Path to fame: 20 films about musicians and singers

Go to the movies or a concert tonight? Why choose between options when you can brilliantly combine two in one! Since the advent of cinema, movies and music have gone hand in hand—and it’s not just about soundtracks. Celebrity biographies are an inexhaustible source for interesting scenarios. Films about singers and musicians are full of cool songs and exciting revelations about the profession and personal life.

Star Assistant (2020)

The novelty of the movie in the genre of musical melodrama will tell about a young girl Maggie – an assistant to the eccentric pop star Grace. The career of the pop diva is nearing its end, so the woman is increasingly taking out her anger on the assistant. Acquaintance with a talented musician David helps Maggie decide on a change of activity. Secretly from the eccentric Grace, the girl begins to cooperate with a gifted singer as a producer.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
The High Note

Genre:
Drama, Romance

Actors:
Dakota Johnson, Tracy Ellis Ross, Kelvin Harrison…

Country:
USA, UK, China

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.5

Age Limits :
12+


Rocketman (2019)

Biographical drama about Elton John from the author of “Bohemian Rhapsody” – one of the best films about popular music. And in the new musical biopic there will be many bright costumes and no less bright songs. The hits of the famous British artist are known to several generations, but few know what path the star had to go through. Modest provincial musician Reginald Dwight became a world-class singer, making his way to fame through serious life trials and failures.

Original title:
Rocketman

Genre:
Biography, music, musical, drama

Actors:
Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden …

Country:
UK, USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Judy (2019)

Judy Garland has been a favorite of millions since childhood, and her magical voice was recognized from the first minutes of sounding. A brilliantly played role in The Wizard of Oz opened any doors for the performer. Decades later, cheering fans are a thing of the past, the former celebrity barely makes ends meet, and her husband is suing for child custody. Judy makes a desperate effort to pull herself together and agrees to do a series of gigs in Britain.

Original title:
Judy

Genre:
Drama, romance, biography

Actors:
Rene Zellweger, Finn Wittrock, Jesse Buckley …

Country:
UK, France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Sound of Metal (2019)

A foreign film about musicians is worth watching for fans of dramatic plots. Ruben is a drummer in a rock band where his lover Lou sings. The guy had drug problems , but the love of music helped to overcome a dangerous addiction. All the plans of the couple collapse when Ruben ceases to distinguish sounds. The doctor will diagnose progressive hearing loss, and the drummer will have to get used to living in silence.

Original title:
Sound of Metal

Genre:
Drama, music

Actors:
Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Racy …

Country:
USA, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

The sensational Oscar-winning film based on real events tells about the creative development of the musical group Queen and its legendary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Farrukh Bulsara, a young art college student, gives up painting to devote himself entirely to singing. The guy plays in the group Smile, later renamed Queen. The vocalist takes a catchy pseudonym to match the charisma, voice and incredible energy.

Original title:
Bohemian Rhapsody

Genre:
Biography, music, drama

Actors:
Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilim Lee …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Compromising evidence (2018)

A biographical film about the musical group Motley Crew is based on a book written by members of the legendary quartet. Four losers dream of becoming famous, but they do not believe in their own strength. When choosing a stage image, the guys decide to shock the audience, so they discard modest options. Tight outfits, long hair, unusual makeup – this is how the scandalous four are remembered.

Original title:
The Dirt

Genre:
Music, biography, comedy, drama

Actors:
Douglas Booth, Ivan Rheon, Machine Gun Kelly, Daniel Webber …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
18+


A Star Is Born (2018)

Famous rock musician Jack Maine is experiencing a stagnant career due to addiction to alcohol. Once in a bar, a man meets the beautiful Ellie, who writes songs herself, but is afraid to perform with them. The girl is sure that she is not good enough for the scene, and Jack convinces her of the opposite. As debutante Ellie climbs the musical Olympus, her patron loses control of his own life. The film about the singer is an Oscar-winning hymn to faith in one’s own strengths and talent.

Original title:
A Star Is Born

Genre:
Melodrama, music, drama

Actors:
Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Voice of the Streets (2015)

Top of the list is a highly rated American drama about suburban rebels. Five guys live in a dangerous criminal area, where they are taught from childhood to the lack of life prospects. Struggling with hopelessness, brave guys create a group and choose an unusual musical direction. NWA is not just hip-hop, but the story of a legendary movement that broke out of the country.

Original title:
Straight Outta Compton

Genre:
Drama, biography, history, music

Actors:
O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Obsession (2013)

In the top films about musicians, the drama about fanatical devotion to the chosen path deserved the best reviews from the audience. Andrew is a talented drummer who dreams of winning the hearts of millions of fans. The guy is noticed by the conductor of the famous orchestra, but he requires from the ward not only the standard diligence and dedication. Music lessons turn into an obsession for Andrew, and bloody calluses on his hands become a harsh reality.

Original Title :
Whiplash

Genre:
Drama, Music

Actors:
Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Vysotsky. Thank you for being alive (2011)

The Russian film will show a few days in the life of the legendary poet, musician and actor Vladimir Vysotsky. In the summer of 1979, the most popular singer in the country, who does not have official recognition, tours around Uzbekistan. At the same time, intelligence officers are planning a conspiracy that will help put an end to the career of a people’s idol forever. Fate disposes differently, giving the freethinker a chance for rebirth.

