Music Docs

by pykep | created - 22 Mar 2012 | updated - 25 Apr 2012 | Public

Music Documentaries and distinct concert films

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1. Calle 54 (2000)

G | 105 min | Documentary, Music

84 Metascore

A film featuring performances of several stars of the Latin Jazz music scene.

Director: Fernando Trueba | Stars: Michel Camilo, Tito Puente, Arturo O'Farrill, Rolando Guerrero

Votes: 728 | Gross: $0.18M

2. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

G | 105 min | Documentary, Music

81 Metascore

Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Octavio Calderon

Votes: 15,557 | Gross: $7.00M

3. Screaming Masterpiece (2005)

87 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary about the bustling Icelandic musical scene. This documentary covers some of Iceland's most talented and well-known musicians.

Director: Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon | Stars: Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Barði Jóhannsson, Walter Durkacz, Úlfur Eldjárn

Votes: 430

4. Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

A documentary film about the life of pianist and jazz great Thelonious Sphere Monk. Features live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius.

Director: Charlotte Zwerin | Stars: Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Jimmy Cleveland, Harry Colomby

Votes: 888 | Gross: $0.52M

5. Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul (2005)

90 min | Documentary, Music

73 Metascore

Award-winning director Fatih Akin takes us on a journey through Istanbul, the city that bridges Europe and Asia, and challenges familiar notions of east and west. He looks at the vibrant ... See full summary »

Director: Fatih Akin | Stars: Alexander Hacke, Ahmed Ulug, Cem Yegul, Mehmed Ulug

Votes: 5,791 | Gross: $0.07M

6. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002)

Unrated | 92 min | Documentary, Music

66 Metascore

First-time filmmaker and award-winning photographer Sam Jones documents the recording of Wilco's album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot."

Director: Sam Jones | Stars: Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Leroy Bach, Glenn Kotche

Votes: 1,925 | Gross: $0.45M

7. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (2011)

R | 97 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

Michael Rapaport documents the inner workings and behind the scenes drama that follows this innovative and influential band to this day.

Director: Michael Rapaport | Stars: Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White

Votes: 3,290 | Gross: $1.20M

8. Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (2007)

Unrated | 124 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

79 Metascore

As the front man of the Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives forever. Four years after his death, his influence reaches out around the world, more strongly now than ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple | Stars: Joe Strummer, Steve Jones, Mick Jones, Brigitte Bardot

Votes: 3,532 | Gross: $0.25M

9. The Filth and the Fury (2000)

R | 108 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

82 Metascore

A film about the career of the notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols.

Director: Julien Temple | Stars: Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon, Glen Matlock

Votes: 5,369 | Gross: $0.61M

10. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, History, Music

93 Metascore

The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.

Director: Penelope Spheeris | Stars: Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks

Votes: 3,138

11. The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Music

58 Metascore

Documentary showcase, what life was like for the music artists living during the Los Angeles Heavy Metal scene in the mid and late 1980s.

Director: Penelope Spheeris | Stars: Joe Perry, Steven Tyler, Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper

Votes: 3,025 | Gross: $0.37M

12. The Decline of Western Civilization Part III (1998)

R | 86 min | Documentary, Music

77 Metascore

The Decline of Western Civilization III is a 1998 documentary film that follows the gutter punk lifestyle of homeless teenagers.

Director: Penelope Spheeris | Stars: Stephen Chambers, Flea, Gary Fredo, Ron Martinez

Votes: 923

13. Soul Power (2008)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

A filmed account of the Zaire 74 soul music festival, originally intended to be in concert with the famous Rumble in the Jungle bout in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974.

