The 13 Best Movies About Music

 As a serious music enthusiast and amateur musician, my life is filled with music. Every kind and every genre possible from The Beatles to Black Sabbath while going into Mastodon, Animal Collective, Santigold, Deltron, Buddy Rich to Bob Dylan I love this sublime art.
To narrow the genres and the infinite possible movies, I choose to pick only movies that have the music as almost a character. So Musicals aren’t really concerned here even if The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is entirely sung. Neither does the Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger masterpiece The Red Shoes is present.
One must add that those are personal choices and are listed only to open a discussion and learn a little bit more about your Music film tastes as for your musical tastes too.

Without much further rambling here are the thirteen best movies about music:

13. Airheads
A band of losers invade a trendy radio station to get their songs on the air. Starring Adam Sandler, Brendan Fraser and Steve Buscemi.

12. Footloose
Of the most popular films of the 1980’s might seem a little cliché here but the plot is about the opposition of Rock music and Religion. A debate I would have fought for the state of the art. It’s a fun fun movie and you can’t take that even with the unnecessary remake.

11. That Thing You Do!
Tom Hanks’ directorial debut has some very interesting elements even if the whole story kind of falls apart in the second half. The clear depiction of The Beatles makes us live a little bit the 1960’s era of Rock and Roll.

10. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
This hip romantic comedy might be the most unexpected movie on this list but I really enjoyed the little story of those two teens that connected together with Indie Rock and the will to seek the secret spot of a show of their favorite band.

9. Wayne’s World
A cult film that lives for, at least, my generation of cinephile. Far from being a great film, Wayne’s World is the best SNL sketch brought to the big screen. Hilarious.

8. 8 Mile
Being a very occasional rap listener this movie opened the door to a world I’m not that well informed about. A somewhat realistic portrait of an American reality.

7. Amadeus
Even if it is not my favorite film, Milos Forman’s epic movie, about the man who was jealous of Mozart, is a great tribute to one of the greatest composers of all time. A musical genius that was a “Rock star” of his own time.

6. New York, New York
Just as any other Martin Scorsese fan out there I know that the man is a passionate of Music. He is an encyclopeadia of Cinema but also Music and New York, New York is one of his most underrated and personal work.

5. Last Days
Gus Van Sant’s interpretation of Nirvana’s lead man Kurt Cobain last moments. The slow paced film of Van Sant lets the viewer catch all the loneliness, despair and loath of the Rock star who wouldn’t wanted to be the Rock star. Michael Pitt gives a wonderful sober performance as the tragically suicidal singer.

4. This Is Spinal Tap
One of the best mockumentary out there since Fellini invented the whole genre. Mocking Heavy Metal in the 1980’s was ballsy and I am a fan of the genre. A cult film.

3. I’m Not There
The film that presented Bob Dylan to so many young viewers is one heck of a tour-de-force. Not only presenting his folksy side but the numerous eras of his tremendous movie-like life. A masterpiece by Todd Haynes who understood the man and the myth that is Dylan.

2. Clean
Famously known because it was on the set of Clean that director Olivier Assayas and actress Maggie Cheung signed their divorce papers. However, this very sad film portrays the life of so many musicians on the fall side of their careers and the darker side of popularity, wealth, and drugs. A film that dares to show the real Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll motto as it is really is. Not always a nice ride.

1. Almost Famous
Cameron Crowe’s autobiographical tale of the coming of age of a young teenager who follows his favourite band on the road is probably one of the best films of the 2000’s. As a music critic he slowly falls in love with one of the groupies. 

What do you think of the list?  How would look yours? What are your musical tastes? What Are You listening to right now?


  1. Cameron Crowe always has great music in his films. I'd argue that a lot of the time his soundtracks are better than the actual movies themselves eg. Elizabethtown, Singles. but Almost Famous is an excellent film.

    Nice to see Clean on this list too, every cinephile, and every polyglot should watch that film.

    A couple other musical biopics I love are Bird and Control.

    1. Crowe isn't a very constant director, but Almost Famous is a personal favourite.

      Bird isn't my cup of tea and I haven't seen Control.

      Clean is a lesser known very good film. I love Cheung's presence.

  2. Immortal Beloved (1994) is a very good film in the same vein as Amadeus. Gary Oldman plays Beethoven.

    1. Never heard of it. Since I like Oldman a lot I'll it out sometime.


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