Movies and music go hand-in-hand very well. From a beautiful movie score to a cinematic music video, or a movie about the life of an artist, you can hardly get one without the other. Talking exclusively about music-related movies, there are some really good and educational films that you can watch/re-watch these days.
This article will be divided into two major sections – biographies and “feel-good” movies, plus others in between. We will start with movies that explore the lives of some of the most well-known musicians and see the way their vision has shaped the world.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Featuring the tremendous performance by Rami Malek as the exceptional Freddie Mercury, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018) portrays the history of legendary British rock band QUEEN from its formation all the way until their spectacular performance at Live Aid in 1985. This is not just a biography, but also a “feel-good” movie, since you will be singing along (again!) to all their greatest hits.
The Doors (1991)
Starring Val Kilmer in the role of Jim Morrison, “The Doors” (1991) tells the story of this famous and influential rock group from the 1960s, following the band’s charismatic frontman from his early days as a film student to his tragic death in Paris at the age of 27 in 1971. Despite its shortcomings, the film offers a glimpse into what made Jim Morrison such a household name in the rock scene.
Walk The Line (2005)
Who better to portray country music legend Johnny Cash than the one and only Joaquin Phoenix? Joining forces with Reese Witherspoon as June Carter and director James Mangold, “Walk The Line” (2005) chronicles the rise and fame of Johnny Cash, from his early days on a cotton farm in Arkansas to his record deal with Sun Records in Memphis, and his strong bond with June Carter.
“Control” (2007) offers a look into the personal, professional, and romantic life of the enigmatic Ian Curtis (portrayed beautifully by Sam Riley), singer of English Rock band JOY DIVISION, and explores the events that led to his suicide at the age of only 23.
I’m Not There (2007)
The whirlwind that is “I’m Not There” (2007) has six different characters (among whom include Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and the late Heath Ledger) playing various aspects of what made Bob Dylan such an intriguing figure in the music scene. If anything, it’s worth a watch just for the amazing cast.
“Rocketman” (2018) is “a musical fantasy about the fantastic human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years” (as described by IMDb), featuring the talents of Tarot Egerton in the main role.
The Runaways (2010)
Starring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakona Fanning as Cherie Currie, “The Runaways” (2010) is the story of the first all-female rock band THE RUNAWAYS and the way they changed society’s perception on women, as well as the struggles they went through in their quest for fame and success.
Taking Woodstock (2009)
“Taking Woodstock” (2009) is not about a musician or a band, but about the most famous festival in history that took place in the summer of 1969, and the driving forces behind its wild success.
Detroit Rock City (1999)
“Detroit Rock City” (1999) follows a group of rebellious teens and their adventures leading up to a KISS concert. I know we all miss the rush of going to concerts these days, but a few laughs are most welcome.
School Of Rock (2003)
Fun, entertaining, and educational… “School Of Rock” (2003) follows the efforts of substitute teacher Dewey Finn (Jack Black) to turn his class into a rock band.
The Pick of Destiny (2006)
TENACIOUS D in “The Pick of Destiny” (2006) is the comedy/adventure film that follows the mishaps of two wannabe rockstars in their journey to find a legendary guitar pick guaranteed to give the holder unparalleled guitar skills.
Almost Famous (2000)
“Almost Famous” (2000) tells the story of an up-and-coming rock band and the young journalist who accompanies them on the road in an attempt to write an article for Rolling Stone Magazine.
“Metalhead” (2013) focuses on the universal theme of how music helps us deal with sorrow and grief, by exemplifying how a girl finds solace in black metal music after her brother’s death.
Across The Universe (2007)
At its core “Across The Universe” (2007) is the age-old boy-meets-girl scenario, only, in this case, the backdrop is the Vietnam War and the uplifting music from THE BEATLES.
Through The Never (2013)
No list would be complete without METALLICA’s movie concert mash-up “Through The Never,” which follows the surreal adventures of a roadie during a concert. You know you are going to sing along to those hits so loud that the neighbors will hear you!
Written by Andrea Crow