movies about music or musicians

Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by nwhoopfan, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. nwhoopfan

    nwhoopfan hopeless West Coast homer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    3,990
    Some of these have come up in other threads, but there's gotta be tons of 'em. I'm not much into musicals, so I'll leave those for somebody else. Also plenty of documentaries/biopics about actual musicians, but I'll skip that too.

    Most of these are dramas. A few comedies. Music might be central or it might be more on the periphery. I think in just about all of them the actors do their own singing, some of them also are really playing their instruments. I can appreciate that authenticity, even if they don't have great singing voices they are at least passable.

    Begin Again (great performances and symbiotic relationship between Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley)

    Sing Street (same director as above)

    Rudderless (interesting dynamic between Billy Crudup and Anton Yelchin)

    One More Time (Christopher Walken as a way over the hill, completely non self-aware crooner and Amber Heard as his estranged daughter; also a good performance by Oliver Platt as the family attorney/friend)

    A Late Quartet (a bit melodramatic, but good performances by Christopher Walken, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Imogen Poots)

    You're Not You (a bit of a stretch, but it does have a struggling songwriter who's making a mess of her life and finally finds something worth caring about; great performance by Emmy Rossum)

    Pitch Perfect (silly but fun and endearing ensemble comedy; sequel was not as good and third one looks like it might be a trainwreck)

    Band Aid (dramedy that was more drama than comedy; a bit uneven but I'll give lots of credit to Zoe Lister-Jones for writing, producing, directing, starring and cowriting all the songs, she must've poured her heart into this film)

    Blink (thriller featuring some cool Celtic/rock music and Madeleine Stowe)

    The New Guy (had to pick at least one movie featuring Zooey Deschanel singing, she's got a great voice; this was a goofy teen comedy but it was fairly fun)

    Almost Famous (several great performances and the fictitious band sounds good)

    Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (fake biopic featuring John C. Reilly; hit and miss but has its funny parts; I think mostly based on Johnny Cash but it takes swipes at plenty of other famous musicians)

    This is Spinal Tap (popularized the mockumentary; "our amps go up to 11")

    Josey and the Pussycats (this one got trashed, but it's actually a pretty decent satire about consumerism and following trends; the songs from the band are actually halfway decent send ups of bubble gum pop; probably the best part is the fake boy band at the beginning that is absolutely spot on)

    Roadies (a tv series, not a movie; critics hated it and it was cancelled after 1 season, but I loved it; great ensemble cast, numerous cameos from real musicians, Imogen Poots stole the show)


    I know I listed quite a few, but there's still tons more.
     
  2. nwhoopfan

    nwhoopfan hopeless West Coast homer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    3,990
    Thought of a few more.

    Bandslam (okay, kinda cheesy, but it has heart; Aly Michalka and Vanessa Hudgens are both Disney kids that grew up singing and acting, so it's not a stretch for them)

    Grace Unplugged (Aly's younger sister AJ plays a pastor's daughter who goes astray chasing the bright lights trying to start a musical career)

    Get Over It (more cheese, but I love it; delusional high school drama department head directs musical adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, much hijinx ensues; good young cast at the time--Ben Foster, Kirsten Dunst, Mila Kunis, Colin Hanks, Zoe Saldana, some older established talent and several musical personalities including Sisqo and Vitamin C that have completed disappeared since then)

    If I Stay (Chloe Grace Moretz is a cellist and her boyfriend is the front man for an up and coming local band in Portland, OR)
     
  3. nwhoopfan

    nwhoopfan hopeless West Coast homer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    3,990
    O Brother Where Art Thou (the Soggy Bottom Boys!; movie and soundtrack played a big role in sparking a folk/roots music revival)
     
    CardiacAndre7 and Chuck like this.
  4. G0UCONN

    G0UCONN

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    The Commitments was a terrific movie.
     
  5. meyers7

    meyers7 Smarty Pants

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    17,759
    Likes Received:
    16,469
    Blues Brothers

    Amadeus
     
    lne001, huskeynut, HuskyHawk and 2 others like this.
  6. G0UCONN

    G0UCONN

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    Two real good ones.
     
  7. 8893

    8893 Curiouser

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15,816
    Likes Received:
    32,328
  8. Dogdeacon

    Dogdeacon

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,699
    Likes Received:
    1,634
    OT but I've never sat thru a Beatles movie. Are they dated or still watchable if you weren't around for their actual time together?
     
  9. 8893

    8893 Curiouser

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15,816
    Likes Received:
    32,328
    I love them, but I love the Beatles and pretty much everything to do with them. Very smart, very funny, very irreverent and very aware.
     
  10. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk Hoping to see something that looks like basketball

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Messages:
    11,255
    Likes Received:
    11,524
    The Commitments is a classic. Alan Parker often integrates music. He did Fame and The Wall as well.

    I’ll add The Last Waltz.
     
