Nathan Lawrence’s review:
The music's really really good and even Kenny Ortega's direction and choreography have bright spots, but it's still a bad movie. Here's why:
1. Just because someone has trouble walking doesn't mean he's stupid. Why portray Crutchie in such a derogatory fashion?
2. Every dance looks like a big gang fight scene from West Side Story. All the boys do back flips and somersaults constantly. It's like nobody ever bothered to teach them to actually dance.
3. Christian Bale has a great singing voice, but his voice was just changing while this movie was being filled, so it cracks all the time.
4. Everyone has stereotypical New York accents that make it hard to understand a word of dialog, which always seems to be mixed way below the appropriate level anyway.
5. In the middle of this actually quite serious story about he ad hoc unionization of paper delivery boys, there are these "Home Alone moments" where characters stick their tongues out at the grown ups or shoot marbles at the newspaper cronies to "hilarious" effect. I wouldn't have been amused by these even when I was 8 or 9.
6. Pulitzer was not an evil genius.
7. The chorus parts are imbalanced and poorly tuned.