Film Industry

Movies About Music: Our Top 10 Ultimate Favourites

Photograph of the blog post author, Cristian Poow

Cristian Poow

16.4.2021

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We understand cinema as the audiovisual theatricalization of events that someone scripted. But, we must also pay attention to the representation of events that have actually occurred, and in this case, of stories that have to do with the world of music. Countless are the movies about music we have telling stories of some of the greatest artists in history. Such as The Beatles or recent DJs from the mainstream scene such as Avicii or Carl Cox, with whom a documentary was made. Or, even the movie “We Are Your Friends” starring Zac Efron DJing.

movies about music

There are many ways of telling the story about real events in the music industry or the lives of artists. As well as the adornment that is added from the script to make it more entertaining, In this article, we are going to present you with the 10 best movies about music. Stay tuned to see if we included your favourite!

1. Walk The Line (2005)

movies about music

After Gladiator, Joaquin Phoenix managed to achieve non-stop rising fame. This 2005 movie portrays the early days of a young-and-hungry-for-fame Johnny Cash. Tired of not being able to go on a break with his father’s mandates, and who would eventually see that his marriage was not what he expected either. For which he will consequently meet the love of his life, June, played by Reese Witherspoon. 

A proven thing is the director’s ability to keep you thinking and suspended in a dramatic tone even in the most musical and supposedly fun moments. A tense climate that is very difficult to break in the middle of a toxic love story and it is so real that it hurts. Major voices place this as a fantastic work that certainly emulates the avatars of any up-and-coming rock star.

2. 8 Mile (2002)

8 mile

It is said that this movie is based on true stories and highlights the beginning of Eminem’s career. Who of which plays himself, but with another character’s name, in this case, B-Rabbit. It is the story of a young white man from the outskirts of Detroit who finds himself struggling to pursue his dream as a rapper.

Movies about music artists always show the sad part of the story, unsuccessful attempts, betrayals, and doubts. But, Eminem’s character will run into a competition that will change everything.

The decision is totally up to him. Go in full with all of his talents or give in and retire forever. The in-between of this competition and the outcome are the vanishing points of this great film.

3. Mystify: Michael Hutchence (2019)

movies about music mystify

One of the latest rockumentaries released, among the best movies about music on Netflix. The main goal of Richard Lowenstein when starting to engage with Michael’s life and career was not to focus strictly on his adventures as a rockstar, but share a closer vision of his humanity.

Critics go from spectacular to regular. But we did not care at all. As we found out the true intention of this rockumentary was to humanize Michale all throughout interviews, home records, and close friend’s perspectives.

Michael was a true sex symbol on the Australian rock scene. Lowenstein focuses on the imprint that such a singer would leave in a world, where pop and rock merged in the late 80s to gather more and more people in packed music venues all over the world.

4. Keith Richards: Under The Influence (2015)

keith richards movies about music

If we keep having Mick on the front and as head of everything related to the Rolling Stones, we would never be able to see the behind-the-scenes of the eternal collaborators

What is important about this film is the fact that it is absolutely not related to taking the solo discography and pitching about it. It is about aging well and living with personal and public life in perfect equilibrium.

If you happen to be a blind fan of the Rolling Stones, be careful. Keith will most likely be shown as the typical arrogant guitarist while the intention is the very opposite. He had issues with the band just like everyone and look, we are all here. Still.

5. Control (2007)

movies about music

British postpunk was held accountable for the stage set-up of the 80s sounds in Europe. The guy who had the guts to impulse the new agenda in the music industry was in fact, Ian Curtis. A man who would normally look like a nostalgic and desperate-in-love young boy.

But, he went far beyond existentialism. The memories written by his then-wife Deborah Curtis helped make this beautiful portrait of one of the guys who prepared the ground for the forthcoming era with artists like Gary Numan and Boy George, people who came from the punk experiences and mixed them up with the vanguards of reggae and electronic music to give an example.

6. What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

nina simone

The Patron Saint of the Rebellion was she called. At a point of no return, Nina Simone spent the 60s giving the world the most beautiful blues and jazz. This was until her fight for human rights started to be a long-term nightmare. She went off, and the early 70s found Nina in Paris until she passed. 

Transformation is likely a word used very often when trying to dismantle a generation and criticize it (either in a good or a bad way). In the case of Simone, she even fought with her marriage situation in order to keep her state of mind, her way of thinking, her sole identity. We think that is the reason we are now recommending a movie about her career as an activist, rather than a musician.

7. The Dirt (2019)

the dirt movie

One must say, OK, yet another dramedy on sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Well, not exactly focused on the rock and roll part, Californian glam-rock band Mötley Crüe went from nothing to lose to everything actually lost, qualifying as one of the must-watch movies about music business.

Back in 2001 “The Dirt…” was born as a book, and those stories found the place and the time to be shown in theatres. It was produced by the members of the band. Who entirely wrote the book, so every story is spot on.

So yes, it is another movie surrounding eccentricities and glamorous moments of a rock band. As well as how the top of the tops affected them and how personal elections related to the continuous band fall and rebirth at some point. Censorship is not a friend here as you will see tons of cocaine and violence, among other perhaps disgusting elements.

8. A Star Is Born (2018)

a star is born movies about music

We have to say, Bradley Cooper outdid himself as a director and as a starring actor in this sort of romance-drama-musical story. It is the third adaptation of the original from 1937. Where we find a typical someone-got-sick drama movie which gives an emotional path that we cannot avoid all throughout the 2-hour-long film. 

With 8 nominations to the Academy Awards, the star that is born here is no more nor less than Lady Gaga acting as a young aspiring singer, Who of which finds herself rejected at every level. So, she meets Bradley’s character Jack, then starting an uncommon relationship that will be at a stake over and over.  We do not want to spoil it, but the story is surprisingly happy and sad at the same time as the story goes.

9. Daft Punk: Unchained (2015)

daft punk movie

Now that the band confirmed the breakup we may be able to look for movies about music producers and choose this one to analyze their career from a distance. Originally the documentary was televised and then added to streaming services in the films section. It is shown the influence of 70s funk music. As well as electronic vanguards by the time they created the band in the early 90s.

The director chose to include interviews with Pharrell Williams, Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers, and other artists Daft Punk collaborated with on their latest studio album. It’s a super interesting watch!

10. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

this is spinal tap movies about music

Way before we knew the facts of metal bands stories in the 80s, this movie stands out as a comedy trap. It is hilariously funny for those who acknowledge the actual development of egos while on big tours.

The “loudest band” called Spinal Tap is a satire of the demeanors of the band. Most of the movie scenes are improvised, which gave it the natural touch and the unlooked-for moments of fun that turned this film into a cult years later.

Film critic Jeremy Arnold argued that this oeuvre officially unfolded the term “mockumentary” from where tons of movies would be well-thought and set in years to come.

That Was Our Review Of The Best Movies About Music

man eating popcorn

So there you have it! That was our top 10 favourite movies about music!

While this is our best movies about music list, there are hundreds more that we could have also covered. We would totally recommend diving into the genre head first!

Would you like to read more exciting film and movie content? Then head over to the Music Gateway blog – we have got you covered! There’s a range of articles for you to check out. For example, Our Top 10 Favourite Dance FilmsBest End Of The World MoviesBest Business Movies and so much more! 

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