Music based movies are popular with just about any music fan.
6 Great Music-Based Movies
The Blues Brothers
The classic ‘will they make enough money in time to save the local service’ movie, “The Blues Brothers” is a classic offering for this genre, managing to combine action, comedy and music for a perfect amalgamation. It’s a great premise and is accompanied by a blur of blues to go hand in hand with the brothers themselves; with some of the truly legendary performers of our time, like Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Ray Charles. This alongside the brothers’ real band means it’s a blues lovers dream and really satisfies the urges for the music, as well as being extremely funny and obviously emerging from an “SNL” sketch.
Saturday Night Fever
Travolta showed the world he had more in him than just “Grease!”, as he shimmied his way onto the dancefloor in one of the Seventies’ most seminal movies. With the Gibb brothers of the Bee Gees behind most of the soundtrack, the event that was “Saturday Night Fever” quickly saw the world flock to their own local discotheques to replicate the moves seen in this movie. It was completely ahead of its time and started a cultural movement like nothing anyone had seen before. The story itself does hold its own in amongst its classic soundtrack, too, as Travolta’s character lives for the weekend and the draw of the disco to liven up his boring old day-to-day life, a tale lots of people can resonate with.
This is Spinal Tap
The film which really kick-started the term ‘mockumentery’, “This is Spinal Tap” was pretty ground-breaking in the comedic musical angle, setting the foundations for the likes of Tenacious D and The Flight of the Conchords and the like to follow in their footsteps. But no, this masterpiece, which gained traction over the years as fans took hold of the subtle jokes and reusable material which entertained many for years. Turn it up to 11, sit back and enjoy this straight up music comedy!
Straight Outta Compton
As important a film as the original work of the real-life NWA, “Straight Outta Compton” is one of the films of the year and is a seminal piece of work, managing to accurately bring the works to the big screen, alongside new music from the one and only Dr Dre, created specifically for the movie itself. “Compton” gripped the ears of rap aficionados around the world when the brand new LP dropped earlier this summer, and was as integral a part to the successful nature of the film, which made an exceptional $56m in its opening weekend alone domestically, launching the film careers of a whole new generation of black actors, among them O Shea Jackson Jr (Ice Cube’s very own offspring), Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell, many of whom have their next projects signed up and planned out already thanks to 2015’s summer hit.
A gripping, undiluted biopic of one of music’s most enigmatic, mysterious figures, Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, up until his suicide at the age of just 23 years. Lead actor Sam Riley reignites Curtis’ eery vocals in such a strong way that the music in this film almost comes across as the real deal, recorded during the band’s short, but stunning stretch of popularity. The choice of photographer and director Anton Corbijn, a man who had a very close relationship with the band in their heyday, to shoot in black and white reflects the darkened mood of the band itself and the tragic circumstances that led to death. Once again though, while the script is a mixture of darkness in Curtis himself and more light-heartedness coming from his bandmates and management, the music is the star with hits like “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and “Atmosphere” present, this is a biopic with a difference and something to truly savour.
The film that set up a potential movie career that never really gained traction for one of the most controversial rappers of all-time Eminem, “8 Mile” certainly is a moving and very touching drama. The aforementioned star proves here that he really can act and shines in this semi-autobiographical tale of a rapper struggling with many aspects of his life, many of which co-existed with the man himself at the time, from drink and drugs to family issues which were supposedly rife with Marshall. Alongside the harrowing severity of the drama, the film also boasts an excellent soundtrack, a common thread throughout the majority of these picks, and spawned the visceral “Lose Yourself”, which provided one of recent film’s jaw-dropping moments in the rap battle that accompanied it.
Let us know if there’s any more movies missed from this list. Check out our seven defining movie soundtracks list too!