Tick, Tick... Boom! movie reviews - what did the critics make of the film?

Tick, tick... boom! MACALL POLAY/NETFLIX © 2021

First reviews have dropped for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s film adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s Tick, Tick… Boom! musical.

The semi-autobiographical story follows an aspiring composer who is working as a waiter while attempting to break into musical theatre.


Miranda directs the screen version which has been adapted by Dear Evan Hansen writer Steven Levenson with original songs by Larson. The RENT creator began working and performing the original stage show in the early 1990s before his untimely death in 1996.

Andrew Garfield takes on the lead role, joined by Vanessa Hudgens, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesus, Bradley Whitford, Jordan Fisher, Judith Light, Joanna Adler, Joshua Henry, Alex D Jennings, Lauren Marcus, Marie Rose Baramo, Marie Rose Baramo, Jared Loftin and Kenita Miller.

The film will be streaming on Netflix from 19 November and in selected cinemas from 12 November.

Tick, Tick… Boom! musical reviews

The Independent – 4/5
“The film, as one might expect, is enthusiastically self-referential when it comes to Broadway tradition. Not only is composer Stephen Sondheim (Bradley Whitford with a withering look) treated practically as a living god, but Miranda never throws away his shot (get it?) when there’s a musical reference to be made – to the old, to the new, to his own work.” – Read the full review

The Times- 3/5
“A fearlessly committed performance from Andrew Garfield and a spoonful of superior tunes save this musical, only just, from joining the ranks of tedious screechers such as Dear Evan Hansen, Everybody’s Talking about Jamie and The Prom.” – Read the full review

WhatsOnStage- 5/5
“Garfield, who doesn’t have any musical credits to his name (though a variety of stage roles, including the National’s production of Angels in America) delivers what can be considered career-best. Not only has he got the singing chops to embody one of the musical greats of the latter half of the 20th century, but, more importantly, he is successfully endearing while also a bit of a flawed prat: one tense romantic scene is a note-perfect moment of mortifying self-sabotage.” – Read the full review

Evening Standard- 3/5
“Garfield seems electrified by the task of bringing Larson to life. He’s never sung in a movie before and his supple voice spills over with warm (close your eyes during the cosily melancholic “Why” and you could be listening to Ben Folds). Academy voters love versatility; don’t be surprised if this performance snags a Best Actor nomination.” – Read the full review

Daily Mail – 3/5
“Andrew Garfield gives a thunderous performance as Larson, a real tour de force, and there are some marvellous moments, notably a scene in which inspiration strikes while he is underwater at his local pool. But, as I say, if you’re not addicted to the world of musical theatre, it might not be for you.” – Read the full review

Metro – 4/5
“Theatre kids are amply served by the big screen adaptation of tick, tick… BOOM!, but with a fascinating character like Jonathan Larson at the centre of it – phenomenally performed by Andrew Garfield – there’s a lot more to this musical than just jazz hands.” – Read the full review

The Independent – 4/5
“This film adaptation, written by Fosse/Verdon’s Steven Levenson and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton and In the Heights, brilliantly expands Larson’s solo piece into an explosively entertaining vérité rock opera: Larson himself is played with a gremlin-ish charm and exhilarating, loose-hosepipe energy by Andrew Garfield.” – Read the full review

The Guardian- 4/5
“Garfield is good at portraying the needy, borderline-desperate world of the theatrical writer: always charming, always on, always looking for creative inspiration, always on the verge of exhaustion, and now trying to absorb the new possibility of disillusion. It is a rather Sondheimian theme and Larson himself was a devotedly Sondheimian composer. This is not a movie which gives its hero a happy ending: there is no opening night for Larson, just a belief that the unending slog will one day be worth it.” – Read the full review


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