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Sergey Bezrukov, Oksana Akinshina, Andrey Smolyakov, Andrey Panin, Ivan Urgant …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Kill Bono (2010)

English cinema about musicians will take viewers to the 80s of the last century. Teenager Paul Hewson builds a high school team whose intros are wildly successful. The McCormick brothers are trying to outshine their friend, but their music does not resonate with the audience. Years later, Paul changed his name to Bono, became the leader of the legendary U2 group, and his former classmates were left far behind. The McCormicks take a desperate step to put an end to the famous singer forever.

Original title:
Killing Bono

Genre:
Comedy, music

Actors:
Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan, Krysten Ritter …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Rock Wave (2009)

A group of rebels love sex, drugs and good songs, but they hate the current state of affairs on the radio. In the second half of the 60s, British rock music is not recognized by the authorities, so DJs are looking for a way out of the situation. They load the equipment onto the ship, go to sea – and from there they broadcast forbidden melodies. While the people are listening to new music, officials are rushing about in search of a legal method to put the rebels out of the game.

Original title:
The Boat That Rocked

Genre:
Drama, comedy, music

Actors:
Tom Sturridge, Bill Nighy, Philip Seymour Hoffman…

Country:
UK, France, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.4

Age limit:
16+


Become John Lennon (2009)

A movie about music and the idol of British youth covers the childhood and youth of the Beatles member. John Lennon attends school, fools around with friends, experiences first love and dreams of a stage. The boy’s aunt supports his nephew’s creative aspirations and gives him a guitar. John is afraid that castles in the air will collapse one day, and at this moment an incredible event intervenes in fate.

Original title:
Nowhere Boy

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography, music

Actors:
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Threlfall …

Country:
UK, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Soloist (2009)

The successful career of cellist Nathaniel Ayers is interrupted after a terrible diagnosis. Schizophrenia makes it difficult to fully engage in music, and the virtuoso’s health deteriorates over time. A well-known journalist accidentally learns about a homeless musician and decides to write a series of articles about Nathaniel. Having imbued with the difficult fate of the cellist, the correspondent sincerely wants to help Ayers return to normal life.

Original title:
The Soloist

Genre:
Drama, biography, music

Actors:
Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Keener …

Country:
UK, France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Life in Pink (2007)

In the top films about musicians, one of the first places is occupied by the life story of Edith Piaf. The daughter of an acrobat-loser and an actress-beggar had an unenviable fate, but an amazing talent opened the door to the world of fame and fortune for the girl. Street singing brought the first success and attention of fans, and among the onlookers were influential people in musical circles. With each performance already on the Paris stage, the singer’s magical voice sounded more and more confident in order to win the hearts of listeners around the world in the future.

Original title:
La môme

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography, music

Actors:
Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testu, Pascal Greggory…

Country:
France, Great Britain, Czech Republic

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


I’m Not There (2007)

Six stories tell about Bob Dylan, where he appears before the audience in various images. A talented artist, an eccentric rebel, a famous poet, an incorrigible romantic, a brave fighter for justice and an experimental musician – all this was combined by the leader of the American anti-war generation. In 2016, the musical legend was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for the poetic lyrics to the songs.

Original title:
I’m Not There

Genre:
Biography, Music, Western, Drama

Actors:
Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Bruce Greenwood, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore…

Country:
Germany, Canada, USA, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Walk the Line (2005)

The film about the great musician and composer is dedicated to the life of country singer Johnny Cash. The youth of the future star was overshadowed by the death of his older brother, on whom his parents had high hopes. The father considered Johnny a useless son, so the guy left his home early. In the 50s, Cash released his first hit and went on a tour of America along with famous singers. Among the festival participants was young June Carter, Johnny’s future wife and muse.

Original title:
Walk the Line

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography, music

Actors:
Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick …

Country:
USA, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Ray (2004)

The events of the film cover an important period in the life of a famous blues performer and pianist, who faced many trials. Charles grew up without a father, his family lived in poverty. The death of a brother, deterioration of vision up to blindness, forced separation from his mother, education in a boarding school for the disabled – not the whole list of hardships experienced. The hardships only tempered the character of the musician – the greatest pop singer of the 20th century with an incredibly powerful vocal.

Original title:
Ray

Genre:
Drama, biography, music

Actors:
Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
12+


8 Mile (2002)

In the mid-90s, Detroit turned into a dying city, where chaos reigned on the streets amid mass unemployment. A conflict flares up between the black and white population, and the 8 Mile highway becomes a symbolic border. The tension in the ranks of the poor found an outlet in creativity, which gave rise to rap culture. Traditionally, recitative was considered the prerogative of African Americans, but white teenager Jimmy breaks the stereotypes.

Original title:
8 Mile

Genre:
Drama, music

Actors:
Eminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Almost Famous (2000)

An ordinary American boy William accidentally gets a job as a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine and receives his first responsible task. The young man goes on a musical tour with a rock band, where his first life discoveries await him. Raging hormones, ardent female fans and dizzying adventures make the story of William Miller growing up in the distant 70s truly fascinating.

Original Title :
Almost Famous

Genre:
Drama, Comedy, Adventure, Music

Actors:
Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudup, Francis McDormand, Kate Hudson…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.9

Age Limits :
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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