Top 5: Music Movies

Top 5Music makes or breaks a film.  We’ve talked about movie scores before and how vital they are to the success of a film.  Today, let’s turn it around and look at what happens when movies look at music.  How big a part of your daily life is music?  This whole list came about as a side effect of a seven hour drive I had to make yesterday, the entirety of it spent yodeling to a vast library of songs (to be fair to me, it was not as bad as yodeling….it was getting very raspy though in the last two hours).Most of the films on this list are biopics.  They examine the life of a musician, but do so in a way that combines a transcendent performance (such as Jamie Foxx’s in Ray) with a celebration of the artist’s catalog.  One focuses on simply the love of music (and apparently will be Cameron Crowe’s last good film).  The last focuses on the insane drive it takes to push yourself to the limits to be the best at something so nuanced and difficult in the face of the most difficult music teacher film has ever produced.
1. Amadeus (1984)

2. Ray (2004)

3. Almost Famous (2000)

4. Whiplash (2014)

5. Walk the Line (2005)



2 thoughts on “Top 5: Music Movies”

  1. Does Fantasia count as a movie about music? It kind of inducted me into the wonders of both music and film when I was a little kid. Also 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould and Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown.

    I still haven’t seen Whiplash. Amadeus belongs at the top of your list, and I’m glad you put it there. I question the effortlessness of Mozart’s talent in the movie, because even geniuses need to work hard at their craft, and I’m sure in real life he REALLY sweated over his work instead of rattling it off. But man… it’s one of the best movies ever made.


    1. That’s a good question on Fantasia, and I really didn’t even consider it, but I think I’d consider Fantasia more of a musical utilizing classical music than a film that is actually about music (if that makes sense). When you do watch Whiplash, follow it with Mr. Holland’s Opus to get the yin and yang of cinematic music teachers lol.


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