Best Movies About Music

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Best Movies About Music

Thinking about Best Movies About Music, there are so many creators exploring this feeling. We gathered 25 of the top ones.

Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Damien Chazelle, starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser
Rated R

Whiplash is a 2014 drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. It stars Miles Teller as a young jazz drummer, Andrew Neiman, and J.K. Simmons as his demanding instructor, Terence Fletcher. The story follows Andrew’s journey as he strives to become one of the greatest drummers of all time. He's pushed to the limits by his teacher, who is determined to make him into a great musician - no matter the cost. As his skills improve, he finds himself struggling to balance his ambition with the demands of his personal life. The movie culminates in a dramatic final performance at a prestigious jazz competition. Whiplash has received critical acclaim, with many praising the performances of the two leads. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. It won three Oscars, including Best Supporting Actor for Simmons and Best Achievement in Film Editing for Tom Cross.

Amadeus (1984)

Amadeus
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Milos Forman, starring F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice
Rated R

Amadeus is a 1984 period drama film directed by Milos Forman and written by Peter Shaffer. The film is based on the life and death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, an 18th-century composer who is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time. The film stars F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri, an aging court composer who looks back on his life with bitterness and envy over the success of his rival, Mozart (Tom Hulce). Salieri is driven to near madness by the genius of Mozart's music and begins to plot his downfall. But as Mozart's life unravels, Salieri finds himself unable to carry out his plan. Amadeus was a critical and commercial success, winning eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Forman. It also won four BAFTA awards and five Golden Globe Awards. The film remains one of the most iconic biopics ever made and is a testament to the power of music.

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007)

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Jim Brown, starring Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Bill Clinton, Bob Dylan
Rated PG

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song is a 2007 documentary film about the life and career of folk singer and activist Pete Seeger. Directed by Jim Brown, the film follows Seeger's life from his childhood in New York City to his career as a performer, songwriter, and social activist. The film explores how Seeger's music and activism have been used to protest injustice and champion progressive causes throughout the twentieth century, including civil rights, labor rights, and environmental protection. The documentary includes interviews with those who knew Seeger, folk singers who were inspired by him, and Seeger himself. In addition, it features rare archival footage, home movies, and live performances.

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

Searching for Sugar Man
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Malik Bendjelloul, starring Rodriguez, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey, Mike Theodore
Rated PG-13

"Searching for Sugar Man" (2012) is a documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul about a musician from Detroit, Sixto Rodriguez. Rodriguez had released two albums in the 1970s that were unsuccessful in the United States but had become a cult phenomenon in South Africa. The film follows two South African music fans, Stephen Segerman and Craig Bartholomew-Strydom, as they search for the reclusive musician and his story. Through their journey, the audience discovers the impact Rodriguez has had on South African music and culture, as well as the incredible story of Rodriguez himself, an unknown musician who had no idea of his immense popularity in a foreign country.

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory (2014)

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Michael Rossato-Bennett, starring Dan Cohen, Louise Dueno, Nell Hardie, Norman Hardie
Rated Not Rated

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory is a powerful documentary that explores the transformative power of music. The film focuses on the work of social worker Dan Cohen, who has dedicated his life to helping elderly people with dementia and Alzheimer's recover memories and improve their quality of life through personalized music therapy. Through interviews with health care professionals, families, and Alzheimer’s patients, the documentary explores the neurological and emotional effects of music on the brain and how it can be used to improve the lives of those suffering from dementia. It also chronicles Cohen's efforts to bring music therapy to nursing homes across the country. Alive Inside ultimately reveals an inspiring story of how music can be used to help those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s recover memories and improve their quality of life.

Woodstock (1970)

Woodstock
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Michael Wadleigh, starring Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey, Joe Cocker
Rated R

Woodstock is a 1970 American documentary film directed by Michael Wadleigh about the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Festival. The film captures the scope of the event, both the peace and love of the festival goers as well as the socioeconomic issues of the time. It features performances by some of the most famous rock and roll acts of the era, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It also features interviews with festival goers and organizers as they recall their experience. The film won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and its soundtrack album was a multi-platinum success. Woodstock is now considered one of the defining moments in the history of the counterculture movement of the 1960s.

