The Best Music Films

by gazmasters | created - 15 Feb 2014 | updated - 13 Jul 2016 | Public

The Best films i have seen that are heavily focused on music, bands or artists.

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1. Almost Famous (2000)

R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

90 Metascore

A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand

Votes: 237,889 | Gross: $32.53M

Personally my favourite ever movie. Follows the story of a young journalist following a band as they start to become big in the era where rock stars where rock stars. Fantastic sound track accompanies a great storyline.

2. Rock Star (2001)

R | 105 min | Drama, Music

54 Metascore

Lead singer of a tribute band becomes lead singer of the real band he idolizes.

Director: Stephen Herek | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Dominic West, Jason Bonham

Votes: 39,243 | Gross: $17.01M

Cheesy but you have to love it. Follows the story of a fictional band modeled on the great british bands of old. And when Steel Dragons long serving front man decides to call it quits. They hire the next best thing. A guy who has been fronting a steel dragon tribute act. Story follows the dream of actually joining your favourite band but then having to deal with the fame and fortune.

3. Yellow Submarine (1968)

G | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

79 Metascore

The Beatles agree to accompany Captain Fred (Lance Percival) in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music hating Blue Meanies.

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

Votes: 23,041 | Gross: $0.99M

One of the most bizarre films i have ever watched. But it is absolutely bonkers and brilliant. The Beatles music is timeless and accompanies this strange film perfectly

4. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Music

92 Metascore

Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Kimberly Stringer

Votes: 122,074 | Gross: $0.19M

Classic mockumentary that follows a band on the decline of their career. Many hilarious lines are quoted all the time from this film. If you have ever been in a band chances are you have lived some of these moments yourself

5. Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

79 Metascore

Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.

Director: Malik Bendjelloul | Stars: Rodriguez, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore

Votes: 59,492 | Gross: $3.97M

Documentary of a story that beggars belief in todays social network society of a forgotten artist called Rodriguez and the quest of a fan to try and find out exactly what happened to him among rumours of his disapearance. Great film and great songs

6. Still Crazy (1998)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

"Strange Fruit" had everything that makes a legendary rockband: Money, Fame, Success, Groupies, a Singer who died of drugs and even a divine ending, when lightning struck the stage during ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Gibson | Stars: Stephen Rea, Billy Connolly, Jimmy Nail, Timothy Spall

Votes: 7,265 | Gross: $0.48M

Another cheesy addition but i still love this movie. Another story of a band that has long been past the best in their career but among bickering between band members decide to give it one more shot. Look out for the terrific song The Flame Still Burns in this one. Its a corker

7. 24 Hour Party People (2002)

R | 117 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

85 Metascore

In 1976, Tony Wilson sets up Factory Records and brings Manchester's music to the world.

Director: Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Steve Coogan, Lennie James, John Thomson, Paul Popplewell

Votes: 30,864 | Gross: $1.13M

This film follows the music scene in manchester from the early punk to the madchester rave scenes, while telling the story of Tony Wilson, a key component to the scenes story. Steve Coogan is excellent as he tells the story as Tony Wilson.

8. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

93 Metascore

A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund

Votes: 126,226 | Gross: $13.24M

Great story of a struggling folk singer trying to make a solo career in NY. With no money to his name, it is a great show of a broke man fighting to keep his dreams of being a songwriter alive.

9. Walk the Line (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, Music

72 Metascore

A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick

Votes: 217,347 | Gross: $119.52M

Joaquin Phoenix plays Johnny Cash in this great film of the mans life. Obviously the soundtrack is brilliant but this is a great look at a great artist

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: 15,124 | Gross: $0.67M

Imagine if Spinal Tap was a real band... I think anvil would be as close as it comes. Another story of a once former well known group that have now fell so far from the 80's metal heyday, that now they all have their own regular jobs. But will not let go of their love for the band or the music

11. Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003)

Not Rated | 68 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A continuation of the story told in the Daft Punk music videos "One More Time," "Aerodynamic," "Digital Love," and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger."

Directors: Daisuke Nishio, Hirotoshi Rissen, Kazuhisa Takenouchi, Leiji Matsumoto | Stars: Romanthony, Thomas Bangalter

Votes: 12,870

Could also be known as the Daft Punk Discovery Album movie. And with that as a soundtrack how could this animated journey be anything short of magnificent.

12. Sound City (2013)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

A documentary on the fabled recording studio that was located in Van Nuys, California.

Director: Dave Grohl | Stars: Trent Reznor, Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Vinny Appice

Votes: 11,581 | Gross: $0.42M

Dave Grohl's look at the studio that made his career, and a whole host of other artists that owe a debt of gratitude to one recording studio. Sound City is the studio that brought amazing albums from fleetwood mac to nirvana and this is the story of how it all happened

13. Whiplash (2014)

R | 106 min | Drama, Music

88 Metascore

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser

Votes: 636,836 | Gross: $13.09M

Great story of a young drummer being musically trained by a very over the top teacher. This movie is just perfectly executed and the final part is pulsating

14. Quadrophenia (1979)

R | 120 min | Drama, Music

79 Metascore

Jimmy loathes his job and parents. He seeks solace with his mod clique, scooter riding and drugs, only to be disappointed.

