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Great Movies About Starting a Band 

Ranker Film
Updated July 13, 2020 503 votes 110 voters 4.6k views 24 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.

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1
School of Rock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove

Released: 2003

Directed by: Richard Linklater

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

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Every Song in School of Rock, Ranked by Singability #151 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #68 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

2
Sing Street is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Sing Street Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor, Maria Doyle Kennedy

Released: 2016

Directed by: John Carney

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.

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#73 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #34 of 137 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked #6 of 15 The Most Underrated Teen Movies Of The Decade

3
The Blues Brothers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin, Steven Spielberg

Released: 1980

Directed by: John Landis

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

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#43 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #99 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #28 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

4
The Runaways is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Tatum O'Neal

Released: 2010

Directed by: Floria Sigismondi

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

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#586 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #46 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #38 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

5
This Is Spinal Tap is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Billy Crystal, Fran Drescher, Anjelica Huston

Released: 1984

Directed by: Rob Reiner

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

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Behind The Scenes Of 'This Is Spinal Tap,' The Fake Documentary That Was Actually All Too Real #202 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #655 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
The Commitments is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Andrea Corr, Colm Meaney, Maria Doyle Kennedy

Released: 1991

Directed by: Alan Parker

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
7
Eddie and the Cruisers ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Tom Berenger, Ellen Barkin, Joe Pantoliano

Released: 1983

Directed by: Martin Davidson

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

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#345 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #26 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #68 of 124 The Most Rewatchable Movie Musicals

8
La Bamba is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Lou Diamond Phillips, Joe Pantoliano, Brian Setzer

Released: 1987

Directed by: Luis Valdez

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

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#14 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #47 of 299 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #5 of 15 The Best Movies That Capture The Mexican-American Experience

9
That Thing You Do! is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler

Released: 1996

Directed by: Tom Hanks

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

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#1,158 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #188 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #435 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

10
O Brother, Where Art Tho... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
George Clooney, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

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

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#187 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #84 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #77 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

11
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Kelly Hu

Released: 1991

Directed by: Oliver Stone

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.

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#11 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #256 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #22 of 203 The Best Drug Movies of All Time

12
Selena is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Cody Jones added Jennifer Lopez, Constance Marie, Edward James Olmos

Released: 1997

Directed by: Gregory Nava

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

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#1,206 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #165 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #44 of 124 The Most Rewatchable Movie Musicals

13
Hearts Beat Loud is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson

Released: 2018

Directed by: Brett Haley

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
14
Rock Star is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Jennifer Aniston, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Hunter

Released: 2001

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

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#31 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #13 of 123 The Best Rock Music Movies #20 of 39 The Very Best Jennifer Aniston Movies

15
Sid and Nancy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Courtney Love, Gary Oldman, Kathy Burke

Released: 1986

Directed by: Alex Cox

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

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#35 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #240 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #369 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

16
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx

Released: 2006

Directed by: Bill Condon

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

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Every Song in Dreamgirls, Ranked by Singability #201 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

17
The Sapphires is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Chris O'Dowd, Jessica Mauboy, Eka Darville

Released: 2012

Directed by: Wayne Blair

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
Hustle & Flow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Taraji P. Henson, Ludacris, Terrence Howard

Released: 2005

Directed by: Craig Brewer

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

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#113 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #217 of 299 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
Control is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Samantha Morton, Toby Kebbell, Alexandra Lara

Released: 2007

Directed by: Anton Corbijn

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

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#167 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #230 of 315 Movies with the Best Soundtracks #109 of 149 The Very Best Biopics About Real People

20
Ladies and Gentlemen, Th... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains Diane Lane, Laura Dern, Ray Winstone

Released: 1982

Directed by: Lou Adler

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
Bandslam is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Vanessa Hudgens, David Bowie, Aly Michalka

Released: 2009

Directed by: Todd Graff

Bandslam is a 2009 summer film release directed by Todd Graff, starring Aly Michalka, Vanessa Hudgens, Gaelan Connell, Scott Porter, Lisa Kudrow.

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#85 of 123 The Best Rock Music Movies #9 of 10 The Least Successful Film Releases In Box Office History #121 of 141 The Best Music Movies

22
Not Fade Away is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
James Gandolfini, Lisa Lampanelli, Brad Garrett

Released: 2012

Directed by: David Chase

Not Fade Away is a 2012 drama film written and directed by David Chase.

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#107 of 123 The Best Rock Music Movies #49 of 67 The Best Movies About Bands

23
Garage Days is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
Marton Csokas, Holly Brisley, Andy Anderson

Released: 2002

Directed by: Alex Proyas

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

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#66 of 67 The Best Movies About Bands #66 of 109 The Best R-Rated Musical Drama Movies #121 of 128 The Best R-Rated Musical Movies

24
The Glenn Miller Story ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Starting a Band
James Stewart, Louis Armstrong, Marion Ross

Released: 1953

Directed by: Anthony Mann

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

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#65 of 195 The Best Movies About Music #36 of 52 The Best Movies About Real Bands & Musicianslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever