Music is one of the most entertaining genres in cinema. It’s a diverse collection with deep character tales, unstoppable downward spirals, and incredible soundtracks. The mockumentary provides some humor, while the biopic provides some outstanding performances. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the best music movies of all time.
Whatever the film, it’s always about more than just stars in the good ones. This is great news for music fans, but even better news for the music industry, as these films are becoming an increasingly important revenue stream in an era of declining record sales, boosting a band’s back catalog and introducing a new generation to their work.
Movies about musicians, whether biopics, fictions, or documentaries, are a staple of the cinema, but judging by the flurry of activity over the last year – with critically acclaimed films about Aretha Franklin, Freddie Mercury, and Elton John, among others – we’re in an unusually busy period, if not a flat-out golden age. Of all, these films are about much more than making money: a successful biopic or documentary can bring the songs to life and provide light on their artists’ tribulations. There are a plethora of great music movies. We have compiled a list of the 10 best music movies of all time below.
Check out our list of 10 Best Music Movies of all Time:
1. Whiplash (2014)
IMDB – 8.5
This outstanding 2014 film features a drummer, one of the most underrepresented music styles in cinema. It also demonstrates how ruthless you can be when it comes to improving your craft. J.K. Simmons is at his best as a harsh, sergeant-like music academy instructor. It’s intense, incredibly dramatic, and brilliantly filmed. His performance made the movie a definite watch. It is one of the best music movies of all time.
2. The Sound Of Music (1965)
IMDB – 8.0
Even though it’s clearly a musical, the legendary 1965 film is too important to leave out. It won five Academy Awards and is frequently featured in any “greatest movie of all time” shortlist, whether or not it is about music.
The Sound of Music makes you want to cavort across the countryside with reckless abandon, triumphing over not singing, culture over Nazis, and Julie Andrews over anything. And the Rodgers and Hammerstein score is a sheer delight, as well as one of the most popular soundtrack albums of all time.
3. Almost Famous (2000)
IMDB – 7.9
Cameron Crowe wrote and directed the film Almost Famous, which was released in 2000. Cameron Crowe’s time as a Rolling Stone journalist (as a teenager) shadowing a 1970s rock band on tour is shown in the film. Crowe did it with the Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others.
The film’s soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack. The movie is really fun to watch and it should definitely be on your watchlist.
4. Walk The Line(2005)
IMDB – 7.8
The 2005 love drama Walk the Line, directed by James Mangold, depicts the story of country star Johnny Cash’s life. The insight you receive into what it’s like to hit the big time before you realize it: hanging out with the top stars, driving beautiful vehicles, and getting backstage at megastar concerts is what makes this one so interesting, aside from the journey to success and the romance.
JOAQUIN PHOENIX and REESE WITHERSPOON both received an Oscar for their performances, and the film received numerous awards from the BAFTA Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Academy Awards. Walk the line is undoubtedly one of the best music movies of all time.
5. A Star Is Born (2018)
IMDB – 7.6
It’s not often that a film can demonstrate that an actor can also be a musician. A Star Is Born shines at both. Lady Gaga displays her acting muscles, while Bradley Cooper demonstrates that he may have been a drunken country-rock legend in another life.
Cooper’s collapse is so compelling — and regrettably all too typical among great rock performers. Even if original music like Shallow and Maybe It’s Time were written solely for headphones and speakers, they would be hits.
6. The Wrecking Crew (2008)
IMDB – 7.6
Denny Tedesco, son of guitarist Tommy Tedesco, directed ‘The Wrecking Crew’ in 2008. It tells the story of the Wrecking Crew, a Los Angeles-based band of session musicians. Who played on everything in the 1960s and early 1970s but were never given proper credit.
They contributed to Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, the Beach Boys’ backing tracks, Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin’, and Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman (which has Carol Kaye’s bassline). You realize that all of these records have a sound to them, and that sound is created by this band.
7. Love & Mercy (2015)
IMDB – 7.4
John Cusack and Paul Dano team together in a brilliant biography of the famous Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys to portray the early and late stages of his life, which are full of instability and mental disturbance.
We see an adaptation of a younger Wilson as he stops touring to produce the classic record Pet Sounds, slowly and surely sinking into madness. This is one of the best music movies of all time.
8. The Doors (1991)
IMDB – 7.2
Jim Morrison is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating figures in music history. Val Kilmer gives an amazing performance as The Doors’ poetic and quirky frontman. As an Oliver Stone film set in the 1960s in Venice, California, it feels very authentic.
Without hesitation, the film embraces all of the stereotypes associated with rock celebrity, from sex and drugs to pompousness and anti-establishment attitudes. You’ll even see Meg Ryan give a fantastic performance.
9. Purple Rain (1984)
IMDB – 6.5
Purple Rain, the group’s granddaddy, serves as a sort of role model. Part sweet-talking, bike-riding crooner, part electric-guitar-wielding savage, Prince demonstrates his unequaled talent as a dynamic pop-rock god here.
The barn-burning 1984 film is like a big music video, bathed in purple and never slowing down. After watching it you will wish you were back in the 1980s with a motorcycle.
10. Rock Star (2001)
IMDB – 6.3
Stephen Herek directed Rock Star, which was released in 2001. It’s a drama with comic elements, but it’s also quite serious. It includes musicians such as Zakk Wylde and Jeff Pilson.
This film, believe it or not, was a box office disaster, grossing less than $37 million. Steel Dragon, the band featured in the movie, has six songs on the soundtrack.
Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to see one of the best music movies but only being able to discover the same old movies. Because there are so many “good” music movies out there, the exceptional ones often get lost in the shuffle. So we created this list for you. Some of the best music movies of all time, which every music lover should watch are mentioned above. Watch any of these music movies and I guarantee you won’t regret it.
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