Director: Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte | Stars: Muhammad Ali, James Brown, Don King, Afrisa

Votes: 723 | Gross: $0.21M

14. Moro No Brasil (2002)

105 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary about Brazil's music.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki | Stars: Walter Alfaiate, Caju, Castanha, Velha Guarda da Mangueira

Votes: 245

15. The Sound of Rio: Brasileirinho (2005)

90 min | Documentary, Music

A musical documentary and tribute about "choro", an older style of playing that forms the foundation of all Brazilian composition, including samba and bossa nova.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki | Stars: Yamandú Costa, Teresa Cristina, Paulinho da Viola, Thalma de Freitas

Votes: 203

16. Mama Africa (2011)

90 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Documentary about Miriam Makeba.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki | Stars: Miriam Makeba, Bageot Bah, Harry Belafonte, Stokely Carmichael

Votes: 252 | Gross: $0.01M

17. Sonic Mirror (2008)

79 min | Documentary, Music

From poor Brazilian kids to autistic adults in Switzerland to Finnish jazz aficionados, music documentary follows the legendary jazz drummer and composer Billy Cobham as he unites them all through rhythm and improvisation.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki | Stars: Bill Cobham, Martti Lappalainen, Mikko Mäkinen, Markus Holkko

Votes: 54

19. Punk in London (1977)

TV-MA | 111 min | Documentary, Music

A contemporary documentary covering the Great British punk rock explosion of 1977.

Director: Wolfgang Büld | Stars: Gaye Advert, Jack Airport, Arturo Bassick, Chelsea

Votes: 153

20. Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back (1967)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan.

Director: D.A. Pennebaker | Stars: Bob Dylan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth, Joan Baez

Votes: 7,743

21. Gimme Shelter (1970)

GP | 91 min | Documentary, Music, Thriller

80 Metascore

A harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont.

Directors: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin | Stars: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts

Votes: 9,964 | Gross: $0.25M

22. End of the Century (2003)

Unrated | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

74 Metascore

The story of the punk rock band The Ramones.

Directors: Jim Fields, Michael Gramaglia | Stars: Rick Rubin, Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone

Votes: 3,356 | Gross: $0.39M

23. It Might Get Loud (2008)

PG | 98 min | Documentary, Music

70 Metascore

A documentary on the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White.

Director: Davis Guggenheim | Stars: Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jack White, Dallas Schoo

Votes: 11,928 | Gross: $1.61M

24. Hype! (1996)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, History, Music

Documentary covering the growth and subsequent overexposure of the Seattle "grunge" music scene in the early 90s

Director: Doug Pray | Stars: 7 Year Bitch, Valerie M. Agnew, Carrie Akre, Jeff Ament

Votes: 2,184 | Gross: $0.27M

25. Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)

PG | 108 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

Documentary about the Funk Brothers, a group of Detroit musicians who backed up dozens of Motown artists.

Director: Paul Justman | Stars: Joe Hunter, Jack Ashford, Uriel Jones, Richard 'Pistol' Allen

Votes: 3,200 | Gross: $1.60M

26. Stop Making Sense (1984)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Music

89 Metascore

An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: David Byrne, Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir, Steven Scales

Votes: 11,148 | Gross: $5.02M

27. Dig! (2004)

R | 107 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor.

Director: Ondi Timoner | Stars: Anton Newcombe, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Joel Gion, Matt Hollywood

Votes: 5,790 | Gross: $0.13M

28. Wild Style (1983)

R | 82 min | Drama, Music

Zoro, the city's hottest and most elusive graffiti writer. The actual story of the movie concerns the tension between Zoro's passion for his art and his personal life, particularly his ... See full summary »

Director: Charlie Ahearn | Stars: 'Lee' George Quinones, Lady Pink, Fab 5 Freddy, Patti Astor

Votes: 2,067

29. Cocksucker Blues (1972)

93 min | Documentary, Music

This fly-on-the-wall documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their 1972 North American Tour, their first return to the States since the tragedy at Altamont. Because of the free-form ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Frank | Stars: Truman Capote, Dick Cavett, Marshall Chess, Chris Collins

Votes: 729

30. Sigur Rós: Heima (2007)

97 min | Documentary, Music

In the summer of 2006, Sigur Rós returned home to play a series of free, unannounced concerts for the people of Iceland.

