15 Best Musicals on Hulu

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15 best musical movies and tv shows (in no particular order) currently available to stream on Hulu

  1. West Side Story
  2. Waiting for Guffman
  3. Love & Mercy
  4. The Beatles: Eight Day a Week – The Touring Years
  5. Wild Rose
  6. A Mighty Wind
  7. Amazing Grace
  8. Teen Spirit
  9. High Strung
  10. Rocketman
  11. Honey
  12. Vox Lux
  13. Atlanta
  14. Nashville
  15. Empire

1. West Side Story

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
7.592Hulu free trial
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Set in the then ghetto Upper-West side of New York, West Side Story is a movie about two rival gangs; the Polish-American “Jets” and the Puerto Rican “Sharks”, fight for control of the district’s streets. When members of each of the gangs fall in love, it creates tragic consequences..

This award-winning musical is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic romantic tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and is one of the very few musicals that has stood the test of time. It is a socio-political movie that ultimately shows how postmodernism changed the world. With an amazing score, fantastic choreography and screenplay to match, why wouldn’t you want to see this movie? Even if just to be able to say that you have.

2. Waiting for Guffman

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
7.591Hulu free trial

Corky St. Clair is an off-off-off-off-off Broadway director, actor, and dancer living in Blaine, Missouri. During the celebration of Blaine’s 150th anniversary, Corky and a marginally talented amateur group of people from this small town put on a musical production, going slightly overboard when they hear that someone from Broadway will be attending.

Starring Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, this musical will definitely put a smile on your face. The storyline is incredibly funny and doesn’t get boring after watching it more than once. The improvisational nature of the movie requires a lot of talent, guts and charisma from its cast; something they have in spades. Definitely something to watch, especially if you’re into alternate types of comedy.

3. Love & Mercy

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
7.489Hulu free trial
Epix free trial

This movie is set in the 1960s, when ‘Beach Boys’ lead singer Brian Wilson is struggling with his mental health. He stops touring and attempts to craft an experimental pop masterpiece, entitled “Pet Sounds”. However, by the 1980s, he is on the verge of insanity and under constant surveillance by his therapist Dr. Eugene Landy. Landy introduces Brian to Melinda Ledbetter, with whom he almost immediately falls in love.

As their relationship grows, she becomes aware of Brian’s crippling subservience to his abusive psychotherapist. Ultimately, she must take action with a love willing to stand up to oppression she cannot ignore.

This biopic splits Brian into two versions of himself, which are portrayed by Paul Dano and John Cusack. The screenplay for this movie is well-written and the production design gives real character to its setting. This movie gives wonderful insight into the behind-the-scenes life of a talented and successful musician, a definite must-watch for anyone who’s into 60’s music and The Beach Boys in particular.

4. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years

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7.896Hulu free trial
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The Beatles stomped through the music scene in Europe in 1963, and in 1964, they reached new heights in America, their groundbreaking world tours leaving a lasting impact on youth culture all around the globe. Throughout this time, the band was also creating and recording hits after hits which would become iconic and stand the test of time.

Unfortunately, the unrelenting pressure of instantaneous fame eventually became an uncontrollable disruption, which led the group to stop going on tours. In the following years, the group were then able to concentrate solely on making their albums that completely changed the music world.

This movie is a collection of archived material of music, interviews, and anecdotes of The Beatles’ concerts from 1963 to 1966. It brings a freshness to some old material and focuses on the touring and music of the group, with some helpful commentary along the way. No epiphanies, no gritty revelations, just a story retold with a lot of love and veneration. If you love The Beatles, you’ll definitely love this movie too.

5. Wild Rose

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
7.292Hulu free trial

After getting out of jail after being imprisoned for drug possession, Rose-Lynn Harlan tries to make good her previously chaotic life. She returns to her two children and her mother, who is blatantly opposed to Rose-Lynn’s lifestyle. Determined to make it big as a country singer, Rose-Lynn travels from her home in Glasgow, Scotland to Nashville, Tennessee.

