Music Documentaries

by CoolSchmoool | created - 28 Jun 2012 | updated - 01 Oct 2014 | Public
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1. Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (2007)

Not Rated | 124 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

79 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 3,714 | Gross: $0.25M

2. 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: 1,033

3. American Hardcore (2006)

R | 100 min | Documentary, History, Music

69 Metascore

The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986

Director: Paul Rachman | Stars: Greg Ginn, Ian MacKaye, James Drescher, Lucky Lehrer

Votes: 3,272 | Gross: $0.28M

4. Punk: Attitude (2005)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary on the music, performers, attitude and distinctive look that made up punk rock.

Director: Don Letts | Stars: K.K. Barrett, Roberta Bayley, Jello Biafra, Glenn Branca

Votes: 1,531

5. A Band Called Death (2012)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

77 Metascore

A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.

Directors: Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett | Stars: Bobby Hackney, David Hackney, Dannis Hackney, Robbie Duncan

Votes: 3,495 | Gross: $0.13M

6. Kurt Cobain About a Son (2006)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Music

69 Metascore

In this visual essay style documentary, intimate audio of journalist Michael Azerrad's interviews with Kurt Cobain is played over more recently photographed footage of Cobain's Washington state homes and haunts.

Director: AJ Schnack | Stars: Kurt Cobain, Evan Fortin, Nathan Streifel, Michael Azerrad

Votes: 3,536 | Gross: $0.08M

7. X: The Unheard Music (1986)

R | 84 min | Documentary, Music

This film is a documentary about the personalities in, and the music of, the early 1980's Los Angeles punk band X. There are studio and live performances by the band and interviews with ... See full summary »

Director: W.T. Morgan | Stars: John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, D.J. Bonebrake

Votes: 372

8. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, History, Music

93 Metascore

A look into the Los Angeles punk rock scene, that was largely ignored by the rock music press of the time.

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

Votes: 3,565

punk one

9. 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: 3,341 | Gross: $0.37M

funny one :)

10. Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams.

Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Robb Reiner, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow, Tiziana Arrigoni, Scott Ian

Votes: 15,454 | Gross: $0.67M

11. Joy Division (2007)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Music

A chronological account of the influential late 1970s English rock band.

Director: Grant Gee | Stars: Richard Boon, Anton Corbijn, Kevin Cummins, Bob Dickinson

Votes: 3,147

12. 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: 3,505 | Gross: $0.39M

13. 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: 5,533 | Gross: $0.61M

14. Blondie: One Way or Another (2006 TV Movie)

72 min | Documentary

A documentary about New York band Blondie, from their early beginnings in Bowery clubs like CBGBs alongside other up and coming bands like The Ramones, Patti Smith and Talking Heads. The ... See full summary »

Director: Matt O'Casey | Stars: Clem Burke, Jimmy Destri, Noel Edmonds, Chris Frantz

Votes: 71

15. Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003)

R | 94 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

71 Metascore

A look at the history of fame in the world through the eyes of pop star impresario, Rodney Bingenheimer.

Director: George Hickenlooper | Stars: Rodney Bingenheimer, David Bowie, Joey Ramone, Exene Cervenka

Votes: 1,459 | Gross: $0.26M

16. New York Doll (2005)

PG-13 | 75 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

A recovering alcoholic and recently converted Mormon, Arthur "Killer" Kane, of the rock band The New York Dolls, is given a chance at reuniting with his band after 30 years.

Director: Greg Whiteley | Stars: Arthur Kane, David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, Nina Antonia

Votes: 1,655 | Gross: $0.22M

Arthur Kane

18. 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 Ramones and Gumball.

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

Votes: 1,337

19. Pearl Jam Twenty (2011)

Not Rated | 109 min | Documentary, History, Music

59 Metascore

A documentary on the band Pearl Jam that marks their 20th anniversary in the year 2011.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Cameron Crowe

Votes: 7,524 | Gross: $0.45M

20. The Gits (2005)

TV-14 | 82 min | Documentary

The story of the promising, underground Seattle band, The Gits. Fronted by charismatic vocalist, Mia Zapata, and poised to explode onto the national music scene, a stranger came in and took it all away. A decade later, the legacy lives on.

Director: Kerri O'Kane | Stars: Valerie M. Agnew, Scott Benson, Tim Bradshaw, Elizabeth F. Davis

Votes: 294

21. Don't Need You (2005 Video)

40 min | Documentary, Short, Music

"don't need you" is a documentary film that tells the story of the origins of Riot Grrrl in the American independent music scene of the 1990s, and how this feminist movement evolved into a ... See full summary »

Director: Kerri Koch | Stars: Mark Andersen, Dasha Bikceem, Bratmobile, Sharon Cheslow

Votes: 97

riot grrrl

22. The Punk Singer (2013)

Not Rated | 81 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

75 Metascore

A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the "riot grrrl" movement of the 1990s.

Director: Sini Anderson | Stars: Kathleen Hanna, Carrie Brownstein, Kim Gordon, Joan Jett

Votes: 2,693 | Gross: $0.12M

23. Filmage: The Story of Descendents/All (2013)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Long before punk rock inflicted its puncture wound on the map of mainstream music, the Descendents were in a van brewing a potent mix of pop, angst, love and coffee and influencing a ... See full summary »

Directors: Deedle Lacour, Matt Riggle | Stars: Bill Stevenson, Milo Aukerman, Karl Alvarez, Stephen Egerton

Votes: 922

24. Tupac: Resurrection (2003)

R | 112 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

66 Metascore

Home movies, photographs, and recited poetry illustrate the life of Tupac Shakur, one of the most beloved, revolutionary, and volatile hip-hop M.Cs. of all time.

