R2D2's Ultimate Top 10 Countdown Of The 2000s #7 - Musicals.

[For the last 10 days of the decade, I'm doing a Top 10 list a day, all culminating into an ultimate post of Top 10 lists. We have previously seen Top 10 Comedies, Dramas, Animation, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, and Foreign. Now we're moving on.]

Top 10 Musicals of the 2000s

I grew up with a musical family, and, as such, with musicals. However, while, say, my mother is more into the classic musicals such as The Sound of Music, I like more quirky musicals, musicals with interesting concepts and catchy songs. And now that I've seen Nine, I can officially release this list. So, that being said, let's get on with it.

10. August Rush (2007)

Not a musical in the classic sense, this is more of a movie--a fairy tale--about music. With a couple exceptions, most of the music doesn't even have words. But it's a great story/modern fairy tale surrounding the magic of music. But as it isn't a musical in the classic sense of the word, I placed it in the #10 spot.

9. Nine (2009)

Yeah, a mixture of purposefully clever placement and coincidence, my #9 spot goes to none other than Nine. It's a movie about movie making and thus has some clever cinematography. The movie is lax in the plot department, and it suffers because of it, but it has some decent musical numbers, especially Fergie's number, "Be Italian."

8. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Tim Burton's adaptation of the blood-thirsty barber out for revenge. Sure, the singing is decent at best, and only about half the songs are overtly catchy, but it's still a fun movie. And who doesn't love the delectably humorous song "A Little Priest"?

7. Chicago (2002)

Rob Marshall, whose other big musical has already been on this list, gave us this Oscar-winning film about murder and the attempt at getting away with it. Beautiful and scantily clad women dance around singing numerous catchy songs, the best of which include "The Cell Block Tango," "And All That Jazz," and the surprisingly good performance by John C. Reilly, "Mr. Cellophane."

6. Enchanted (2007)

There are really only 3-4 main songs in this movie, the two biggest being "Happy Working Song" and "That's How You Know." After a while, the singing dies down to correlate with Giselle adapting to the real world. So it's mostly a pseudo-musical, but that's enough musical to make my list. The movie was a lot better than I expected, too, with its homage to previous Disney films and their cliches. Self-deprecating humor while still respecting the source material. It's like Shaun of the Dead, but without the zombies.

5. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Based on Homer's "The Odyssey," this film by the Coen Brothers is also not your typical musical. But there is enough singing interspersed throughout that I would label it as such. Between the song of the Lotus Eaters (baptism folks), the song of the Sirens, and all the Soggy Bottom Boys stuff, it's a fun little musical. Granted, it's really not the musical aspect of the film that makes me love it, but the modern adaptation of a classic story. Oh, and it's funny ("Damn! We're in a tight spot!"). But ever time I watch it, I can't help but get "Don't leave nobody but the baby" (the Siren Song) stuck in my head... catchy tune.

4. Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005)

If you've never heard of it, the original Reefer Madness came about in the 30s (then titled "Tell Your Children") to warn people that weed will cause you to play the piano at excess and want to have giant orgies. It spawned an off-broadway musical adaptation which was then adapted into a film... and it's freakin' hilarious. It takes a couple prim-and-proper, overly naive 50s-esque teens and introduces them to marijuana, resulting in a funny chain of events that involves selfishness, forgetfulness, sex, and murder. And the cast is great, too. It involves Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell, Alan Cumming, Ana Gasteyer, Steven Weber, and John Kassir (AKA the voice of the Crypt-Keeper, actually reprising his stage performance for the movie). It's hard to pinpoint my favorite songs, but they'd have to include "Jimmy Takes a Hit," "Little Mary Sunshine," and "Murder."

3. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008)

I wasn't sure whether or not to include this on the list, considering it was more of a web-based, 3-episode long movie/mini-series. But it's just so good I couldn't not include it (double negative and all). Directed by Joss Whedon, the story follows a wannabe supervillain named Dr. Horrible played by Neil Patrick Harris. He's in love with a woman from his laundromat named Penny (Felicia Day), but she starts seeing his arch-nemesis, the self-absorbed Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion). It also has an ending that, well... that I can't spoil. If I absolutely had to pick a favorite song (which is near impossible at this point), I'd have to say "Brand New Day." But I haven't even mentioned the greatest part of all this. If you purchase the DVD, there are a couple different commentaries for the movie, one of which is a musical in and of itself. Yes, they made a musical commentary. Now that is brilliance right there.

2. Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

Brought to us by the guy who did Saw 2, 3, and 4, Repo! The Genetic Opera is a gory rock opera about a future where there is an epidemic of organ failure, and a company is set up to loan you organs. But if you can't pay up, they send out Repo Men to come kill you and take the organs back. And yes, if you've seen the recent trailer for the film Repo Men with Liev Schreiber, Jude Law, and Forest Whitaker, it's a complete and total rip-off of this musical... but without the music, and more action-based. It has a totally interesting cast, and its biggest shock is that Paris Hilton is actually good in it (because she's basically playing herself). Practically the entire movie is sung (it is an opera, after all), but the sung dialogue is just like an interlude in between the big musical numbers... the best of which include "Legal Assassin," "At the Opera Tonight," "Chase the Morning," and, the best song in the movie, "Zydrate Anatomy." It's full of fun acting, cartoonish humor, great songs, intense moments, and a great (operatic) story.

1. Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Interesting that my number one on the list has the most creative songs, yet they're (mostly) songs that have already been written... and not for musical purposes. It's a fantastical (and visually stunning) film about love and the bohemian lifestyle. It takes big, popular songs of the past and uses them in a musical setting. Some of the most creative uses are the medleys, like the "Elephant Love Medley" and "Zidler's Rap." But my personal favorite, in correlation with the drama of the scene, is "El Tango de Roxanne." It's a beautiful, powerful, and chilling scene that always gives me goosebumps. So, great acting + great visuals + great music + great story = great movie, and my #1 musical choice of the decade.

End Note: This list would be much different had it been a list of "Top 10 Songs from Musicals of the 2000s." In that case, "Falling Slowly," the main song from Once, would have topped the list... because while I think the song is incredibly beautiful, I didn't care all that much for the movie itself. Hence, why the movie didn't make the list, so go ahead and shoot me now.


  1. My favorite song from Dr. Horrible is Brand New Day, too!!!

  2. I could say the same thing here that I did about foreign flicks, but for some reason, it's more forgivable in this case.

    And in any case, I'm no fan of musicals, by and large. Only seen three of these. Don't feel bad about Once not making the list; like with what you say about August Rush, I don't consider it to be a musical, just a movie about musicians.

  3. Which 3? I'm assuming Chicago, O Brother, and Moulin Rouge?


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