Director: Franc Roddam | Stars: Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Phil Davis, Mark Wingett

Votes: 15,876

Film about mods and the soundtrack is the Who. No more explanation necessary

15. Woodstock (1970)

R | 184 min | Documentary, History, Music

The film chronicle of the legendary 1969 music festival.

Director: Michael Wadleigh | Stars: Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey, Joe Cocker

Votes: 15,099 | Gross: $50.00M

I have always been fascinated by this festival and incredibly envious of anyone who was there. As a massive fan of 60's music, this seemed to me the pinnacle of that era of peace and love. This documentary really immerses you into how it was. And sadly its as close as many of us will get to a experience like this

16. Duets (2000)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

40 Metascore

A professional karaoke hustler reconnects with his daughter and a bored suburban businessman turns outlaw karaoke singer, among other plotlines.

Director: Bruce Paltrow | Stars: Huey Lewis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Giamatti, Andre Braugher

Votes: 8,867 | Gross: $4.73M

Bit of a guilty pleasure this one, But i love it. Huey Lewis is awesome in it, and the acapella version of freebird by Andre Braugher is stunning

17. Detroit Rock City (1999)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Music

33 Metascore

In 1978, four rebellious teenagers try to scam their way into a KISS concert.

Director: Adam Rifkin | Stars: Edward Furlong, Giuseppe Andrews, James DeBello, Sam Huntington

Votes: 33,862 | Gross: $4.22M

Comedy about a group of young rock fans go to a KISS Concert, its pretty funny and if you were ever young and dumb and tried to sneak into anything, a lot of this will be right up your street

18. Wayne's World (1992)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Music

57 Metascore

Two slacker friends try to promote their public-access cable show.

Director: Penelope Spheeris | Stars: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere

Votes: 135,370 | Gross: $121.70M

Comedy at its best. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey absolutely nail the roles of Wayne and Garth, two young metalheads with their own local TV show, also look out for the great fake band Crucial Taunt

19. Wayne's World 2 (1993)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Music

60 Metascore

The inseparable duo try to organize a rock concert while Wayne must fend off a record producer who has an eye for his girlfriend.

Director: Stephen Surjik | Stars: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Christopher Walken, Tia Carrere

Votes: 72,924 | Gross: $48.20M

Wayne and Garth's second outing and in this one they create Waynestock. Tonnes of brilliant music and funny quotes are plenty. Chances are even if you haven't seen this film, you have heard many lines from it

20. Straight Outta Compton (2015)

R | 147 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr.

Votes: 167,945 | Gross: $161.20M

Although most of my list will feature rock as that is my favourite area of music. In my early teens i absolutely adored rap, NWA and Wu-Tang Clan were as big for me as Metallica, I never really bothered learning the stories back then of how these groups came to be. And so this film took me right back to those early teens and gave me the education, the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic too

21. Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

TV-MA | 145 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

83 Metascore

An authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana.

Director: Brett Morgen | Stars: Aaron Burckhard, Chad Channing, Don Cobain, Jenny Cobain

Votes: 26,489

I have to applaud this documentary as it really did confirm for me how good Nirvana and Cobain actually were. I found myself as a young dumb metal head dismissing them most of the time and scoffed when people would tell me of the genius they were. But i have to say i couldn't stop listening to them after i watched this. And i think i finally get what people were on about all those years ago

22. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 129,427 | Gross: $75.33M

The incredible story of Ray Charles. Perhaps predictably this has a stunning soundtrack right the way through it. But also tells a great story of a great legend in music

23. Pirate Radio (2009)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

58 Metascore

A band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain, playing the music that defined a generation and standing up to a government that wanted classical music, and nothing else, on the airwaves.

Director: Richard Curtis | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Michael Hadley

Votes: 103,483 | Gross: $7.99M

Another guilty pleasure but this deserves to be in the best music films for me by sheer strength of the soundtrack alone

24. Let It Be (1969)

G | 81 min | Documentary, Music

The filmed account of The Beatles' attempt to recapture their old group spirit by making a back to basics album, which instead drove them further apart.

Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg | Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr

Votes: 5,055

A very interesting look at how one of the greatest songwriting units in music come to write their songs. This also has the iconic performance atop to apple buildings as well. A must watch for anyone who loves the Beatles

25. Empire Records (1995)

PG-13 | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

30 Metascore

24 hours in the lives of the young employees at Empire Records when they all grow up and become young adults thanks to each other and the manager. They all face the store joining a chain store with strict rules.

Director: Allan Moyle | Stars: Anthony LaPaglia, Debi Mazar, Maxwell Caulfield, Rory Cochrane

Votes: 46,313 | Gross: $0.30M

This focuses on an independent record store, again the soundtrack really does need a mention. And this may be a cheesy teen comedy in essence but it makes you pine for the days were these kind of stores were essential before the modern era of all music is available through your laptop

26. Sing Street (2016)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

79 Metascore

A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

Director: John Carney | Stars: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor

Votes: 76,766 | Gross: $3.24M

27. Miles Ahead (2015)

R | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Music

64 Metascore

An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.

Director: Don Cheadle | Stars: Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg

Votes: 8,667 | Gross: $2.61M

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