‘In the Heights‘ is a musical drama film about the intersecting lives of a diverse group of people living in Washington Heights. These people face various personal challenges that try to pull them down, but they hold on to their dreams in the hopes of a better tomorrow. The heart-warming and feel-good entertainer is directed by Jon M. Chu and written by Quiara Alegría Hudes.
It stars an ensemble cast featuring Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The movie is based on the stage musical of the same name from Miranda and Hudes. If you couldn’t get enough of the movie’s feet-tapping and soul-soothing musical numbers, as well as the enlightening narrative, we have compiled a list of similar movies that should also entertain you. You can watch most of these movies like ‘In the Heights’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
7. Hamilton (2020)
‘Hamilton‘ is a musical drama film directed by Thomas Kail based on Alexander Hamilton’s biography by Ron Chernow and partially inspired by the stage musical of the same name. It tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, an orphan, who arrives in New York, and goes on to play an important role in American history. The movie mixes historical fiction with the musical masterclass of Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you find Miranda’s musical pieces and performance in ‘In the Heights’ appealing, his work in this movie will be a treat for you.
6. Footloose (1984)
‘Footloose,’ directed by Herbert Ross, is one of the most popular music dramas ever made. It follows a teenager, Ren, who works tirelessly to overturn the ban on rock music and dancing in the small town he recently moved to. If your cinematic tastebuds have started developing a liking for musicals after watching ‘In the Heights,’ you should definitely check out the evergreen classic that is ‘Footloose.’
5. Pitch Perfect (2012)
Director Jason Moore’s musical comedy ‘Pitch Perfect‘ is the story of the all-female a cappella group, The Barden Bellas, and their newest member, Beca Mitchell’s quest to win the national championship. While ‘Pitch Perfect’ lacks the diversity of ‘In the Heights,’ the rebellious attitudes and zeal for music of the main characters will remind you of the latter.
4. A Week Away (2021)
Directed by Roman White, ‘A Week Away‘ is a teen drama film that follows a troubled teenager who attends a camp where he meets new friends, finds love, and learns to live his life. The overtones of Christianity add a fresh perspective to a story of self-discovery that is similar to ‘In the Heights.’ At their core, both movies are a celebration of the spirit and joys of life, which makes them similar despite their contrasting presentations.
3. The Prom (2020)
‘The Prom‘ is a musical comedy film helmed by Ryan Murphy about a group of Broadway stars in the twilight of their career who arrive in a small Indiana town and support a teenager intent on reinstating the canceled prom night at her high school. If you love stage musical adaptations with beautifully choreographed musical numbers like ‘In the Heights,’ you shouldn’t skip ‘The Prom.’ The dynamic between the elder and younger characters, the ideological differences, and the cultural clashes of both movies will also strike a similar chord with the viewers.
2. La La Land (2016)
‘La La Land‘ follows Sebastian and Mia, two ambitious young people looking to make it big in showbiz, who meet and fall in love while trying to pursue their dreams. It is directed by Damien Chazelle and features some of the most blissfully feel-good musical numbers matched with aesthetically pleasing visuals, very much like ‘In the Heights.’ Both movies similarly deal with the themes of love, realities of life, and the importance of dreams and aspirations.
1. High School Musical (2006)
‘High School Musical’ remains one of the best musicals of the 21st century. The story of Troy, Gabriella, and their friends at East High School became a representation of their lives and dreams for teenagers of an entire generation. While it comes off stereotypical in every sense compared to the modern and subversive ‘In the Heights,’ the movie holds a nostalgic feel-good value that keeps it relevant to date.
We are sure the energy of the foot-tapping numbers from ‘High School Musical’ will remind you of ‘In the Heights.’ However, for those who have missed out on this modern classic, we recommend you watch it soon to get a feel of how the representation of young adults in mainstream media has changed in the past decade or so.
Read More: Where Was In the Heights Filmed?