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.
- Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton
Directed by: John CarneyIn 1985, a Dublin teenager (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) forms a rock 'n' roll band to win the heart of an aspiring model (Lucy Boynton).
Directed by: Richard LinklaterOverly enthusiastic guitarist Dewey Finn (Jack Black) gets thrown out of his bar band and finds himself in desperate need of work. Posing as a substitute music teacher at an elite private elementary ...more
Directed by: John LandisAfter his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) -- collectively known as the "Blues Brothers." Jake's first task is to save the orphanage the ...more
Directed by: Luis ValdezLos Angeles teenager Ritchie Valens (Lou Diamond Phillips) becomes an overnight rock 'n' roll success in 1958, thanks to a love ballad called "Donna" that he wrote for his girlfriend (Danielle von ...more
Directed by: Joel CoenUlysses Everett McGill (George Clooney) is having difficulty adjusting to his hard-labor sentence in Mississippi. He scams his way off the chain gang with simple Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) and ...more
Directed by: Alan ParkerThe 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 band. ...more
Directed by: Rob Reiner"This Is Spinal Tap" shines a light on the self-contained universe of a metal band struggling to get back on the charts, including everything from its complicated history of ups and downs, gold ...more
Directed by: Tom HanksWily band manager Mr. White helps a small town band achieve big time success when they release a Beatles-style pop song in 1964. Pennsylvania band the "Oneders" become a sensation after their drummer ...more
Directed by: Gregory NavaIn this biographical drama, Selena Quintanilla (Jennifer Lopez) is born into a musical Mexican-American family in Texas. Her father, Abraham (Edward James Olmos), realizes that his young daughter is ...more
Directed by: Floria SigismondiJoan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), two rebellious teenagers from Southern California, become the frontwomen for the Runaways -- the now-legendary group that paved the way ...more
Directed by: James MangoldWalk 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, Reese ...more
Directed by: Martin DavidsonEddie and the Cruisers, a major rock 'n' roll band in the early '60s, fell off the radar when singer Eddie (Michael Paré) vanished after a dispute over their experimental second album. Nearly 20 ...more
Directed by: Danny BoyleYesterday is a 2019 British musical comedy film directed by Danny Boyle. A struggling musician, Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), discovers that the whole world has forgotten who the Beatles are and seizes ...more
Directed by: Bryan SingerFreddie Mercury -- the lead singer of Queen -- defies stereotypes and convention to become one of history's most beloved entertainers. The band's revolutionary sound and popular songs lead to Queen's ...more
Directed by: Oliver StoneAfter a psychedelic experience in the California desert, Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer), lead singer of The Doors, and his bandmates begin performing in Los Angeles and quickly become a sensation. ...more
Directed by: Dexter FletcherRocketman is a 2019 British-American biographical musical film directed by Dexter Fletcher. The life of Elton John (Taron Egerton) is tracked from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music ...more
Directed by: Christopher GuestIn this hilarious backstage mockumentary, three eclectic, never-quite-famous folk bands come together for the first time in decades following the death of their manager to put on an reunion concert ...more
Directed by: David DobkinEurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a 2020 American comedy film directed by David Dobkin. Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) are Icelandic singers ...more
Directed by: Tate TaylorJames Brown (Chadwick Boseman) was born in extreme poverty in 1933 South Carolina and survived abandonment, abuse and jail to become one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He ...more
Directed by: Brett HaleyHearts 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
Directed by: John Cameron MitchellA German emigrant living in a trailer in Kansas is the victim of a botched sex-change operation. Adapted from the critically acclaimed off-Broadway rock theater hit, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" tells ...more
Directed by: Bradley CooperSeasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers -- and falls in love with -- struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the ...more
Directed by: Sam Taylor-JohnsonA rebellious teenager, future Beatle John Lennon (Aaron Johnson) lives with his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas) in working-class Liverpool, England. Mimi's husband suddenly dies, and John spies his ...more
Directed by: Stephen HerekA comedy set in the world of '80s rock 'n' roll, "Rock Star" is the story of an office supplies salesman who moonlights as a musician in a tribute band and whose life is changed forever when he is ...more
Directed by: Bill CondonDreamgirls 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 show ...more