Music has long been an essential component of filmmaking, assisting in the creation of tone, the enhancement of atmosphere, the amplification of emotions, and the modification of thoughts among viewers. In the past decade, movies about music have become increasingly popular, leading to the development of several critically acclaimed films. Here are 10 music-themed movies released in the last 10 years, starting with the most recent and working backward:
Movies about music: Elvis (2022)
This is the life story of the one and only “King of Rock n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley (Austin Butler). The film takes us through iconic moments of his life, focusing on his rise to fame in the 1950s and his tumultuous relationship with his enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the film also stars Richard Roxburgh, Helen Thomson, Olivia DeJonge, Dacre Montgomery, Gary Clark Jr., and Shonka Dukureh among others.
Movies about music: Respect (2021)
Moving on from the “King of Rock n’ Roll,” we’ve got another member of music royalty with the “Queen of Soul’s” biopic. As one of the world’s best-selling artists, it’s no surprise that Aretha Franklin (Jennifer Hudson) would receive a film adaption for her life. This movie is about the rise of her career starting back at her Memphis church choir roots at her father’s church and showing us her growth to become an international superstar. Directed by Liesl Tommy, the film also features Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Marc Maron, Titus Burgess, Tate Donovan, and Heather Headley.
Writer Cassandra Yany dives deeper into the trials and successes of Aretha Franklin that are shown in the film so be sure to view that and more on Hollywood.com!
Movies about music: Sound of Metal (2020)
Avant-garde metal duo Blackgammon, comprised of drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) and his singer girlfriend, Lou (Olivia Cooke), hit the road in their RV to tour their latest project. Suddenly Ruben begins to experience hearing loss. As his life is turned upside, Ruben must confront a future of nothing but silence. The film took home two Oscars for Best Sound and Best Film Editing. It was directed by Darius Marder and features stellar performances from additional stars such as Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff, Mathieu Amalric, Tom Kemp, Chris Perfetti, and Hillary Baack.
Movies about music: Yesterday (2019)
Aspiring, yet struggling, singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) lives an average life in a small English town by the sea when a freak bus accident occurs and his life is changed forever. Upon waking up from his blackout, he discovers that he is the only person in the world that remembers who The Beatles were. Directed by Danny Boyle, the film features other cast members such as Lily James, Joel Fry, Ed Sheeran, Kate McKinnon, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, and Harry Mitchell. Be sure to check out some Hollywood.com-exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the film as well!
Movies about music: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
A biopic centered around the formation of the innovative and imaginative rock n’ roll band Queen. Drawing inspiration for its title from their iconic 1975 rock opera hit “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the film takes viewers on a journey through the formation of the band to the final years of lead vocalist Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). The movie shows the evolution of the band, comprised of the aforementioned singer Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and bass guitarist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello), and puts a spotlight on how they were able to keep the band together amid their astronomical rise to success and excess. Directed by Bryan Singer, the cast also includes Lucy Boynton, Aiden Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers, and Aaron McCusker among others.
Movies about music: Green Book (2018)
Winner of three Academy Awards including Best Picture, Green Book follows pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) as he embarks on his tour through the Deep South and is escorted by Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a bouncer from the Bronx who is hired as Don’s driver and bodyguard. The film follows the pair as they navigate their 1962 music tour below the Mason-Dixon Line where African Americans were forced to find alternate accommodations and services due to segregation laws and relied on a guide called The Negro Motorist Green Book. Directed by Peter Farrelly, additional stars of the film include Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dimiter D. Marinov, Mike Hatton, P.J. Byrne, Joe Cortese, Maggie Nixon, and Von Lewis.
Movies about music: A Star is Born (2018) —
This iconic, Academy Award-winning film has been made over four times thus far with each iteration having its own unique take on a similar story. Focusing on the recent 2018 version, we see struggling artist Ally (Lady Gaga) ready to give up on her dream of becoming a world-renowned singer when she’s discovered by seasoned musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) and is reassured of her talents and coaxed into the spotlight. Ally’s career begins to take off all while a relationship blossoms between the two. Following this catapult into fame, the intimate relationship between the two begins to crumble as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons. Bradley Cooper directed this film as well which featured an expansive cast including Sam Elliot, Andrew Dice Clay, Rafi Gavron, Anthony Ramos, Dave Chappelle, Marlon Williams, and Brandi Carlile. Also, be sure to check out the Hollywood.com-exclusive interview with the cast!
Movies about music: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)
Egotistical pop/rap superstar Conner4real (Andy Samberg) decides to film a documentary about himself while he’s at the top of his game. Yet after a failed album launch, Conner goes into a tailspin and begins his catastrophic descent from the celebrity high life — all caught on camera. The film is directed by Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer and features an all-star cast including Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Maya Rudolph, Joan Cusack, Elliott Smith, Questlove, Carrie Underwood, Nas, Usher, 50 Cent, Ringo Starr, Simon Cowell, Adam Levine, Akon, Mariah Carey, P!nk, Emma Stone, Justin Timberlake, Bill Hader, Will Forte, and so many more.
Movies about music: Whiplash (2014)
Jazz drummer Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) aims at becoming the best in his elite music conservatory. An instructor who is infamously known for his horrifying teaching methods, Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), discovers Andrew and transfers him into the top jazz ensemble group, starting the aspiring drummer’s journey down a dark, new path. Andrew’s perfectionism spirals into obsession as he pursues it at any cost — even his humanity. The film, directed by Damien Chazelle, has gone on to win numerous Oscars and awards and features additional cast members such as Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Chris Mulkey, Nate Lang, Charlie Ian, Jayson Blaire, and Kavita Patil.
Movies about music: Rock of Ages (2012)
Recently celebrating its 10-year anniversary earlier this month, Rock of Ages is adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name and features a soundtrack with songs from Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Journey, and other artists underscoring the movie. The film follows aspiring singer Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) and bar-back Drew Boley (Diego Boneta) as they chase their Hollywood dreams. All is well until a misunderstanding involving Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) threatens to tear the pair apart. Directed by Adam Shankman, the film features a stacked cast including Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Malin Åkerman, Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige, and Will Forte.
Looking for other movies out now? Take a look at the newest releases currently playing in theaters.
Ready to see these movies on the big screen? Download the ALL-NEW Hollywood.com – Tickets & More app and discover a whole NEW way to buy tickets, starting with movie tickets.
Download for iOS: https://apple.co/3tiF0Jx
Download for Android: https://bit.ly/3yZcQa4
More Like This: Movies in Theaters
More Like This: Ultimate 2022 Movie Guide
More Like This: Damien Chazelle: ‘I made Whiplash to get a shot at La La Land’