Entertainment The Best Movies About Real Bands & Musicians  

Ranker Film
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List Rules Vote up the best biographical films about singers and musicians

There are tons of music biopics, but which are the best? This list includes popular movies about real musicians and singers, like What’s Love Got To Do With It, Why Do Fools Fall In Love?, Walk the Line, and La Bamba. Films have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories we see on screen. Music and musicians has have a similar ability, and we often feel connected to our favorite rock stars, making movies about their lives all the more enchanting.

Films that tell the story of Tina Turner, Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious, and Ray Charles all tell tales that are fascinating, tumultuous, and likely more violent than our own. It is with a peek into the lives of these individuals that we can understand their motives, and thus their art, that much better. These movies vary in their genre but are all equally fascinating.

Vote up the best rock star biopics below or add one that you think is great but isn't already on the list.

list ordered by
1
209 69
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Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, Ginnifer Goodwin
Johnny Cash and June Carter Walk the Line is a 2005 American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold and based on the early life and career of country music artist Johnny Cash. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, ...more
2
219 95
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Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard
Ray Charles Ray is a biographical film focusing on 30 years in the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. The independently produced film was written, produced and directed by Taylor Hackford, and ...more
3
176 68
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Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Khandi Alexander
Tina Turner What's Love Got to Do with It is a 1993 American biographical film directed by Brian Gibson, loosely based on the life of Tina Turner. It stars Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence ...more
4
146 95
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Eminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy
Eminem 8 Mile is a 2002 American hip-hop biopic film written by Scott Silver, directed by Curtis Hanson, and starring Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Michael Shannon and Kim Basinger. The film ...more
5
161 35
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Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee
Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 American-British biographical drama film directed by Bryan Singer. A chronicle of the years from the formation of Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) ...more
6
144 74
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Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Kelly Hu
 Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Robby Krieger  The Doors is a 1991 American biopic about the 1960-70s rock band of the same name which emphasizes the life of its lead singer, Jim Morrison. It was directed by Oliver Stone.
7
131 57
Straight Outta Compton is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Real Bands & Musicians
Jankowskim added O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell
NWA Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical film directed by F. Gary Gray. The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and ...more
8
146 68
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Lou Diamond Phillips, Joe Pantoliano, Brian Setzer
Ritchie Valens La Bamba is a 1987 American biographical film written and directed by Luis Valdez that follows the life and career of Chicano rock 'n' roll star Ritchie Valens. The film stars Lou Diamond ...more
9
112 62
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Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek, Beverly DAngelo
Loretta Lynn Coal Miner's Daughter is a 1980 biographical film which tells the story of country music legendary singer Loretta Lynn. It stars Sissy Spacek as Loretta, a role that earned her the Academy Award ...more
10
115 72
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Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole
Woflgang Amadeus Mozart Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.
11
102 59
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Gary Busey, Buddy Miles, Paul Mooney
Buddy Holly The Buddy Holly Story is a 1978 biographical film which tells the life story of rock musician Buddy Holly. It features an Academy Award-winning musical score, adapted by Joe Renzetti and ...more
12
75 40
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darron-portis added Smokey Robinson, Bianca Lawson, D. B. Woodside
The Temptations is a four-hour television miniseries broadcast in two-hour halves on NBC, based upon the history of one of Motown's longest-lived acts, The Temptations. Executive produced by ...more
13
122 61
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Jennifer Lopez, Constance Marie, Edward James Olmos
Selena Selena is a 1997 American biographical musical drama film about the life and career of the late Tejano music star Selena, a recording artist well known in the Mexican-American and Hispanic ...more
14
77 60
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Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Dennis Quaid
Jerry Lee Lewis Great Balls of Fire! is a 1989 American biographical film directed by Jim McBride and starring Dennis Quaid as pioneer rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a biography by Myra Lewis and ...more
15
55 31
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Tom Islava added Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
The Von Trapp Family Singers 
The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film is an adaptation of the 1959 Broadway ...more
16
55 37
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Ferry73 added Christopher Walken, Francesca Eastwood, Steve Schirripa
Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons
Jersey Boys is a 2014 American biographical musical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood based on the Tony Award-winning musical of the same name. The film tells the story of the musical group ...more
17
49 18
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Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini
Green Book is a 2018 comedy-drama film directed by Peter Farrelly. A bouncer (Viggo Mortensen) at a New York nightclub takes a job as a pianist's (Mahershala Ali) chauffeur during a tour in the ...more
18
53 41
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Ferry73 added Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
James Brown
Get on Up is a 2014 American biographical drama film about the life of singer James Brown directed by Tate Taylor and written by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. The film stars an ensemble cast ...more
19
61 57
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Courtney Love, Gary Oldman, Kathy Burke
Sid Vicious Sid and Nancy is a 1986 British biopic directed by Alex Cox. The film portrays the life of Sid Vicious, and his relationship with girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Despite failing to recoup its ...more
20
70 63
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Beyoncé Knowles, Elvis Presley, Emmanuelle Chriqui
Etta James Cadillac Records is a 2008 musical biopic written and directed by Darnell Martin. The film explores the musical era from the early 1940s to the late 1960s, chronicling the life of the ...more
21
53 54
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Angela Bassett, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke
Biggie Smalls Notorious is a 2009 American biographical film about the life of Christopher Wallace, an American rapper better known by the stage name The Notorious B.I.G. The film stars Jamal Woolard as ...more
22
37 55
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Geoffrey Rush, John Gielgud, Lynn Redgrave
David Helfgott Shine is a 1996 Australian biographical drama film based on the life of pianist David Helfgott, who suffered a mental breakdown and spent years in institutions. It stars Geoffrey Rush, Lynn ...more
23
33 38
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चरणदास-का-हब्बार्ड-वेल्लेर added Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, John Cusack
Brian Wilson
A 2013 biopic about the life of Beach Boys' frontman Brian Wilson
24
48 39
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Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Tatum O'Neal
Joan Jett The Runaways is a 2010 American drama film about the 1970s all-girl rock band of the same name written and directed by Floria Sigismondi. It is based on the book Neon Angel: A Memoir of a ...more
25
60 53
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Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, Billy Dee Williams
Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues is a 1972 American biographical drama film directed by Sidney J. Furie about jazz singer Billie Holiday loosely based on her 1956 autobiography which, in turn, took its ...more