Entertainment
301 voters

The Best Blues Movies

Updated December 27, 2020 563 votes 301 voters 50.8k views21 items

List RulesOnly movies featuring blues music in a major way.

A list of the best blues movies. These are films that focus on the music of the blues. We believe we have them all, but if your favorite blues film isn't on the list of the best blues films, please feel free to add it to the list yourself. The blues began with African Americans in the deep south of the United States (what could they possibly be singing the blues about?). The blues would go on to form the basis of jazz and even rock and roll. Around World War 2, blues began to go more mainstream with the advent of electric blues.

The 60s and 70s would bring us blues-rock. While the blues movie genre is often associated with being depressed, the movies on this list of the best blues films range throughout a number of genres. In fact, the most popular blues movie, "The Blues Brothers", is a comedy. So what is the best blue film ever? Which movies about blues really fire you up and make you want to dance in your seat? Vote on these blues music movies and share this list with your friends!

What are the best blues movies of all time? These movies about the blues seek to answer that question.
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    70
    23

    The Blues Brothers

    Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi

    Released1980

    Directed byJohn 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 "The Blues...  more
  • 2
    53
    14

    Crossroads

    Steve Vai, Jami Gertz

    Released1986

    Directed byWalter Hill

    Crossroads is a 1986 musical dramatic feature film inspired by the legend of blues musician Robert Johnson. Starring Ralph Macchio, Joe Seneca and Jami Gertz, the film was written by John Fusco and...  more
  • 3
    39
    11

    Cadillac Records

    Beyoncé Knowles, Elvis Presley

    Released2008

    Directed byDarnell Martin

    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 influential...  more
  • 4
    45
    22

    Black Snake Moan

    Justin Timberlake, Christina Ricci

    Released2006

    Directed byCraig Brewer

    Black Snake Moan is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, and Kim Richards. The plot focuses on a...  more
  • 5
    35
    13

    Ray

    Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx

    Released2004

    Directed byTaylor Hackford

    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 stars...  more
  • 6
    37
    17

    O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    George Clooney, John Goodman

    Released2000

    Directed byEthan 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 John...  more
  • 7
    10
    4

    Who Do You Love?

    David Oyelowo, Megalyn Echikunwoke

    Released2008

    Directed byJerry Zaks

    Who Do You Love is a 2008 film directed by Jerry Zaks....  more
  • 8
    20
    18

    Sounder

    Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield

    Released1972

    Directed byMartin Ritt

    Sounder is a 1972 American drama film directed by Martin Ritt, adapted from the novel by William H. Armstrong. The oldest son of a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the...  more
  • 9
    7
    1

    Honeydripper

    Danny Glover, Mary Steenburgen

    Released2007

    Directed byJohn Sayles

    Honeydripper is a 2007 American musical drama film written and directed by John Sayles....  more
  • 10
    20
    20

    Blues Brothers 2000

    Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin

    Released1998

    Directed byJohn Landis

    Blues Brothers 2000 is a 1998 American musical comedy film that is a sequel to 1980's The Blues Brothers, written and produced by John Landis and Dan Aykroyd. Directed by Landis, the film stars...  more
  • 11
    0
    0

    Respect

    Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker

    Released2021

    Directed byLiesl Tommy

    Respect is a 2021 American biographical film directed by Liesl Tommy. It follows the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (Jennifer Hudson)....  more
  • 12
    4
    1

    Bessie

    Queen Latifah, Michael Kenneth Williams

    Released2015

    Directed byDee Rees

    Bessie is a 2015 biographical film directed by Dee Rees. The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith (Queen Latifah), who rose to fame during the 1920s and '30s....  more
  • 13
    4
    1

    Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman

    Released2020

    Directed byGeorge C. Wolfe

    Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a 2020 American drama film directed by George C. Wolfe, based on the 1982 play by August Wilson. During a recording session, tensions rise between "Mother of the Blues,"...  more
  • 14
    4
    1

    The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes

    Released2021

    Directed byLee Daniels

    The United States vs. Billie Holiday is a 2020 American biographical drama film directed by Lee Daniels, based on the book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann...  more
  • 15
    2
    1

    Leadbelly

    Art Evans, Roger E. Mosley

    Released1976

    Directed byGordon Parks

    Leadbelly is a 1976 film chronicling the life of folk singer Huddie William Ledbetter. The film was directed by Gordon Parks, and starred Roger E. Mosley in the title role. The film focuses on the...  more
  • 16
    2
    1

    Mo' Better Blues

    Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1990

    Directed bySpike Lee

    Mo' Better Blues is a 1990 musical comedy-drama film starring Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, and Spike Lee, who also directed. It follows a period in the life of fictional jazz trumpeter Bleek...  more
  • 17
    2
    1

    Billie

    Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett

    Released2020

    Directed byJames Erskine

    Billie is a 2019 documentary film about Billie Holliday directed by James Erskine. Based around interviews recorded on audio cassettes in the 1970s while researching a book on Billie Holiday that was...  more
  • 18
    2
    2

    Born to Be Blue

    Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo

    Released2015

    Directed byRobert Budreau

    Born to Be Blue is a 2015 internationally co-produced drama film directed by Robert Budreau. A re-imagining of jazz legend Chet Baker's musical comeback in the late '60s....  more
  • 19
    1
    2

    Bald-Dog Rock

    Eszter Csákányi, Deák Bill Gyula

    Released1981

    Directed byGyörgy Szomjas

    Bald-Dog Rock is a 1981 musical drama film written by István Kardos and György Szomjas and directed by György Szomjas....
  • 20
    1
    4

    Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

    John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer

    Released2007

    Directed byJake Kasdan

    Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is a 2007 American comedy film directed by Jake Kasdan. Singer Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) overcomes adversity to become a musical legend....  more
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    8
    7

    Lady Sings the Blues

    Diana Ross, Richard Pryor

    Released1972

    Directed bySidney J. Furie

    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 title...  more