However, when her mother makes her choose between her dream of being a singer or her reality of being a mother, Rose-Lynn finds herself stuck and fighting against her worst enemy; herself.

Jessie Buckley’s portrayal of this somehow sympathetic character leaves little to be desired, though you might need subtitles to catch the full extent of her Glaswegian abuse and humor if you are not from the area yourself. While you may be able to guess how the plot of the movie turns out (if you’re paying close enough attention), that doesn’t make the movie any less enjoyable.

The cinematography throughout, especially during the singing scenes, is very beautiful and a perfect way to see things from the main character’s view. All in all, a wonderfully directed film with a good message behind the story.

6. A Mighty Wind

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
7.287Hulu free trial

This mockumentary tells the story of several 60’s-era folk bands who get together to put on one last performance in New York City’s Town Hall to commemorate and mourn the death of their former manager and concert promoter. 

In ‘A Mighty Wind’, Christopher guest reunites with the cast from ‘Best In Show’ and ‘Waiting for Guffman’ and the result is another hilariously good movie. After seeing it once, you’ll almost assuredly want to see it again. And again and again. The musical performances in the movie are excellent and do a creditable job of making you believe that the actors could have been ‘folkies’ in real life.

Not everyone will like this movie, however, if you are a fan of improvised comedy and folk music, this is just the thing for you to watch.

7. Amazing Grace

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
7.599Hulu free trial

Amazing Grace is a real-life film about the making of Aretha Franklin’s most successful album (by the same name) that has finally been released after more than forty years since the album’s release. It presents Aretha Franklin with the choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972 as she performs and records the music from her album.

It’s a miracle to have this movie in any form, after the years it took to properly sync up the audio with the visuals. (because, a then young and inexperienced, Sydney Pollack forgot to use clapperboards at the start of each reel of footage) However, the end result of all of those years of labor is nothing other than spectacular. It’s undeniable that Aretha Franklin has one of the greatest voices of all time and this movie showcases her talent in a raw and unadulterated way. 

Everyone should watch this movie, whether you’re a die-hard Aretha fan or even if you’ve never heard of her before.

8. Teen Spirit

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
6.171Hulu free trial
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Violet is a shy teenager trying to get out of her home town and chase her dreams of becoming a singer. With help and coaching from a retired Opera singer, she enters a singing competition that could turn out to be her dream-come-true or her worst nightmare.

With a pop-filled soundtrack, Teen Spirit takes a modern spin on the classic Cinderella storyline. This is a very well-made musical drama and Elle Fanning delivers a spectacular lead performance. The movie never becomes boring, even if you know where the storyline will eventually end up. It does have a rather abrupt ending, though that might be the movie’s only downfall.

The beautiful cinematography and entertaining performances make this a better-than-average movie, and good for most ages too. I thought it was a great movie; fun to watch, with a good choice in songs and a satisfying storyline.

9. High Strung

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
6.475Hulu free trial

A contemporary violinist and an NYCA scholarship student meet by chance in a New York subway and are immediately at odds with each other. However, with the help of a hip-hop dance crew, they find common ground while preparing for a competition that could change their lives forever.

There are a lot of dance films out there these days, but this one is surprisingly good! It is full of drama, tension, romance and talent, and though at times predictable, the cast portrays their respective roles very convincingly. There are some great dance scenes and the music is beautifully composed. Overall, this is a great movie for people who just want to have a good time watching something and not have to concentrate too hard.

10. Rocketman

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
7.389Hulu free trial

Rocketman is a biographical musical film based on the life of British musician Elton John, starting with his years studying at the Royal Academy of Music all the way to his impactful and long-lasting collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin.