The Last Waltz (1978)

The Last Waltz
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Martin Scorsese, starring Robbie Robertson, Muddy Waters, Neil Young, Van Morrison
Rated PG

The Last Waltz is a documentary concert film directed by Martin Scorsese, chronicling the final concert of The Band. On Thanksgiving Day in 1976, the group played their last show at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, featuring a diverse set of special guests, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Dr. John, Ronnie Hawkins and the Staples Singers. The film follows the group as they reflect on their careers, the rise and fall of their popularity, and their influence on the music industry. It features intimate interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and never-before-seen performances. The Last Waltz is seen as one of the greatest concert films of all time, and serves as a fitting tribute to the legacy of The Band.

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

Pink Floyd: The Wall
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Alan Parker, starring Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson, Eleanor David
Rated R

Pink Floyd: The Wall is a musical drama film directed by Alan Parker and based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album of the same name. The story is a semi-autobiographical exploration of the psychological trauma of a young British rock musician named Pink, whose comforting wall of denial is slowly crumbling apart. As the narrative progresses, the audience is taken through a series of traumatic events that Pink experiences, from his overbearing, domineering mother to his devastating experience in the Vietnam War. Through these experiences, Pink learns to cope with his feelings of isolation and depression, as well as his anger towards the world and the government. As the story progresses, Pink's wall of denial continues to crumble until finally he is able to confront his inner demons and take control of his life. The film features a rich visual style and a hallucinogenic soundtrack that perfectly capture the surreal nature of the story. The film was well-received by critics and was nominated for several awards, including a BAFTA for Best Direction.

Monterey Pop (1968)

Monterey Pop
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From D.A. Pennebaker, starring Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Country Joe McDonald
Rated Not Rated

Monterey Pop is a documentary film directed by D.A. Pennebaker that chronicles the Monterey Pop Festival, an outdoor music event held in Monterey, California in 1967. The film includes performances from iconic bands and musicians such as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Mamas & the Papas, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shankar and The Who. Pennebaker's innovative approach to filmmaking captures the energy and freedom of the festival as well as the excitement of the crowd. The film is an important document of the counterculture of the 1960s and is considered to be one of the greatest rock films ever made.

Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back (1967)

Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From D.A. Pennebaker, starring Bob Dylan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth, Joan Baez
Rated Not Rated

Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back is a 1967 documentary film directed by D.A. Pennebaker that follows Bob Dylan on his 1965 concert tour of the United Kingdom. The film features interviews with Dylan and his entourage, as well as live performances of some of his best-known songs, including "Subterranean Homesick Blues", "The Times They Are a-Changin'", and "Mr. Tambourine Man". The film provides an intimate look at Dylan, who was at the height of his fame and creativity, and shows him interacting with the press, fans, and other musicians, including Joan Baez, Alan Price, Donovan, and Alan Watts. The film also contains scenes of Dylan in London, Paris and Amsterdam, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the recording of his classic album, "Bringing It All Back Home". The film won the Grand Prix at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival and has been widely praised for its insight into Dylan's creative process.

Marley (2012)

Marley
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Kevin Macdonald, starring Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, Jimmy Cliff
Rated PG-13

Marley is a documentary directed by Kevin Macdonald that covers the life and career of Jamaican singer and songwriter Bob Marley. The film traces Marley's life from his early days in rural Jamaica, to his rise to international stardom as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. It also highlights the tremendous impact Marley had on Jamaica and the world, as he used his music to spread a message of unity, peace, and love. Interviews with Marley's family, friends, bandmates and collaborators, as well as archival footage, bring his legacy to life. Marley is a unique and intimate portrait of one of the most beloved and iconic figures in music history.

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

This Is Spinal Tap
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Rob Reiner, starring Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Kimberly Stringer
Rated R

This Is Spinal Tap is a 1984 mockumentary film directed by Rob Reiner. It follows the fictional British heavy metal band Spinal Tap on a tour of the United States and the UK. The film chronicles the misadventures of the band's lead singer, David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer). Throughout the tour, the band faces personal and professional issues, including strained relationships with their manager, Ian Faith (Tony Hendra), diminishing commercial success, and dwindling crowds. The band’s music is also parodied, with jokey lyrics and intentionally sloppy performances. Despite its low budget, This Is Spinal Tap earned critical acclaim and has become a cult classic.

The Blues Brothers (1980)

The Blues Brothers
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From John Landis, starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, John Candy
Rated R

The Blues Brothers is a 1980 action-comedy film directed by John Landis. It stars John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues, respectively, two brothers and criminal fugitives who set out on "a mission from God" to save the Catholic orphanage in which they were raised. With the help of their old bandmates, the brothers battle a corrupt state trooper, an angry mob of Nazis, and a "mysterious" woman from their past. Along the way, they perform in several iconic musical performances and cause a lot of mayhem. In the end, the brothers triumph and the orphanage is saved.

