|UserReviews 303Approval 79%Soundoffs 7Album Ratings 291Objectivity 93%Last Active 08-22-12 6:37 pmJoined 10-01-04Forum Posts 86Review Comments 3,446
|Good And Bad Music Films|
NOTE: This list only includes movies SPECIFICALLY rrrABOUT music, or rpeople who make music, or in rrwhich music plays a rsignificant role. rFilms rwith rbackgrounds which include music/bands rbut rwhere rit's not rthe central focus of the film - rsuch as rBill & Ted ror Scott Pilgrim - were rnot rrconsidered.
|1||School Of Rock|
GOOD. Jack Black gives perhaps his best performance outside of an
animated movie in this hilarious subversion of the old "authority figure
inspires kids to greatness" trope. Watching Jack yell at ten year olds for not
knowing Motorhead, or said ten-year-olds debating the relative merits of
Meg White's drumming, is just about the funniest music-related film
experience you're likely to get.
GOOD. Not even Mark Wahlberg and Jen Aniston ruin this mock-biopic about
the rise and fall of a substitute singer for a famous band, which may or may
not have been based on Ripper Owens. A great glam-rock soundtrack, a
good balance of comic and poignant, and Zakk Wylde being Zakk Wylde
make this movie worth a watch.
GOOD. Who'd have thought Eminem could act? Moreover, who would have
thought an Eminem movie vehicle would be a realistic, grittily shot retelling
of his rise to fame? 8 Mile, an honest, raw movie, was one of the biggest
surprises of early millenial cinema, and is worth a viewing even if hip-hop's
not your thing.
GOOD. Another straight account of life on the road, this time based on the
real-life experiences of a Rolling Stone journalist as a teenager following a
band around on tour. One gets the feeling everything in this film is
plausible, and strong performances bring the characters to life in a similarly
realistic way. Weak point - Kate Hudson vamping it up as the world's most
|5||This Is Spinal Tap|
GOOD. There is a ridiculous side to rock'n'roll. Even the biggest fan of the
genre has to admit that. This film understands it, and rolls with that
understanding, depicting the world's worst band in a series of increasingly
ludicrous - and yet, somehow, plausible - circumstances. From props that
give the expression "to scale" a new meaning to fatal accident-prone
drummers, forced stylistic choices for album covers, amps that go up to
eleven and the infamous two-word review, this is mandatory viewing for
anyone who thinks rock'n'roll is serious business.
GOOD. Who doesn't want to get their song on the radio? Even the worst
band aspires to that, as proven in this early 90s comedy. Despite taking a
few wilder turns later, the film remains surprisingly okay for an Adam
Sandler and Brendan Fraser vehicle, with neither actor being as annoying
as they know how to be. Plus, there's the "Lemmy IS God" line, which is
worth a watch in itself.
GOOD. This Oliver Stone biopic succeeds even in spite of Val Kilmer, who no
one will ever take seriously, no matter how many films he does with 'real'
directors. By keeping it straight and pulling no punches, Stone manages to
paint a realistic, yet not exceedingly depressing, portrait of one of the most
fascinating figures in 20th century music, the legendary Jim Morrison.
GOOD. Faithfully based on Nick Hornby's book of the same title (it changes
only the location), this film succeeds on the back of its performances. Jack
Black once again shines in a music-related film, playing everyman rock'n'roll
snob Barry, while John Cusack manages to make the deeply unpleasant,
selfish protagonist into a likable character, just by virtue of being, y'know,
John Cusack. The result is a film nearly beyond reproach for music fans,
where the only nitpick is the omission of the best scene in the book. If you
own the DVD, however, it shows up in the special features, making
everything right with the world again.
BAD. Unfunny comedy starring a Jack Black wannabe in a School Of Rock
wannabe storyline, with predictably sub-par results. The premise had
potential, but the film never fulfills it.
BAD. Painting Nirvana singer and voice of a generation Kurt Cobain as little
more than an incoherent, mumbling troglodyte, this extremely self-indulgent
'biopic' from pretentious director Gus Van Sant is nothing but a big 'fuck
you' to the millions of grunge-era teenagers, which goes to the extent of
depicting Cobain's (sorry, 'Blake''s) two bandmates as gay lovers. Seeing
Kim Gordon show up, looking like she doesn't want to be there, is the final
nail in the coffin, and any self-respecting fan will have walked out in disgust
long before that point.
GOOD. Another solid biopic which hinges itself around a career-making
performance by Jamie Foxx, who perfectly captures the late bluesman's tics
and vocal affectations. Like 8 Mile, this is worth a watch, even if you're not
a particularly big fan of the blues.
|12||Detroit Rock City|
BAD. This teen comedy about four high-school slackers trekking to a KISS
show suffers from the KISS curse, being as cheesy as everything else the
band had to offer. Not quite as bad or pointless as Rock'N'Roll High School,
but every bit as boring.
|13||Alvin And The Chipmunks|
GOOD. I am probably the only person to ever like this film, but I do. The
relationship between Jason Lee's Dave and his CGI 'children' is believable,
and the subtle commentary about the perils of the music industry (in a kid's
film, no less!) is well pulled off. Subsequent sequels had very little to do
with music, but this one is actually worth an afternoon-on-TV watch. Low
point - kid chipmunks singing sexually suggestive lyrics to fully grown
human women. Ew.
