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25 Movies Every Music Lover Needs To See

Make sure your TV speakers go to eleven.

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1. Chico & Rita (2010)

Isle Of Man Film

The Movie: An ambitious young piano player in 1940's Cuba with big dreams falls for a talented, gorgeous singer. The two make beautiful music together, until they face divergent careers, industry prejudice, and jealous business partners.

The Music:
The story follows the style of a passionate but tragic Latin bolero, and it's all set as jazz is basically taking over the world.

Watch it on Amazon.

2. Empire Records (1995)

The Movie: The somehow-all-hot employees of a small independent record store do everything they can think of to keep their sanctuary from being absorbed by a large chain.

The Music: Every indie and alt rock lovers dream: The Cranberries, Better Than Ezra, The Gin Blossoms, and The The, to name a few.

Watch it on Amazon.


3. Across The Universe (2007)

The Movie: A ~rock musical~ that follows a young Brit from Liverpool who moves to America in the turbulent 1960's, and gets caught up in protests, revolution, and of course, love.

The Music: The plot is driven almost entirely by Beatles' songs, which are covered beautifully and may even rival the originals (YEAH, I SAID IT).

Watch it on Netflix.

4. 8 Mile (2002)

The Movie: The life and times of Eminem, as told through a down-on-his-luck factory worker who tries to balance his unstable personal life with his determination to prove himself in underground rap battles.

The Music: Of course there's Eminem's "Lose Yourself," along with some '90s favorites from rappers like Method Man, OutKast, and Biggie.

Watch it on Amazon.

5. Almost Famous (2000)

The Movie: A high schooler and aspiring music journalist lands a feature for Rolling Stone magazine and gets to follow an up-and-coming rock band on tour.

The Music:
According to director Cameron Crowe, the movie's band Stillwater is supposed to me a mashup of 1970's bands he himself got to tour with: Poco, The Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Watch it on Amazon.

6. Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Jaimie Trueblood / Universal Pictures

The Movie: It's the story of rap group N.W.A. and how they changed the culture of hip-hop in the mid 1980's through challenging lyrics, real stories, and competing egos.

The Music: A mix of N.W.A. classics alongside Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube's early solo tracks.

Watch it on iTunes.


7. Pink Floyd The Wall (1982)

The Movie: A young rock singer begins to crumble under the weight of his past, his drug addiction, and pressure to perform (musically, that is) while isolated in his L.A. hotel room.

The Music: The film is actually based on Pink Floyd's 1979 album "The Wall," which plays pretty incredibly with the increasingly manic (and sometimes disturbing) imagery of the movie.

Watch it on Google Play.

8. The Harder They Come (1972)

The Movie: A young Jamaican man dreams of becoming a reggae superstar, but when his record producers short change him, he gets in way over his head with drug dealers and police alike.

The Music: The film stars Jimmy Cliff and features his own classics alongside other legends like Desmond Dekker and Toots & The Maytals.

Watch it on Amazon.

9. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

The Movie: Hedwig is a transsexual rocker chick from East Berlin who is touring the U.S. and telling her story to whoever attends her shows, which happen to coincide with the concerts of a rock star and former lover who stole Hedwig's songs.

The Music:
Punk-y rock and roll that tells Hedwig's tragic story and search for love.

Watch it on Amazon.

10. Amadeus (1984)

Orion PIctures

The Movie: Composer Antonio Salieri describes the lavish life of gifted fuckboy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his musical rival in the court of Austrian Emperor Joseph II whose divine talent he cannot understand why God granted him.

The Music: So. Much. Mozart. Classical music buffs, this one's for you.

Watch it on Netflix.


11. Once (2007)

Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Movie: A musician guy and a Czech girl meet in Dublin and spend a week composing ridiculously heartbreaking together.

The Music: Soulful rhythm and blues with plenty of folksy piano and guitar. I'm not kidding, these two will make you weep openly.

Watch it on HBO GO.

12. High Fidelity (2000)

Touchstone Pictures

The Movie: A record store owner (and huge fan of ranking things) rehashes his top five breakups with the help of his employees and fellow music snobs.

The Music: The genres kind of run the gamut, but there are plenty of mopey, self-pitying break-up anthems to get you through any heartache.