    CardiacAndre7, Dogdeacon and G0UCONN like this.
  11. 8893

    8893 Curiouser

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15,816
    Likes Received:
    32,328
    It's not a movie about music or musicians, but it's one of my favorite scenes of all time from one of my favorite movies of all time, which captures the essence of music for me more effectively than anything else (especially when combined with the scene that precedes it):

     
    History Geek and nwhoopfan like this.
  12. billythekid

    billythekid

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    369
    Since you included a TV series, I'd add Mozart In the Jungle on Amazon. Fun show about a orchestra in NYC with great music.
     
  13. dbmill

    dbmill

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,340
    Likes Received:
    2,918
    Oh Brother and Blues Brothers are both very infectious. I like them both quite a bit, and have seen them both a bunch of times.
     
  14. intlzncster

    intlzncster tapped out ya'll

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    21,836
    Likes Received:
    26,135
    Not quite 'musicians' per se, but Duets was surprisingly good.

    The great Footloose.

    The highly, highly underrated Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

    School of Rock
    High Fidelity
    Empire Records
    8 Mile
    (borders on biopic but is technically fiction)
    The Wall (Pink Floyd) probably qualifies, as the lead character is a musician dealing with his demons.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
    G0UCONN likes this.
  15. Mano

    Mano

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    3,790
    The Beat That My Heart Skipped - Romain Duris is a great french actor and the lead in one of my favorite films, L'Auberge Espagnole, and in this he was again quite good playing a hitman/thug who wants to break away from the life and go after a missed career as a concert pianist.

    Inside Llewyn Davis - Coen Bros. movie that started Oscar Isaac's career. I remember liking it at the time but not much else about it.

    Crazy Heart - Never seen it but supposed to be good. I think Bridges finally won for this one.

    Doors, Ray, Walk the Line - They were all kind of ok, never did get the love for the last two. Ok movies for sure but I feel sour about them thinking here and now.

    Straight Outta Compton - Pretty darn good and snappy biopic about NWA.

    Across the Universe - Tried so hard to be emotionally manipulative but at least it was visually sumptuous. Decent use of Beatles music anyway.
     
    8893 and G0UCONN like this.
  16. Bliss

    Bliss Mizzou Ballyhoo

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    496
     
    G0UCONN and meyers7 like this.
  17. storrsroars

    storrsroars Exiled in Pittsburgh

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    8,050
    Likes Received:
    10,068
    I agree about those movies not being great, with the difference being I never got the love for the first listed.

    I probably won't watch 95% of the film's listed so far as I usually find "struggling artistic genius" films quite tedious.

    While not actually about musicians, I do enjoy Pirate Radio.

    I'll add 24 Hour Party People, which can be difficult to understand, but as a Happy Mondays/Black Grape fan, seeing the trainwreck that is Shaun Ryder documented on film drew me in.
     
  18. vtmikeb

    vtmikeb

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    303
    Pirate Radio
     
  19. Deepster

    Deepster

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,945
    Likes Received:
    5,292
    I love Walk the Line. One of my sneaky under the radar recommendations to people.

    Are we including documentaries here? The OP was vague on if we "could" include them so I'll suggest The Amy Winehouse documentary. A++.
     
    8893 likes this.
  20. Chuck

    Chuck

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    1,010
    As someone that wished he had more musical talent, I'm a sucker for a music movie. I'm not counting musicals because they are usually not about music or musicians. Some others not mentioned above off the top of my head:

    Eddie and the Cruisers. More Springsteen than some Springsteen.

    Mr. Holland's Opus. I teared up.

    Pump Up the Volume. Not great, but strong soundtrack.

    Mighty Wind. The folk music version of Spinal Tap?

    Crossroads. Machio is the best guitarist of a generation!

    Light of Day. Joan Jett and MJ Fox doing Springsteen? Had to be good.

    Satisfaction (Justine Bateman). Sooo bad, but so 80's.

    Rocky Horror Picture Show. May not fit if you treat it as a musical, but it was really about the music.

    Purple Rain. Loved Morris Day and The Time (and Apollonia).

    Pitch Perfect. The first one was pretty damn funny in my opinion.
     
    8893 and G0UCONN like this.
  21. nwhoopfan

    nwhoopfan hopeless West Coast homer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    3,990
    Sorry for vagueness. Documentaries are good, I just didn't include any in my list.
     
  22. dbmill

    dbmill

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,340
    Likes Received:
    2,918
    My wife and I are Johnny Cash fans, so we saw Walk the Line when it was first released. I have not seen it since, but I do recall that it was a very solid movie. Also thought Reece Witherspoon was quite good in her Oscar winning performance as June Carter Cash.
     
    8893 likes this.
  23. dbmill

    dbmill

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,340
    Likes Received:
    2,918
    Considering that Mighty Wind was made by many of the same people involved in the making of Spinal Tap, that would be a fair assessment. Mighty Wind is certainly a solid mockumentary and well worth seeing, but it is not quite on the same level as Spinal Tap or Best in Show.
     
    8893 likes this.
  24. Husky25

    Husky25 Dink & Dunk beat the Greatest Show on Turf.

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    11,632
    Likes Received:
    7,822
    Jersey Boys-a virtually scene by scene recreation of the play.

    The Temptations
     
  25. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar Shut Up Carl.

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    17,552
    Likes Received:
    12,325
    Coal Miner’s Daughter
     
    dbmill likes this.