GOOD/BAD. If you hate the Jonas Brothers or the Disney Channel, this will
be a Bad for you. If you don't mind either, you may derive some enjoyment
out of this formulaic, sometimes cringeworthy, but harmless empowerment
vehicle for little girls.
|15||Raise Your Voice|
GOOD/BAD. Slightly more grown-up version of Camp Rock to which pretty
much the same caveats apply. Bonus points added for featuring Three Days
Grace, then removed for cringeworthy, exceedingly convenient and trite
plotlines. Also, Hillary Duff.
GOOD. Another solid biopic, about yet another tragic figure of rock'n'roll, Joy
Division frontman Ian Curtis. Shot in stark, bleak black and white, to fit the
band's vibe, this is another mandatory film for any rock fan.
|17||Music & Lyrics|
??? Haven't seen it, but it's Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, so it's
probably a BAD.
??? Haven't seen it, but everyone has heard of how God-awful it is. Also,
|19||I'm Not There|
??? Heard mixed reviews about this one, intend to watch it at some point.
|20||Josie And The Pussycats|
??? This one I actually do want to watch at some point, although it's not
high in my list of priorities.
|Please note that list does not include documentaries (Flight 666, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Anvil: The Story of Anvil) or concert films (Hannah Montana in 3D, the Glee movie, Jonas Brothers, etc). I thought of including Wayne's World 2, but the concert is only one of the many plots in that mess. I tried to focus on films where music is the main focus - hence why Taking Woodstock isn't here either.|
|19 is good, at least I thought it was good. Though to be honest, I have yet to really hate a movie featuring George Michael Bluth. |
Also, yeah on Spinal Tap and Almost Famous. Two of my favourites.
|List edited to include Control and I'm Not There. The previous 19 (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) is worth a watch, you say, PW?|
@Snox but the FOCUS is not on the Battle of The Bands. It's on all the shitty faux-videogame stuff. So it doesn't qualify.
I'd says so. I mean, it's not really about 'music', as much as it is about love and maturing. It's like a coming-of-age/teen
romance, but not at all cheesy and actually quite funny. It's one of Michael Cera's good ones I think.
|Cera more recently annoyed the shit out of me in Scott Pilgrim. I only ever liked him in Superbad, and that's because it was the first time I was seeing his shtick.|
|Specify what you mean by 'music films'. Are musicals included? If so, you're missing at least 30 essential films.|
|Pick of Destinyyyy|
|No, they are films ABOUT music, not WITH music. Hence why no musicals.|
|You forgot Rock Of Ages....now that's baaaaaaaad even though it is close to a musical it's still god awful. I died inside when they started singing Rock You Like a Hurricane.|
|1. Films where music is the central point, either because they focus on a band or because the main plot point centres around music.|
2. No concert movies.
3. No documentaries - fiction only.
4. No musicals, unless they happen to obey rules 1 and 2.
Scott Pilgrim is a film about videogames, not about Sex Bob-Omb winning Battle of The Bands. Wayne and Garth putting on the show is only ONE plot, not THE plot. Blues Brothers is more than just them racing to a show or whatever. Nick & Norah/Banger Sisters were removed as music is only an excuse for other shit to happen, and not really the focal point of the story. Hopefully that makes it clearer?
|@happening good call. Haven't seen it, but should have been on here, yeah.|
|Don't watch it you'll regret it. |
|Check out Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Pick Of Destiny and Pitch Perfect then. |
|I've only heard of Hedwig out of those three, seemed interesting.|
@Snox on Scott Pilgrim, he is only playing to defeat the 'boss'. He's not motivated by music, he doesn't namedrop artists like High Fidelity, or anything of the sort. Bill & Ted isn't on here for the same reason, even though the films begin and end with them playing.
|I know that you've excluded docs and musical, but out of recent movies centered around music: Searching for Sugar Man and Passing Strange are amazing, and everyone should see them.|
|Gus van Sant directed Last Days.|
|Airheads is fucking awful save for random Lemmy and Michael Richards but even his character is shit.|
Exclusion of The Blues Brothers is inexcusable.
|you think The Rocker is bad but Alvin And The Chipmunks is good? All credibility lost.|
|Music & Lyrics is exactly what you'd expect of a movie with Hugh Grand and Drew Barrymore (not Meg Ryan), for better or worse.|
This list could also probably include:
That Thing You Do
Crossroads (not the Britney Spears crapfest, but the Ralph Macchio movie with the cameo by Steve Vai)
|@andcas Rockstar IS there.|
@YoYo I didn't laugh during The Rocker. Not once. Chipmunks? Yeah, I laughed.
@SitarHero and Walk The Line, which I forgot!!
@MadKungFu will fix.
|FYI Walk The Line - GOOD, Walk Hard - GOOD (just - mostly because of the one scene with Jane Lynch), haven't seen any of the others mentioned.|
|That Thing You Do is a (admittedly, rose-tinted childhood memory subjective) classic.|
Crossroads is also surprisingly good. The ending is basically "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" but with guitars and electric blues instead of fiddles. [MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT AHEAD]
It's not the whole scene, but it's the main portion.
|Can't be more kvlt than Backstreet Boys' cover.|
|Hard Core Logo - fantastic|
|Detroit Rock City bad, but Alvin and the Chipmunks good. wth|
And yes, needz moar Crossroads (a la the Karate Kid Ralph)
Rockstar is pretty good, wish we couldve seen them pierce Jen Aniston's nips