In the mood for a Rock-N-Roll movie marathon? We’ve got you covered with the best movies about rock bands. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock, metal, or punk, there’s a movie on this list for everyone. From biopics to documentaries, these movies about rock bands will have you shredding an air guitar in no time. So queue up your television and get ready to rock out!
10 Best Movies about Rock Bands
1. The Runaways
2. The Doors
3. Almost Famous
4. Gimmie Shelter
5. This is Spinal Tap
8. U2 3D
9. Bohemian Rhapsody
10. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
11. The Dirt (Bonus Pick)
Now that we shared our list of the best movies about rock bands we want to dive into more details about each one so you can choose which one to watch first. All of these films about rock n’ roll are perfect for any rock fan who’s looking to get their fix.
First up in our list of movies about rock bands, we have “The Runaways” which is a biographical drama about the all-girl rock band of the same name. If you’re looking for an inspiring story about female empowerment and following your dreams, this is the movie for you. The Runaways stars Dakota Fanning as lead singer Cherie Currie and Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett. The film also features Stella Maeve, Scott Porter, Alia Shawkat, and Michael Shannon.
If you’re in the mood for a classic, then you can’t go wrong with “The Doors”. This Oliver Stone-directed film chronicles the rise and fall of one of the most influential bands of the 1960s. From Jim Morrison’s days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971. The Doors stars Val Kilmer as lead singer Jim Morrison, Kyle MacLachlan as keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Frank Whaley as drummer John Densmore, and Meg Ryan as Morrison’s girlfriend Pamela Courson.
Next on our list is “Almost Famous”. This coming-of-age tale follows a teenage journalist who gets the opportunity to go on tour with an up-and-coming rock band. It’s funny, heartwarming, and will make you want to headbang along to some classic tunes. Almost Famous stars Patrick Fugit as William Miller, Frances McDormand as Elaine Miller, Billy Crudup as Russell Hammond, and Kate Hudson as Penny Lane.
For something a little more gritty check out “Gimme Shelter”. This documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their 1969 US tour, which was marred by the tragedy at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival. A 21- year old Hell’s Angel named Alan Passaro stabbed and killed an 18-year-old named Meredith Hunter who had a gun and was just 20 feet in front of the stage. Unaware of what was happening the Rolling Stones completed their set. It’s a gripping look at the dark side of the rock and roll lifestyle, It ended up becoming the ultimate rock & roll horror movie.
You cant put together a list of the best movies about rock bands and not include “This Is Spinal Tap”. “This Is Spinal Tap” shines a light on the self-contained universe of a metal band struggling to get back on the charts. This hilarious mockumentary follows a fictional British metal band as they attempt to make a comeback in America. If you want to laugh until you cry, this is the movie for you.
“Control” was released in 2007 and is a must-see. This biographical drama chronicles the life of Ian Curtis, lead singer of the post-punk band Joy Division. It takes a deeper look at the band’s rise to fame in the late 1970s, as well as Curtis’ struggles with mental illness. Control stars Sam Riley as Ian Curtis, Samantha Morton as Deborah Curtis, and Alexandra Maria Lara as Annik Honoré.
For something a little different, check out “Dig!”. This documentary follows two rival bands – The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols – as they navigate the ups and downs of the music industry. It’s a fascinating look at the alternative rock scene in the 1990s, especially if you’re looking for an insider’s view of what it’s really like to be in a band, this is the movie for you.
It’s no doubt that “U2 3D” made our list of movies about rock bands. This concert film captures the Irish rock band U2 during their Vertigo Tour in 2005-2006. If you’re a fan of the band, or just want to experience what it’s like to see them live, this is the movie for you. U2 3D is an immersive experience that will leave you feeling like you were right there in the audience.
Is this real life? Is this just fantasy? If you finished the lyrics then you probably know the movie is Bohemian Rhapsody. Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 biographical drama film about the prolific Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the British rock band Queen. The film follows Mercury’s life from his time as a student at Ealing Art College in London to his final days with Queen. It also covers the band’s most iconic moments, including their performance at Live Aid in 1985. Bohemian Rhapsody stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, Ben Hardy as drummer Roger Taylor, Gwilym Lee as guitarist Brian May, and Joseph Mazzello as bassist John Deacon.
As an added bonus, this film had the benefit of close consultation with guitarist Brian May and the band’s surviving members. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $900 million at the box office and winning several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor for Rami Malek. This is a must-see on our list of movies about rock bands.
Last, we have “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”. You can’t think of movies about rock bands and not think of Metallica. This documentary follows legendary metal band Metallica as they navigate the creative process behind their eighth studio album, “St. Anger”. If you’re a die-hard Metallica fan like many people are then you won’t want to miss this one. But even if you’re not, it’s still a fascinating look at the inner workings of one of the biggest bands in the world. “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster” stars James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo.
Just when you thought we were done, we have a bonus pick that we’ve added to our list of movies about rock bands. This is for anyone who loves good music but if you happen to be an 80’s metal music fan, this one is a must-see.
The Dirt is a 2019 biographical drama film about the rise of the American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe. The film is based on the 2001 best-selling autobiography of the same name by members Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, and Nikki Sixx. It chronicles the band’s formation in Los Angeles in 1981, as well as their drug-fueled rise to fame in the 1980s. The Dirt stars Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars, Machine Gun Kelly as Tommy Lee, and Daniel Webber as Vince Neil.
What are you watching tonight?
So there you have it – the best movies about rock bands are now in the palm of your hand. All that’s left to do is crank up the volume and enjoy! Be sure to tweet us on Twitter and let us know which of these movies is your personal favorite. Rock on!