Almost Famous (2000)

Almost Famous
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Cameron Crowe, starring Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand
Rated R

Almost Famous is a 2000 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It tells the story of a teenage journalist writing for Rolling Stone magazine in the early 1970s and his tour with the fictitious rock band Stillwater. The film is semi-autobiographical, as Crowe himself was a teenage writer for Rolling Stone. The film follows William Miller, a 15-year-old who is hired by Rolling Stone to write a story on the band Stillwater while they tour the United States. Despite the age difference, Miller's enthusiasm and enthusiasm for the rock music scene impresses the band and they allow him to join them on the tour. Along the way, Miller learns to navigate the chaotic and competitive world of rock music, while also growing up and forming relationships with the band members, their manager, and a young groupie named Penny Lane. The film culminates in a memorable performance at the famous Fillmore East in New York City.

Gimme Shelter (1970)

Gimme Shelter
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, starring Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts
Rated GP

Gimme Shelter is a 1970 documentary film directed by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin. It follows the Rolling Stones and their crew on their 1969 tour of the United States. The film focuses on the famed band's notorious concert at Altamont, California, which was organized by the Hell's Angels. The chaotic and violent event was captured on film, and the resulting documentary explores the dark side of fame and the realities of the counterculture. With its unflinching look at the realities of life in the late 1960s, Gimme Shelter remains an important document of an era.

Walk the Line (2005)

Walk the Line
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From James Mangold, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick
Rated PG-13

Walk the Line is a biographical drama written and directed by James Mangold and starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. The film follows the life of legendary country singer Johnny Cash, from his early days growing up in Arkansas to his rise to fame as a singer and songwriter. Cash's tumultuous personal life, including his struggles with addiction, his multiple marriages, and his relationships with fellow musicians, is examined throughout the film. The film chronicles Cash's journey to becoming one of the greatest country music icons of all time, with Phoenix delivering an acclaimed performance as Cash. Reese Witherspoon also stars as June Carter, Cash's long-time collaborator and eventual wife. The film was a commercial and critical success, earning five Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Phoenix and Best Actress for Witherspoon.

Once (2007)

Once
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From John Carney, starring Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Hugh Walsh, Gerard Hendrick
Rated R

Once is a 2007 Irish musical romantic drama film written and directed by John Carney. The film stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová as two struggling musicians in Dublin, Ireland. The film follows the pair's budding relationship as they write, rehearse, and record music together. Along the way, they must face the hardships of their personal lives while still trying to make their music dreams a reality. Ultimately, they realize that their music cannot make them forget their troubles, but it can bring them joy and a way to express themselves. The film culminates in a powerful performance in the streets of Dublin where their music brings together the community and leads to a moment of revelation for the two protagonists.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)

Standing in the Shadows of Motown
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Paul Justman, starring Joe Hunter, Jack Ashford, Uriel Jones, Richard 'Pistol' Allen
Rated PG

Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a 2002 documentary film directed by Paul Justman. It tells the story of the all-black studio musicians known as the Funk Brothers, who played on many of the most successful Motown recordings of the 1960s and 1970s. The film features interviews with surviving members of the band, as well as archival footage, photographs, and live performances of their music. It also looks at their work as musicians, their place in the music industry, and their struggles with fame and recognition. In the end, the film celebrates their often-unheralded contributions to the Motown sound.

Fantasia (1940)

Fantasia
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen, starring Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Corey Burton
Rated G

Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney Productions. The film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski and performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Music critic and composer Deems Taylor acts as the host of the film. The film has a loose plot following Mickey Mouse, who is the apprentice of the sorcerer Yen Sid. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment of the film is the most popular segment and is based on the symphonic poem by Paul Dukas, which was inspired by a Goethe poem of the same name. The remaining segments, each set to a different piece of classical music, are as follows: "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" by Johann Sebastian Bach, "Nutcracker Suite" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice" by Paul Dukas, "Rite of Spring" by Igor Stravinsky, "Pastoral Symphony" by Ludwig van Beethoven, "Dance of the Hours" by Amilcare Ponchielli, "Night on Bald Mountain" by Modest Mussorgsky, and "Ave Maria" by Franz

Nashville (1975)

Nashville
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Robert Altman, starring Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Shelley Duvall
Rated R

Nashville is a 1975 darkly comedic drama film directed by Robert Altman. The film follows the interconnected lives of 24 characters during the week leading up to a political rally in the titular city of Nashville, Tennessee. It follows the lives of country music stars and locals as they interact with each other in various ways. The film touches on themes of politics, fame, and the nature of love while also exploring the vast cultural diversity of the city. Throughout the film, several different subplots unfold, including a rivalry between two popular singers, a political campaign, and a secret love affair. The film's ensemble cast includes Lily Tomlin, Keith Carradine, Henry Gibson, Ronee Blakley, Ned Beatty, and many more. Nashville was a critical and commercial success, earning numerous awards and nominations, and is now considered to be one of the greatest American films.

