The 5 Best Musical Movies of the Decade

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The 5 Best Musical Movies of the Decade

What exactly is a musical film? For the vast majority of us, the word “musical” evokes specific rules to a genre. Large-scale, choreographed musical numbers. An alternate world in which people sing and dance as a means of making subtext into overt text, communicating their deeply-held internal feelings to the audience. But why does the term “musical” encompass only this narrow definition? Is music not one of the most integral aspects of filmmaking? Does it not give a rhythmic, emotional backbone to cinema at large, predating even spoken dialogue and sound effects?

In response, I would submit a much broader definition of musical film, one that contains all films about or otherwise somehow related to music. This broader definition, of course, encapsulates nearly every movie since the invention of the motion picture camera. For example, George Lucas famously confused studios with his pitch for American Graffiti when he described the film as a musical without singing and dancing. Yet this is an apt description. Lucas uses diegetic music to both ground the film in reality and underscore the emotions of each individual scene and character. He identifies the parasocial relationship between his main characters and the disk jockey who delivers them their music over the radio waves. Without music, American Graffiti would feel less than incomplete. This is the case for the films listed below as well. Here are the five best musical films of the 2010s.

Check out our slideshow below! Do you agree with our list? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments!

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Weekend: Nov. 21, 2019, Nov. 24, 2019

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