West Side Story (2021)

West Side Story is a 2021 musical romantic drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Tony Kushner. It is the second feature-length adaptation of the 1957 stage musical of the same name. It stars Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler in her film debut with Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, and Rita Moreno in supporting roles. Moreno, who starred in the 1961 film adaptation, also served as an executive producer alongside Kushner. The film features music composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

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‘West Side Story’ Cast and Characters

  • Ansel Elgort as Tony
  • Rachel Zegler as Maria
  • Ariana DeBose as Anita
  • David Alvarez as Bernardo
  • Mike Faist as Riff
  • Rita Moreno as Valentina
  • Brian d’Arcy James as Officer Krupke
  • Corey Stoll as Lieutenant Schrank
  • Josh Andrés Rivera as Chino
  • Iris Menas as Anybodys
  • Ana Isabelle as Rosalía
  • Andréa Burns as Fausta
  • Jamila Velazquez as Meche
  • Yassmin Alers as Lluvia
  • Jamie Harris as Rory
  • Curtiss Cook as Abe
  • Paloma Garcia-Lee as Graziella
  • Patrick Higgins as Baby John
  • Ben Cook as Mouthpiece
  • Kyle Allen as Balkan
  • Myles Erlick as Snowboy
  • Talia Ryder as Tessie
  • Maddie Ziegler as Velma

‘West Side Story’ Posters

‘West Side Story’ Character Posters


Movie info

Love at first sight strikes when young Tony spots Maria at a high school dance in 1957 New York City. Their burgeoning romance helps to fuel the fire between the warring Jets and Sharks — two rival gangs vying for control of the streets.

  • Rating: PG-13 (Some Strong Violence | Brief Smoking | Strong Language|Suggestive Material | Thematic Content)
  • Genre: Musical, Romance
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Producer: Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Kevin McCollum
  • Writer: Tony Kushner
  • Cast: Rachel Zegler, Ansel Elgort, David Alvarez, Ariana DeBose, Rita Moreno, Mike Faist, Josh Andrés Rivera, Corey Stoll, Brian d’Arcy James, Maddie Ziegler, Ana Isabelle, Reginald L. Barnes, Jamila Velazquez, Talia Ryder, Kevin Csolak, Mike Massimino, Paloma Garcia Lee, Jess LeProtto, ….
  • Release Date (Theaters): Dec 10, 2021  Wide
  • Release Date (Streaming): Mar 2, 2022
  • Box Office (Gross USA): $38.3M
  • Runtime: 2h 36m
  • Distributor: 20th Century Studios

Critic viewers for West Side Story (2021)

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 91% of 374 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.20/10. Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 85 out of 100 based on 62 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale, while those polled by PostTrak gave it an 88% overall positive score, with 70% saying they would definitely recommend it.

Steven Spielbergs take on West Side Story is his best film since Munich, and the 4K transfer is an early contender for the best-looking home video release of the year. Full Review

Jake Cole – Slant Magazine

Think about the efforts here to extend that prologue and showcase the grittiness of the streets… Neighborhoods aren’t neglected, they are being demolished which underscores the irony of these gangs fighting when they have so much in common. Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5

Adam Kempenaar – Filmspotting

Yes, the plot is still kind of risible, but I left the theater teary-eyed. Full Review

BuzzFeed Staff – BuzzFeed News

Steven Spielberg’s sweeping take on the tragic Romeo and Juliette tale dazzles the senses… Full Review

Mara Reinstein – Us Weekly

West Side Story’s dazzling dance routines are fit for the big screen. Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5

David Stratton – The Australian

Everything here has been turned up to 11, and you can really feel it — even in numbers that we’ve heard a thousand times before. Full Review

Tim Cogshell – FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

Was anyone hankering for a new film adaptation ofWest Side Story?Did this venerable musical need refreshing? A shiny new, ethnically aware versionwill live alongside the earlier film for years to come. Only time will tell if it supplants the original. Full Review

Leonard Maltin – leonardmaltin.com

They’ve made ill-conceived additions and misguided revisions. In the process, they’ve managed to subtract doubly from the original. Full Review

Richard Brody – New Yorker

A solidly entertaining remake peppered with a few transcendent moments, the film boasts intimacy and emotion, creating a warm sense of deja vu mitigated by the story’s still-potent condemnation of bigotry and violence. Full Review

Tim Grierson – Screen International

Mr. Spielberg did not waste his time-or ours. The new West Side Story is simply fabulous. Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

Rex Reed – Observer

Resplendent entertainment and a reminder that at least some of cinema’s great classics can in fact find new life in the hands of a master director who is more concerned about crafting a movie than making a blockbuster. Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4

James Berardinelli – ReelViews

Spielberg’s West Side Story is a charismatic showcase for everything he does best on the big screen, and a genuinely thoughtful update, making gentle and incisive rearrangements to justify its brassy sashay back into cinemas. Full Review

David Sims – The Atlantic

It’s a classic Spielberg joint, a classic hat-tip to Hollywood, and a classic, period. If this were the only musical of the last decade, it’d still make you feel like a renaissance was in full swing. Full Review

David Fear – Rolling Stone

It’s a hell of an achievement, and the rare case where a remake feels like an act of fervent fandom. Full Review

Tasha Robinson – Polygon

A big, cinematic film. It’s West Side Story, is what it is. Full Review

Mark Kermode – Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review

The reboot pulsates with life, thanks to the director’s artistry and a sensational cast led by Rachel Zegler in a starmaking feature debut as Maria. Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

Richard Roeper – Chicago Sun-Times

Supporting characters like Chino (a layered Josh Andrés Rivera) receive more depth, adding more meat to the story. Full Review | Original Score: 3/4

Sheri Flanders – Chicago Reader

You could probably do a shot-for-shot between this and the original…all that was alive and present in that time is still very relevant today. Full Review | Original Score: A

tt stern-enzi – WXIX-TV (Cincinnati, OH)

Perhaps “Why now?” is the wrong question in the face of such a stirring enterprise. Better to ask: “Why not?”. Full Review

Ryan Gilbey – New Statesman

What Mr. Spielberg’s film does best, with zest to spare, is the dancing, choreographed by Justin Peck — the “America” number is a special joy, and Ariana DeBose, as Anita, is the dynamo who powers the whole show. Full Review

Joe Morgenstern – Wall Street Journal

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