Here's 11 of the best movies about rock and roll. This is not a definitive list.
There are simply way too many to count. So stop your whining and get to reading.
Control is the true life story of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. The film brings one of the most realistic representations of actors playing live music to the screen with stunning detail. That's no small feat. Most films like this look over stylized and too dramatized when it comes to the performance end of things. The director of Control had a firm grasp on how to recreate the era with actors doing their best to make the live music scenes as real as possible. Actor Sam Riley adopts the persona of Curtis succinctly as director Anton Corbijn made this his best feature to date.
The Commitments brought rock and roll back to the cinema with brash drunken humor and a return to the classic soul sound......with an Irish twist. This movie defined a whole year of nonstop soundtrack playback and drove my short lived interest in the songs they covered in the movie. To this day, The Commitments remains a stand out rock and roll drama that has a true sense about what it means to be in a band and how easily things can change in an instant. If you've never seen it, you should consider finding a copy and turning the volume all the way up because this movie rocks.
The rivalry between the Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols is chronicled in this revealing look at two bands that were on the steady incline to fame. Jonestown singer Anton Newcombe's drug addled behavior, hatred/fear of success, and disregard for his own band members makes DIG! my favorite rock and roll documentary of all time. The movie is like a fatal tour bus crash. You can't peel your eyes off the screen when enjoying the annoying and jaw dropping antics of Newcombe's strange and eccentric behavior. Drugs be damned!!! Newcombe is a highly talented songwriter that is definitely his own worst enemy. DIG! captures that and more as he struggles to deal with The Dandy Warhol's minor successes and his own addiction issues.
La Bamba hit screens in 1987 igniting interest in the Richie Valens hits catalog and sparked a new found love for the teenager's dedication to the craft of rock and roll. From numerous sources, this is a relatively true tale of how things went down. La Bamba didn't over dramatize the story and kept the Valens family in their thoughts as they made a movie about a young talent gone way too soon. The soundtrack album went 2 times platinum with a new recording of the title track by Los Lobos. This movie rocked my middle school years.
For all intents and purposes, this movie is a fictional account of The Doors rise to fame but its still a fun watch that takes us back to a time when drugs were cool and Andy Warhol ruled the art world. Val Kilmer's take on Jim Morrison was a spot on impression that led this movie to the hallucinogenic heights of rock and roll dramatization as we got a first hand look at the meteoric rise and fall of an American legend and one of the most revered bands in the history of rock and roll. Oliver Stone took a lot of liberties with the story but its still one of the best biographical rock films to date even with its twisted history and altered characterizations.
Eddie and The Cruisers
An absolutely cheesy movie about fictional Eddie Wilson blew people away in the eighties with a kick ass soundtrack and a story that was inspired by post death Elvis Presley sightings. Eddie and the Cruisers was high on melodrama and predictable mystery elements but brought some awesome faked performance footage and a great rock soundtrack to theaters. In 1989, fans were given the critically shredded Eddie Lives sequel. All corniness aside, they're both enjoyable rock and roll movies.
A stellar cast and a phenomenal soundtrack make Almost Famous a stand out flick when it comes to rock and roll. An aspiring young journalist has a chance to tour with the fictional band Stillwater as he pays his dues and comes of age aboard a tour bus with a super hot and sexually charged Kate Hudson. What on earth is there to complain about? The Tiny Dancer scene is an iconic moment that still resonates with audiences to this day. Whenever you mention Almost Famous, that is the point of reference that everyone remembers. Now sing along.........
The Buddy Holly Story
The Buddy Holly Story made Gary Busey a star and is still one of THE best straightforward rock biopics ever made. It's been years since I've seen the movie but I remember this being a spot on role for Busey when he was still a little bit sane. For years to come, The Buddy Holly Story would be the building blocks by which biographical films about rock stars would be made (and rightly so). The Buddy Holly Story has a top tier soundtrack and sticks to the facts instead of over dramatizing this much revered guitarist and star.
The Blues Brothers
Does this even need an explanation? The Blues Brothers is sheer comedic perfection crossed with a legendary comedic duo and a soundtrack that makes me want to get up and boogie just thinking about it. To say The Blues Brothers is just a classic would be a vast understatement. This movie about a mission from god changed lives, altered the comedy world forever, and to this day still makes tons of money off merchandising and royalties. A supporting cast featuring Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, James Brown, and Ray Charles makes The Blues Brothers a rock and roll enthusiast's wet dream. The sequel.....not so much.
Pink Floyd: The Wall
Based on the original recording of the band's The Wall album, this release gave film and music fans alike something they had not seen before: a mind melding excursion in to the depths of a rock and roll genius.Pink's descent into madness and isolation is chronicled in Pink Floyd: The Wall with precision and total dedication while creating a world in which rabid fans could enjoy the spectacular soundtrack and Geldof's transcendent performance as the title character. This movie stands the test of time and is always mentioned when discussing great rock and roll movies.
This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap is the all time champ when it comes to satirical documentary style comedies about rock and roll. This movie stands the test of time with its unforgettable characters and totally outrageous situations. Honestly, this is one of the only movies I've seen nearly as many times as The Empire Strikes Back. The film plays on real life rock and roll attitudes while it pokes fun at every thing to do with the big business end of touring and recording albums. If you've never seen this one, you're missing out on some legendary comedians in their prime. Watch it today.
What would you include in the list? Comment below....