 which was previously helmed by In The Heights. I had the music on repeat on the way home, especially the song “Maria” of which is probably my favourite. It’s song of which is played when Tony (Ansel Elgort) is singing about the love of his life Maria (Rachel Zegler). It’s such a powerful song and scene of which made me cry just seeing their love on screen of which felt so real.

When the climax comes, it hits you like a dump truck with emotion of which made moved. I don’t tend to cry in movies but this got me 100% with its stunning emotional depth and characters. Even the side characters were great fun and had no issues with them. That final shot had me balling, not going to say anything other than it’s very upsetting yet powerful, a brilliant ode to love and pain.

Overall, this is the first time that I was crying in the cinema because of not only emotional depth, but beauty. West Side Story to me is the definition of cinema and you need to check this out for sure because it’s a new favourite of mine.
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7
DenversFeb 25, 2022
West Side Story, while not fantastic by any means, is a good enough film to entertain a family for a night.
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5
enoquemacielMar 17, 2022
55/100 - It was hard for me to watch, I don't like musicals but this one in particular was strange, it caused me confusion, boredom in many moments, some isolated moments of immersion due to the protagonist, but by far it's not my favorite of55/100 - It was hard for me to watch, I don't like musicals but this one in particular was strange, it caused me confusion, boredom in many moments, some isolated moments of immersion due to the protagonist, but by far it's not my favorite of the year or Spielberg's. Expand
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8
iCampoRamilJan 4, 2022
¿Es buenas? Es fantástica, pero a mí me dejó un sabor de boca raro, yo creo que por la historia, pero luego pensándolo, ¿qué más le voy a pedir a una obra de hace 60 años?
Por lo resto, bien ejecutada, una dirección magnífica, lo musical, que
¿Es buenas? Es fantástica, pero a mí me dejó un sabor de boca raro, yo creo que por la historia, pero luego pensándolo, ¿qué más le voy a pedir a una obra de hace 60 años?
Por lo resto, bien ejecutada, una dirección magnífica, lo musical, que es lo importante, es sublime, tiene algunos números que cuidado, magníficos. Pero eso, es como que le falta algo, el doblaje en español es bastante malo, tengo que volver a verla en original, porque pierde mucho en ese aspecto.

· Cosas buenas: la dirección, lo colorida que es, los números musicales y en general la puesta en escena, muy teatrera.
· Cosas malas: el montaje se hace raruno, algunos secundarios tienen 0 carisma.
· Conclusión: un musical de pe a pa, lo que ofrece lo hace prácticamente a la perfección.
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9
LumdogDec 30, 2021
I'll admit i'm not the target audience, I'm not really a fan of musicals and I haven't seen the original West Side Story; but I found this re-make amazing. I mean Spielberg is the GOAT, and this film is masterfully directed with amazingI'll admit i'm not the target audience, I'm not really a fan of musicals and I haven't seen the original West Side Story; but I found this re-make amazing. I mean Spielberg is the GOAT, and this film is masterfully directed with amazing performances, dance choreography and music. Really enjoyed it. Expand
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10
LuissDtApr 1, 2022
The new version of West side story may not be better than the original from 1961 but it manages to be charming in every aspect
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6
litt_notJan 11, 2022
Good job, Steven! Your new musical movie attempt was a success!
For two and a half hours, a 1957 musical about love beyond race in the 1950s was transplanted into the film market in 2022 (released today in Korea) in a wise way.
I think it
Good job, Steven! Your new musical movie attempt was a success!
For two and a half hours, a 1957 musical about love beyond race in the 1950s was transplanted into the film market in 2022 (released today in Korea) in a wise way.
I think it will be a reliable criterion for evaluating many art films this year.
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9
benjanzenDec 17, 2021
West Side Story is brilliant. A fantastic translation by Steven Speilberg that honours the original film, yet adds so much more life and magic using modern filmmaking techniques. It is honestly astonishing on a technical level, from the useWest Side Story is brilliant. A fantastic translation by Steven Speilberg that honours the original film, yet adds so much more life and magic using modern filmmaking techniques. It is honestly astonishing on a technical level, from the use of lighting and colours to the sweeping camera movements and masterful direction. While it takes a little bit to really get going, and I have some issues with the core of this story, I really enjoyed myself with this one. Rachel Zegler, Ansel Elgort, and Mike Faist are all standouts! Expand
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7
SamiIsidorioDec 30, 2021
Its a good film, but could be better, mike faist a increadible and hot actor.
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10
ElenaRose-8Dec 25, 2021
This movie takes the beautiful classic and pushes it farther than it went even before taking care to keep the original remarkable elements and improving just enough to keep you on your toes it can't have been better. It gives the audienceThis movie takes the beautiful classic and pushes it farther than it went even before taking care to keep the original remarkable elements and improving just enough to keep you on your toes it can't have been better. It gives the audience life that we didn't know we were missing with the perfect balance of awe-inspiring moments and heart wrenching ones. The color and the cinematography are art. The script and music and written fantastically and sung very well too. The acting is genuine and impressive. Even the lights were beautiful this movie was perfect. Expand
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6
AinzOoalGownMay 23, 2022
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The movie was supposed to be portrayed as the original but made a few changes in the scripts. The movie was derived from Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, but at the end of the film, the only one who survived was Maria (or Juliet). I preferred the film the actual Romeo and Juliet because it wasn't with the constant singing throughout the film. I liked that it showed the concealed racism of the entire races portrayed, even though most come from out of the country so they should feel a sense of comradery. Expand
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6
CheblowJun 13, 2022
it is okay to see it but felt too tired to watch it at once, dancing is classic and supporting actress is talented.
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