This film gives you a bit of both worlds; the flash and spectacle you might have come to expect from Elton John, as well as a nearly unfiltered look into his personal life. Taron Egerton’s performance is dazzling, as he is fully committed to the enigma that is Elton John. The cinematography and direction of the movie are also very well done; all in all, the movie captures his life very well and is a must-see for anyone who likes Elton’s music.

11. Honey

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
5.421Hulu free trial
Starz free trial

Honey Daniels has dreams of becoming a well-known and sought-after hip-hop choreographer. She thinks she’s got her big break when she meets a popular director and he casts her in one of his music videos, but, when he starts asking sexual favors of her, Honey must make a decision that will impact the rest of her life.

Though this movie only garnered a 21% score from Rotten Tomato critics, the audience score is an astounding 71%. If you’re looking for a movie with well-choreographed dance numbers and an even better soundtrack, this is the movie for you. I personally enjoyed the second film more than the first, however.

12. Vox Lux

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
5.961Hulu free trial

In 1999, two sisters go through and survive a life-altering tragedy. They then write and perform a song about this experience, in hopes of making something good out of a catastrophe – while also launching one of them (Celeste) into fame and stardom. In 2017 Celeste, now also having a daughter of her own, is having a hard time navigating a career full of shame and disgrace when a new violent horror demands her attention.

This movie features some great acting, from Natalie Portman in particular, but the storyline can at times be confusing as it is definitely not a straightforward one. It is thought-provoking and adeptly portrays the poisonous celebrity lifestyle and the emotional toll it takes on those who live it. It has a nice array of well-performed songs and a great soundtrack to match. 

This movie is not for everyone, but one could argue that there’s no harm in watching it anyway. And if you do see it, at least you’ll know whether you like it or not, instead of always wondering whether you would. 

13. Atlanta

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
8.697Hulu free trial

Based in Atlanta, cousins Earn and Alfred try to make a name for themselves in the rap scene as they also work through their differing views on art vs commerce. Along the way, they must come face to face with various social and economic issues including race, relationships, poverty, status, and parenthood.

With its impeccable writing, casting and acting, this show will have you hooked from the get-go. It is beautiful in both a comedic and dramatic sense; as the comedy and tragedy mix exactly as they do in real life. The chemistry between the characters only adds to it’s intrigue. This show is great for really anyone, as long as you don’t take the jokes too seriously; they aren’t meant to offend anyone after all.

Though the first season is exclusively available on Hulu, the second season can be found on Hulu, FX and FOX.

14. Nashville

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
7.790Hulu free trial

In this musical series, Rayna Jaymes and Juliette Barnes face many personal and professional challenges as they navigate their paths as artists and individuals. Surrounding them, and often complicating their lives, are their family, friends and lovers, as well as a slew of performers and songwriters trying to get ahead in the business.

For anyone who is into country music, and for those that are not-so-into country music. You won’t be hearing “Baby lock them doors…” on this show any time soon. Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere play their (often chaotic) respective lead roles with the utmost grace and an unabated passion.

This show’s story is unlike most other shows in its honesty and the way it showcases the lives of these country stars. Definitely worth the watch and maybe even good enough to rewatch.

All six seasons of the show are available on Hulu and the final season is also available to watch on CMT.

15. Empire

IMDBRotten TomatoesWhere to Watch
7.484Hulu free trial

The founder and CEO of a successful record label has been diagnosed with ALS and after finding this out, he realises he must choose one of his sons to head up the company after he passes away. Meanwhile, his ex-wife and the label’s co-founder has been released from prison and will try anything to reclaim her rightful place in the company.

Though this isn’t really a musical in the traditional sense, (no one is suddenly bursting into song) music still plays an important role in this TV show. Though the first season was very highly regarded, some are saying that the subsequent seasons are somewhat lacking. 

However, that may just be personal preference. In any event, this show sports a great cast and a promising storyline, addressing the infighting that occurs all too often in the music industry. So if any of that sounds interesting to you, definitely give this show a watch.

Select seasons are currently available on Hoopla and FOX, though all six seasons are available on Hulu.