When it comes to the history of rock and roll, there's nothing like a good rockumentary. This list of the best rockumentaries has been ranked by rock music lovers and includes documentary films about all the best rock and roll musicians and bands, with trailers. If you need to rock out, but also get the scoop on your favorite rockers, these great documentary films about rock and roll are what you need.
What are the best rockumentaries of all time? Whether you're interested in The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, KISS, or even the Dixie Chicks, there's a great rockumentary out there for you. Bill Drake first coined the term in 1969, in a History of Rock & Roll radio documentary broadcast and since then, it has been used broadly to define documentaries and concert films and become its own genre.
Notable filmmakers have even tried their hand at the rockumentary, including Martin Scorsese (The Last Waltz), Jim Jarmusch (Year of the Horse), and Jonathan Demme (Stop Making Sense). More than just movies about music, these films take a closer, documentarian style look at the world of rock music, and the famous rock musicians who gave us all this great music. The best of these films provide historical context for these rockers and showcase much of their music as well.
This list ranks the best documentaries about rock music in the history of film. The rockumentaries featured on this list include Don’t Look Back, Woodstock, Cracked Actor, The Kids are Alright, AC/DC: Let There Be Rock, Bring on the Night, Rattle and Hum, Year of the Horse, and Back and Forth.
Don't see the rockumentary you think is the greatest on the list? Add it for other music and film fans to vote on and help make this the most comprehensive list of good rockumentaries anywhere on the Internet. And when you're done here, check out our list of the best rock music movies.
Actors: Billy Crystal, Fran Drescher, Anjelica Huston, Dana Carvey, Rob Reiner, + more
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Actors: Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones
Directed by: Peter Clifton, Joe Massot
Actors: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Pete Townshend, Jerry Garcia, Keith Moon, + more
Directed by: Michael Wadleigh
Actors: Billy Corgan, Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, Matt Stone, Les Claypool
Directed by: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen
Actors: Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle
Actors: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon
Actors: Ozzy Osbourne, Gene Simmons, Bret Michaels, Paul Stanley, Joe Perry, + more
Directed by: Penelope Spheeris
Actors: Ralph William Tarr
Directed by: Dave Grohl
Actors: Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, + more
Directed by: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
Actors: Michael McKean
Directed by: Davis Guggenheim
Actors: Debbie Harry, Rob Zombie, Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, + more
Directed by: Michael Gramaglia, Jim Fields
Actors: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Paul Simon, Otis Redding, Michelle Phillips, + more
Directed by: D. A. Pennebaker
Actors: Johnny Depp, John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger
Directed by: Tom DiCillo
Actors: Bill Murray, George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Dan Aykroyd, Paul Simon, + more
Directed by: Eric Idle, Gary Weis
Actors: Steve Jones, Malcolm McLaren, Glen Matlock, Paul Cook
Directed by: Julien Temple
Actors: Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, John Doe, Dave Alvin, D. J. Bonebrake, + more
Directed by: Penelope Spheeris
Actors: Kevin Costner, Stevie Nicks, Ringo Starr, Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder, + more
Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
Actors: Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, + more
Directed by: Taylor Hackford