Into the Woods

Into the Woods ★★★½

A solid adaptation of a great musical, even though the Disney changes do hurt it a bit. In the wrong hands, it could've been much worse. But Rob Marshall knows musicals. And thankfully, this is closer to his Oscar-winning Chicago than it is to Nine.

The cast is a pretty great one. Emily Blunt and James Corden make a nice couple. Anna Kendrick's rendition of "On the Steps of the Palace" is damn good given how difficult the song is. Chris Pine is also a standout and, surprisingly, has a nice crooning voice. I will admit that the kids playing Jack and Little Red are too young for their roles, but they sing and act so well that it makes up for it. Johnny Depp is the weakest singer in the bunch, but even he isn't half bad. And call me crazy, but this is my favorite Meryl Streep performance in years. Add all that to beautiful costumes, terrific sets, and Sondheim's awesome lyrics.

Certainly the best musical of the year, but when the competition is Annie and Jersey Boy, I guess that's damning with faint praise. Still, there's a lot to like here and it makes for a great time at the movies.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 4

Langdon liked this review