Essential music movies

music movies

There’s a wide world of films out there to cater for passionate music lovers. Films that take soundtracks to a whole new level, that perfectly depict life in a range of music scenes and capture the energy and enthusiasm of artists and fans alike. Music and movies are an important part of modern life, so it’s something special to witness them working together in perfect harmony. Here are my top picks:

Whiplash (2014) – This box office smash and winner of multiple Oscars tells the story of an aspiring young jazz drummer and his manic abusive instructor. The film is exhilaratingly full of energy, has some beautiful cinematography and the musicianship is to an amazingly high standard.


Almost Famous (2000) – Telling the story of a teenage journalist touring with his musical idols, it encapsulates discovering and falling in love with music, as well as life behind the scenes during one of the greatest periods of music history. It’s a semi-autobiographical film loosely based on director Cameron Crowe’s time working for Rolling Stone.


The Boat That Rocked (2009) – Set in the height of pirate radio in the UK, the eclectic and eccentric DJs of Radio Rock make it their mission to broadcast rock and pop music to the nation as the government tries to shut them down. The star studded cast, including a brilliant performance from Phillip Seymour Hoffman, create the lovable misfit characters that make the film so enjoyable.


High Fidelity (2000) – Based on the cult novel by Nick Hornby, it revolves around snobbish record store owner Rob reflecting on the failed relationships of his past in order to help pick up the pieces with his ex-girlfriend. His witty and music obsessed inner monologue is what sets it apart.

spinal tapThis Is Spinal Tap (1984) – The world’s most famous spoof movie. This mockumentary gives a satirical spin on the wild hedonistic lifestyle of 80s glam rock bands. The equally overblown soundtrack really turns it up to 11.

School of rock

School of Rock (2003) – Jack Black’s failed rocker fakes his way to being the new substitute teacher at a posh prep school and starts his own curriculum of rock music in order to win Battle of the Bands to stick it to his former band mates and to pay off his rent. Full of fun, an incredible soundtrack and one of the most quotable movies around.

begin again

Begin Again (2013) – A recently dumped singer/songwriter and a washed up record producer team up to create an album together, recorded on the streets of New York. Rather than force a romance the film focuses on the music which results in some surprisingly great original songs.


The Blues Brothers (1980) – The quintessential music movie. Jake and Elwood Blues race against time as they are on a mission from God to get their old band back together to raise money for the local orphanage. It features massive musical numbers from guest stars including James Brown, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, as well at the most ridiculously over the top car chase in history.