If like me, you adore musicals, perform show tunes in the shower and attempt to sing all the parts in ‘One Day More’ from Les Mis, you will understand the pain when you watch a musical and the lead characters cannot sing. In recent months, two huge musicals have splashed onto the big screen, La La Land and the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast. Both of these musicals have been hit by claims the actors cannot sing, but this isn’t a new phenomenon. So I decided to compile a list of the worst singers in movie musicals.

Ryan Gosling – La La Land:


Look at the piano Ryan, you can’t play that properly either. Look at the piano and pay attention!

I got so excited about this musical, I couldn’t wait to see it until I heard Ryan Gosling sing City of Stars. How can they cast a musical with people who can’t even sing? I lamented. So after deciding to boycott the film because this song was mediocre at best, it wins an Oscar! It won an Oscar over Lin Manuel Miranda (a multi-Tony winning genius) and Justin Timberlake’s chart smashing single. This song is white mediocrity in a song and I hate it so much.

Christian Bale – Newsies:
Hahahaha. Should I start with the woeful New York accent, talk/singing or the dancing? The film Newsies was a flop, but a huge success when they turned it into a Broadway musical. Baby Bale is flat every time he sings throughout the film and lends the question, why did Kenny Ortega (the director of High School Musical) cast someone who cannot sing? Yes, Bale is an amazing actor, but this campy tale of the paper boys strikes in 1899. As I write this piece I am listening to Bale shout his way through Santa Fe, please do not watch this film, your ears will bleed.

Pierce Brosnan – Mamma Mia:

Everyone else pictured here, after Mr. Brosnan started singing, banded together to sign a petition in the hope of preventing such an incident from ever occurring again.

Oh Bond, oh my dear sweet Piercey. Never sing again. You ruined Abba for me and probably watching Mamma Mia with a straight face for the rest of my life. Like, did they hear him sing and scream OH YES PLEASE I HATE MY EARS? Did they cast him because of his looks? I don’t know there is no excuse for this nonsense. Mamma Mia is a good musical, if you mute every time Pierce Brosnan sings.

Russell Crowe – Les Miserables:
I have probably watched the 2012 movie of Les Mis 50 times (that’s like 150 hours okay) and I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to the soundtrack. I love Stars, Javert’s suicide song basically. It’s so beautiful…alas Russell Crowe cannot sing. I mean he’s not terrible, he could be Pierce Brosnan! It’s just…he doesn’t have the pipes or the power in his voice that Javert needs to convey the utter defeat he feels towards the end of the film, but he is really, really trying. Perhaps if they make a non musical version they could cast him again because he was amazing at Javert…if he didn’t sing.

Elizabeth Taylor – A Little Night Music:
I am going to hell for this because Elizabeth Taylor is amazing, an icon and will go down as one of the great actresses. But God she cannot sing, she is weak, tinny and basically annoying. Her acting throughout the film is stunningly flawless, but her singing just lets her down.

Everyone – Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street:

That’s right, look furtively away Johnny, be ashamed for what you’ve inflicted on the concept of singing .

Maybe Tim Burton should have looked outside of his usual casting box for people who could sing for his take on the Demon Barber. It makes for a cringe worthy watch, as if the musical isn’t uncomfortable enough to watch, the singing makes me squirm. Even though Johnny Depp is a good singer in The Corpse Bride and Helena Bonham Carter was cast in Les Mis, they just can’t manage to get through a song in Sweeney Todd.

Bronwyn O’Neill