Rock and roll has a long history and has been one of the most popular genres of music since its invention. Thankfully, this has spawned a slew of great movies as well. Still, it’s hard to say what exactly makes a good “rock” movie.
Some viewers focus on the movie itself and criticize the acting and directing etc. Others put more emphasis on the music, the soundtrack of the film and how the music is implemented in the film. There have been a lot of great rock music movies, but these are the best of the best.
ten Yesterday (2019): 6.8
Yesterday has an exciting and unique concept that needs to be explored further. Himesh Patel plays Jack Malik, a musician who finds himself in an alternate reality in which the Beatles do not exist. Realizing that he could mine this for millions, Jack begins to perform Beatles songs as his own.
Patel works wonderfully alongside Lily James, and the song has a naturally killer soundtrack containing Beatles classics like “Eleanor Rigby”, “Let It Be”, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Help”. It’s a must-have watch for any self-respecting Beatles fan.
9 Tenacious D in Fate’s Choice (2006): 6.8
Jack Black was on fire throughout the 2000s, making a name for himself as both an actor and a musician. Alongside Kyle Gass, Black represents half of Tenacious D, a comedy rock band that has been performing since the early 90s. The choice of fate follows the group’s search for a special plectrum imbued with supernatural powers.
This is obviously not to be taken very seriously, and Black and Gass prove to be charismatic goofballs who are more than capable of carrying a movie.
8 I’m not here (2007): 6.9
2007 I am not here is best known for the stunning transformation of Cate Blanchett, a beloved actress who has gone unrecognizable as rock icon Bob Dylan. I am not here is a weird movie, and not easy to categorize.
The film is a loving tribute to Dylan’s life and performative art, and six different actors are used to portray distinctive aspects of his personality and career. Blanchett’s performance was widely praised, playing the controversial character of Dylan in the mid-1960s in which he experimented with electric music and toured with The Hawks.
7 Wayne’s World (1992): 7.0
Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar are among the most famous incarnations of rock culture. The famous poster of Wayne’s world shows Wayne holding a guitar and Garth a pair of drumsticks, and Garth wears rock band t-shirts for most of the movie.
The film also features what might be Queen’s most famous use of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, as Wayne and his friends race to the song in their battered car. Few rock comedies are as good or as famous as Wayne’s world.
6 School of Rock (2003): 7.1
Dewey Finn could very well be Jack Black’s best role in movies, and that says a lot. Rock school is a great rock comedy, which follows an unemployed musician who manipulates a class of children into creating a rock band.
The film is well written and directed, but Black is the undeniable star of the show, showing off all of his goofy ways while charming children and adults alike. It also contains an obvious affinity and love for the rock genre, and few fans will complain about the multitude of classic hits on offer.
5 Boy from Nowhere (2009): 7.1
Considering the Beatles’ legacy, it may be surprising how few films have been made about their history. Nowhere Boy is one of the few (and arguably the best), about the teenage years of John Lennon and the eventual creation of his world-famous group.
As the story takes place before The Beatles hit home, the film lacks most of the band’s biggest hits. However, it contains a host of classic 50s rock and roll songs, and Aaron Johnson and Thomas Sangster prove to be leading figures as John Lennon and Paul McCartney, respectively.
4 The Doors (1991): 7.2
The Doors are one of the most popular rock bands of all time, their name spanning the decades with timeless hits like “Light My Fire”, “The End” and “Break On Through (to the Other Side.) “Their self-titled debut album is one of the most beloved rock albums in musical history.
It is therefore normal that they received a biopic in 1991. With Val Kilmer in the role of Jim Morrison, The doors was not commercially successful, but Kilmer received much praise for his performance as one of rock’s foremost figures.
3 Rocketman (2019): 7.3
Many films feature Elton John’s music, but the international icon never received a biopic until 2019 Rocket man. The film is a loving tribute to John’s career, with a host of fantastic recreations of his most iconic costumes and a number of great musical numbers.
The movie contains all the hits including “Saturday Night’s Alright”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Crocodile Rock” and “Rocket Man”, among countless others, some of the best uses of Elton John songs in a movie. Also noteworthy is Taron Egerton’s nuanced performance, skillfully blending John’s extravagant spectacle with softer reality.
2 Bohemian Rhapsody (2018): 7.9
The biopic that everyone was waiting for, Bohemian Rhapsody covers both Freddie Mercury’s private life and Queen’s career. The biggest aspects of this film are its musical numbers (containing some of the most iconic rock songs ever written) and Rami Malek’s main performance as Mercury.
But what’s interesting about this movie is the dichotomy between the critics and the general public. Critics didn’t tend to care and he only won 60% on Rotten tomatoes), but the general public loved it, judging by the 7.9 rating on IMDb and $ 900 million in gross profit.
1 Almost Famous (2000): 7.9
Perhaps the most famous “rock music movie” ever made, Almost known was released with immense success in the fall of 2000. A fantastic coming-of-age comedy-drama, the story follows a young writer for Rolling Stone who begins a tour with a rock band called Stillwater. With them, he begins to lovingly interact with a groupie named Penny Lane.
The film is impeccably directed, earning Oscar nominations for its acting (nominations for Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand), editing, and writing (his only victory). This could very well be Cameron Crowe’s mature masterpiece.
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