Entertainment

Great Movies About Starting a Band  

Ranker Film
451 votes 90 voters 3.4k views 23 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite movies about the early days of a music group.

Something magical happens when movies and music combine. The top movies about starting a band feature musicians ready to take on the world with powerful voices, shredding guitars, and maybe a washboard or two. This is a list of the greatest movies about bands, including everything from That Thing You Do! to The Doors to Eddie and the Cruisers.

What films will you find on this list of band movies? Rob Reiner's 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap follows the fictional British band through its ups and downs. Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer found laughs in every note of this beloved comedy. School of Rock is another great movie about starting a band, while The Blues Brothers focuses on getting the band back together after years apart. Other good films featured on this list include Rock Star, Sing Street, and The Runaways.

Do you have a favorite film about the early days of a band? Give the best movies a thumbs up and add any great features that are missing.

list ordered by
1
School of Rock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove
School of Rock is a 2003 American comedy film directed by Richard Linklater, written by Mike White, and starring Jack Black. The main plot follows struggling rock singer and guitarist, Dewey ...more
2
Sing Street is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor, Maria Doyle Kennedy
Sing Street is a 2016 musical coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by John Carney. A boy starts a band to impress a girl in 1980s Ireland.
3
The Blues Brothers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin, Steven Spielberg
The Blues Brothers is a 1980 American musical comedy film directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues, characters developed from ...more
4
The Runaways is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Tatum O'Neal
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
5
The Commitments is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Andrea Corr, Colm Meaney, Maria Doyle Kennedy
The Commitments is a 1991 comedy-drama film directed by Alan Parker. A film adaptation of Roddy Doyle's novel of the same name, the film tells a story of working class Dubliners who form a soul ...more
6
La Bamba is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Lou Diamond Phillips, Joe Pantoliano, Brian Setzer
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
7
This Is Spinal Tap is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Billy Crystal, Fran Drescher, Anjelica Huston
This Is Spinal Tap is an American 1984 rock music mockumentary written, scored by, and starring Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. The film portrays the fictional ...more
8
Eddie and the Cruisers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Tom Berenger, Ellen Barkin, Joe Pantoliano
Eddie and the Cruisers is a 1983 American film directed by Martin Davidson with the screenplay written by the director and Arlene Davidson, based on the novel by P.F. Kluge. It was marketed with ...more
9
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with ...more
10
That Thing You Do! is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler
That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American musical comedy drama film written, directed by, and co-starring Tom Hanks. Set in the summer of 1964, the movie tells the story of the quick rise and fall ...more
11
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Kelly Hu
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.
12
Hearts Beat Loud is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson
Hearts Beat Loud is a 2018 drama music film directed by Brett Haley. A father (Nick Offerman) and daughter (Kiersey Clemons) form an unlikely songwriting duo in the summer before she leaves for ...more
13
Rock Star is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Jennifer Aniston, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Hunter
Rock Star is a 2001 American musical comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Herek and starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. It tells the story of Chris "Izzy" Cole, a tribute ...more
14
Sid and Nancy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Courtney Love, Gary Oldman, Kathy Burke
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
15
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx
Dreamgirls is a 2006 American musical drama film, directed by Bill Condon and jointly produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures. The film debuted in three special road ...more
16
Hustle & Flow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Taraji P. Henson, Ludacris, Terrence Howard
Hustle & Flow is a 2005 American independent drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer and produced by John Singleton and Stephanie Allain. It was released on July 22, 2005. Terrence ...more
17
The Sapphires is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Chris O'Dowd, Jessica Mauboy, Eka Darville
The Sapphires is a 2012 Australian musical comedy-drama film produced by Goalpost Pictures and distributed by Hopscotch Films, based on the 2004 stage play of the same name which is loosely ...more
18
Control is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Samantha Morton, Toby Kebbell, Alexandra Lara
Control is a 2007 British-American biographical film about the life of Ian Curtis, singer of the late-1970s English post-punk band Joy Division. It is the first feature film directed by Anton ...more
19
Not Fade Away is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
James Gandolfini, Lisa Lampanelli, Brad Garrett
Not Fade Away is a 2012 drama film written and directed by David Chase.
20
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabu... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Diane Lane, Laura Dern, Ray Winstone
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains is a 1982 film about three teenage girls, played by Diane Lane, Laura Dern and Marin Kanter, who start a punk band.
21
Garage Days is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Marton Csokas, Holly Brisley, Andy Anderson
Garage Days is a 2002 Australian film directed by Alex Proyas and written by Proyas, Dave Warner and Michael Udesky. The Garage Days soundtrack includes the song "Garage Days" ...more
22
Bandslam is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Vanessa Hudgens, David Bowie, Aly Michalka
Bandslam is a 2009 summer film release directed by Todd Graff, starring Aly Michalka, Vanessa Hudgens, Gaelan Connell, Scott Porter, Lisa Kudrow.
23
The Glenn Miller Story is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
James Stewart, Louis Armstrong, Marion Ross
The Glenn Miller Story is a 1954 American film about the eponymous American band-leader, directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart in their first non-western collaboration. ...more