Director: Lauren Lazin | Stars: Tupac Shakur, Rappin' 4-Tay, Conrad Bain, Bill Bellamy

Votes: 8,921 | Gross: $7.71M

25. Biggie and Tupac (2002)

R | 108 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

63 Metascore

Documentary on the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls and the East Coast/West Coast, hip-hop/rap rivalry that culminated in late 1996 and early 1997.

Director: Nick Broomfield | Stars: The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Nick Broomfield, Russell Poole

Votes: 4,534 | Gross: $0.09M

26. 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: 3,430 | Gross: $1.20M

27. Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (2012)

R | 106 min | Documentary, Music

66 Metascore

A documentary on rap music and its rise to global prominence.

Directors: Ice-T, Andy Baybutt | Stars: Ice-T, Dr. Dre, Chuck D, Snoop Dogg

Votes: 3,306 | Gross: $0.29M

28. The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005)

PG-13 | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

77 Metascore

Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love.

Director: Jeff Feuerzeig | Stars: Daniel Johnston, Mabel Johnston, Bill Johnston, Laurie Allen

Votes: 9,194 | Gross: $0.33M

29. Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements (2011)

Not Rated | 123 min | Documentary, Music

For some aging music fans and kids with a passion for musical history, The Replacements are rock and roll defined. This Minneapolis quartet took a teenage-punk attitude, threw it in a ... See full summary »

Director: Gorman Bechard | Stars: Robert Voedisch, Tommy Ramone, Tom Arnold, Dave Foley

Votes: 311

30. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012)

PG-13 | 113 min | Documentary, Music

69 Metascore

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is a feature-length documentary film about the dismal commercial failure, subsequent massive critical acclaim, and enduring legacy of pop music's greatest cult phenomenon, Big Star.

Directors: Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori | Stars: Billy Altman, Jon Auer, Lester Bangs, Chris Bell

Votes: 1,220 | Gross: $0.11M

31. The Stone Roses: Made of Stone (2013)

97 min | Documentary, Music

74 Metascore

Shane Meadows documents the reunion of iconic British band, The Stone Roses.

Director: Shane Meadows | Stars: Shane Meadows, Ian Brown, The Stone Roses, John Squire

Votes: 2,409

32. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: Joni Mitchell: A Woman of Heart and Mind (2003)

TV-14 | 92 min | Documentary, Biography

A profile of Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, and how her music evolved from personal folk into pop, jazz and avant-garde.

Director: Susan Lacy | Stars: Joni Mitchell, Bill Flanagan, David Crosby, Eric Andersen

Votes: 163

33. Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006)

PG | 103 min | Documentary, Music

85 Metascore

A film shot over during a two-night performance by Neil Young at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Pegi Young, Ben Keith

Votes: 2,857 | Gross: $1.83M

34. A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake (2002)

48 min | Documentary, Biography

77 Metascore

A study, mostly chronological, of the life of Nick Drake (1948-1974). Gabrielle, his older sister, tells us of her brother's birth in Burma, childhood in Warwickshire, life at Cambridge and... See full summary »

Director: Jeroen Berkvens | Stars: Nick Drake, Paul Weller, Gabrielle Drake, Rodney Drake

Votes: 662

35. George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011)

Not Rated | 208 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese examines the life of musician George Harrison, weaving together interviews, concert footage, home movies and photographs.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr

Votes: 10,401

36. When You're Strange (2009)

R | 86 min | Documentary, Music

55 Metascore

A look at the late '60s and early '70s rock band The Doors, including rare exclusive footage.

Director: Tom DiCillo | Stars: Johnny Depp, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek

Votes: 9,042 | Gross: $0.24M

37. Jimi Hendrix (1973)

R | 98 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

This documentary was made three years after Jimi Hendrix's untimely death. At the time it was an example of how a visual biography should be done, but some of the information in it needs ... See full summary »

Directors: Joe Boyd, John Head, Gary Weis | Stars: Arthur Allen, Albert Allen, Stella Benabon, Eric Barrett

Votes: 1,489 | Gross: $0.03M

39. Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Music

The highlights of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.

Director: Bert Stern | Stars: Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Chuck Berry, Chico Hamilton

Votes: 1,060

40. A Great Day in Harlem (1994)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary, Music

The documentary compiles interviews of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958, for a piece in Esquire magazine.

Director: Jean Bach | Stars: Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Hinton, Marian McPartland, Art Blakey

Votes: 409 | Gross: $0.53M

41. Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) (2010)

Not Rated | 116 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

68 Metascore

The life and work of the enigmatic folk rock singer-songwriter.

Director: John Scheinfeld | Stars: Gerry Beckley, Lee Blackman, Perry Botkin Jr., Ray Cooper

Votes: 1,418 | Gross: $0.03M

42. Heaven Adores You (2014)

104 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

Heaven Adores You is an intimate, meditative inquiry into the life and music of Elliott Smith. By threading the music of Elliott Smith through the dense, yet often isolating landscapes of ... See full summary »

Director: Nickolas Dylan Rossi | Stars: Madonna, Gus Van Sant, Conan O'Brien, Rossie Harris

Votes: 1,026

highly anticipated elliott smith doc



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