Director: Dean DeBlois | Stars: Amiina, Hildur Arsaelsdottir, Jon Thor Birgisson, Orri P. Dyrason

Votes: 7,578

31. Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony (2002)

PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary, History, Music

78 Metascore

Interviews, archival footage, and filmed performances highlight the role of music in the South African struggle against apartheid.

Director: Lee Hirsch | Stars: Abdullah Ibrahim, Duma Ka Ndlovu, Vusi Mahlasela, Walter Cronkite

Votes: 546 | Gross: $0.40M

32. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live in New York City (2001 TV Special)

G | 190 min | Music

Live From New York City is the chronicle of Bruce Springsteen's first tour with The E Street Band in over a decade. A full-on rock revival packed with hits and fan favorites, Live From New ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Hilson | Stars: Bruce Springsteen, Roy Bittan, Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici

Votes: 578

33. The Clash: Westway to the World (2000 Video)

60 min | Documentary, Music

A career retrospective of British punk band The Clash, featuring exclusive interviews with the entire band.

Director: Don Letts | Stars: Terry Chimes, Terence Dackombe, Topper Headon, Mick Jones

Votes: 1,002

36. Dub Echoes (2008)

75 min | Documentary

Through interviews with over 40 key names on the history of dub, electronic music and hip hop, "Dub Echoes" connects the dots between of the otherwise fragmented relation between all this genres.

Director: Bruno Natal | Stars: Abashanti-i, Victor Axelrod, Howie B., Lloyd Barnes

Votes: 180

37. 1991: The Year Punk Broke (1992)

Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary, History, Music

David Markey's documentary of life on the road with Sonic Youth and Nirvana during their tour of Europe in late 1991. Also featuring live performances by Dinosaur Jr, Babes In Toyland, The ... See full summary »

Director: David Markey | Stars: Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley

Votes: 1,285

38. Pump Up the Volume (2001– )

Documentary

In this documentary the origin of house music is being explained. It starts in Chicago in the "Warehouse" club. This later became the Genre called just "House" because people wanted to buy ... See full summary »

Stars: Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy, Marshall Jefferson, Shaun Ryder

Votes: 196

39. Urgh! A Music War (1981)

R | 96 min | Documentary, Music

Punk, New Wave, Reggae and Techno bands from Europe and the US recorded live in several locations in 1980. The biggest names on the bill are the Police and UB 40 but every performance is a ... See full summary »

Director: Derek Burbidge | Stars: Wall of Voodoo, Stan Ridgway, Marc Moreland, Chas T. Gray

Votes: 678

40. loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies (2006)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Music

63 Metascore

loudQUIETloud is the story of this unforseen plot twist. A deeply compelling portrait of four band members and their difficult, tense, and ultimately triumphant return.

Directors: Steven Cantor, Matthew Galkin | Stars: Frank Black, Kim Deal, David Lovering, Joey Santiago

Votes: 1,265 | Gross: $0.00M

41. The Punk Rock Movie from England (1978)

R | 86 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary on the London punk-rock scene, circa '78.

Director: Don Letts | Stars: Soo Catwoman, Steve Strange, Robin Banks, Mark Perry

Votes: 238

42. D.O.A. (1980)

90 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary chronicaling the rise and fall of the punk movement with rare interview footage of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Also concert and news footage.

Director: Lech Kowalski | Stars: Stiv Bators, Terry Chimes, The Clash, Paul Cook

Votes: 458

43. My Sweet Canary (2011)

89 min | Documentary

Roza Eskenazi sang the way she lived, with passion, fire and love. This is the story of three young musicians who embark on an exciting musical journey, to tell the story of Greece's best-loved rebetiko singer.

Director: Roy Sher | Stars: Haris Alexiou, Mehtap Demir, Roza Eskenazy, Tomer Katz

Votes: 57



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