Dig! (2004)

Dig!
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Ondi Timoner, starring Anton Newcombe, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Joel Gion, Matt Hollywood
Rated R

Dig! is a documentary directed by Ondi Timoner which follows the rise and fall of two indie rock bands, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols. The film follows the bands over a seven year period, as they compete, collaborate, and ultimately struggle with success and fame. The documentary focuses largely on the relationship between the two bands, and the rivalry that develops between their frontmen, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor-Taylor. It is a complex relationship, as these two men are both deeply competitive and envious of one another’s success, yet also drawn to each other and mutually supportive in their creative endeavors. Ultimately, the film is both an inspiring and cautionary tale about the unpredictable nature of fame and success, and the difficult choices that musicians must make when pursuing their dreams.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, starring George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman
Rated PG-13

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Set in 1937 rural Mississippi during the Great Depression, the film follows a group of escaped convicts—Ulysses Everett McGill (George Clooney), Delmar O’Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson), and Pete Hogwallop (John Turturro)—as they embark on a quest to recover a hidden treasure. Along the way, they encounter a series of colorful characters, including a cyclops, a one-eyed Bible salesman (John Goodman), and a blind seer (Holly Hunter). They must also contend with the law, as they are pursued by a corrupt state prison warden (Daniel von Bargen), and the Ku Klux Klan (led by Michael Badalucco). Ultimately, the trio’s friendship is tested as they make their way back home.

Ray (2004)

Ray
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Taylor Hackford, starring Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell
Rated PG-13

Ray is a biographical drama film about the life of Ray Charles, the legendary musician. Directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Jamie Foxx in the titular role, the film follows Charles from his childhood days in Georgia, to his eventual rise to fame in his adult life. It delves into the many hardships Charles faced, including the death of his brother, blindness, and extreme poverty, as well as his struggles with drug addiction. His incredible journey of resilience, perseverance, and triumph is documented in the film, showing how he overcame all odds to become one of the world’s most beloved musicians. The film was critically acclaimed and went on to win multiple awards, including Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Sound Mixing. Ray is an inspiring and uplifting story of one man’s relentless pursuit of his dreams.

La Vie En Rose (2007)

La Vie En Rose
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Olivier Dahan, starring Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory, Emmanuelle Seigner
Rated PG-13

"La Vie En Rose" is a 2007 French-Belgian biographical musical drama directed by Olivier Dahan. The film tells the story of the life of French singer Édith Piaf, from her childhood in the slums of Paris in the 1920s, her rise to fame, and her eventual decline due to personal tragedy. The film stars Marion Cotillard as Édith Piaf, and Gérard Depardieu as her manager and lover. The film follows Piaf's life from her birth in the slums of Belleville, to her performances at the Moulin Rouge and Olympia Music Hall, and her struggles with addiction, depression, and health issues. Throughout the film, Piaf's music is featured prominently, with renditions of her most famous songs, including "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien", "La Vie En Rose", and "Hymne A L'Amour". The film received positive reviews upon its release and was praised for Cotillard's performance, winning her the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film also won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and the BAFTA Award for Best Makeup and Hair.

Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

Buena Vista Social Club
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Wim Wenders, starring Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Octavio Calderon
Rated G

Buena Vista Social Club is a 1999 documentary film directed by Wim Wenders. It chronicles the adventures of a group of veteran Cuban musicians who had been forgotten by the world until they were brought together by American guitarist Ry Cooder. The film follows the musicians as they travel to Amsterdam to record an album, and then to New York and finally to their home in Havana, Cuba. It also features interviews with the musicians, their family members, and other Cuban musicians. Throughout the documentary, the musicians share their stories, music, and talent, providing insight into the history of Cuban music, as well as its importance to Cuban culture. This film offers a rare glimpse into the vibrant culture of Cuba, and the extraordinary musicians who kept its music alive.

 



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