Watch it on Amazon.

13. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

The Movie: A mid-winter week in the life of a disillusioned young singer as he struggles to make it in the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

The Music: Lots of heartfelt and topical folk music, and the original songs are like awesome mashups of Simon & Garfunkel meets Mumford & Sons (the second of which are actually on the soundtrack).

Watch it on Amazon.

14. The Last Waltz (1978)

The Movie: Martin Scorsese explores the onstage interactions and life on the road of the 16-year-old Canadian band, The Band, as they perform their last concert.

The Music: Good old-fashioned Americana with guest performers who helped shape The Band, including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Bob Dylan.

Watch it on iTunes.


15. Detroit Rock City (1999)

The Movie: A group of high school kids in their own band try everything they can think of to get into a KISS concert. Teenage antics ensue.

The Music:
🎶 I, wanna listen to KISS allll niiiight, and most of every day! 🎶

Watch it on Amazon.

16. Notorious (2009)

Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Movie: Starting with his grisly murder, the story backtracks to follow the rise of Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious B.I.G., from Brooklyn crack dealer to one of the greatest rappers of all time,

The Music:
All the Biggie hits, as well as some awesome tributes from Jay-Z, Jadakiss, and his son CJ Wallace Jr.

Watch it on Amazon.

17. Jersey Boys (2014)

The Movie: Four best bros from the rough part of New Jersey quickly rise to musical fame, and manage to stick together through gambling debts, Mafia threats and family disasters.

The Music: It's about Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, so I hope you like falsetto!

Watch it on Amazon.

18. Walk The Line (2005)

Fox 2000 Pictures

The Movie: After supporting his wife and kids as a salesman, Johnny Cash finally achieves his musical dreams with an audition for Sun Records. Soon he's touring the country, battling drugs, and falling in love with a beautiful singer who is definitely not his wife.

The Music: Yes, there's tons of country music from Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, but also plenty of the roots rock and blues that influenced Cash as well.

Watch it on Amazon.


19. Wayne's World (1992)

Paramount Pictures

The Movie: Two music geeks with a public access show finally hit the big time when a TV producer offers them a professional gig.

The Music:
Classic and pop rock in its many forms; all the tracks you need to party on.

Watch it on Netflix.

20. Jailhouse Rock (1957)


The Movie: A handsome young man is serving a one-year sentence for manslaughter (casual) when his cellmate, a former country singer, introduces him to the record business. When he gets out, he decides to form his own label and becomes an overnight sensation.

The Music:
All the hip-shaking Elvis rockabilly you could ask for.

Watch it on iTunes.

21. 24 Hour Party People (2002)

The Movie: In 1970's "Madchester", Cambridge-educated Tony Wilson is inspired to found Factory Records, signing Joy Division and James and the Happy Mondays at a pivotal time in music history.

The Music: Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll: All the great English punk rock bands of the 70's make an appearance on this soundtrack.

Watch it on Hulu.

22. Ray (2004)

The Movie: The inspiring and oftentimes heart-wrenching life of the godfather of rhythm and blues, Ray Charles, following his rise to fame, struggles with drug addiction, and way with the ladies.

The Music: Only the best Ray Charles. 🎹

Watch it on Amazon.

23. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

The Movie: Legendary (and fictional) British heavy metal band Spinal Tap attempt an American comeback tour, accompanied by a fan who happens to be a documentary filmmaker.

The Music: A plentitude of mock heavy-metal songs written by Christopher Guest and Rob Reiner that actually don't sound half-bad.

Watch it on Amazon.

24. I'm Not There (2007)

The Movie: A nonlinear and slightly trippy film intercutting the storylines of seven different characters inspired by Bob Dylan's various personas.

The Music: More Bob Dylan than you thought could be crammed into one movie.

Watch it on Amazon.

25. Searching For Sugar Man (2012)

The Movie: In the early 1970s, a Detroit folksinger had a short-lived recording career that, unbeknownst to him, lived on in South Africa, where he became an icon and inspiration for generations. Almost 30 years later, a few of those fans decide to find out what really happened to their hero.

The Music: The singer, Rodriguez, specialized in psychedelic rock and blues, and damn can he play guitar.

Watch it on Amazon.