top of page
  • Zoe Lim

Top 5 Best Films About Music

a movie clapboard

From biopics to musicals to fictional films, there is always something about movies centered on singers and musicians that we love to witness - its struggle, pain and battle to reach to the top of the music industry. Here, we are counting down our picks for the top 5 films about music.

1. Whiplash (2014)

Famous for its explosive drama, Whiplash is about an ambitious young jazz drummer who is pushed too far to the edge of insanity when he meets his teacher, known for his brutal teaching methods.

If you enjoy a pulse-raising, adrenaline-filled drama, then this is the movie for you. The film touches on the topic of ' Passion vs Obsession '. Where do you start to draw the line between feeling ambitious versus actually being addicted to success? Whiplash is deeply personal and showcases the rise and fall of the protagonist's success. It leaves you feeling emotionally drained and what some would say - a wowed exhaustion.

Directed by : Damien Chazelle

Cast : J. K. Simmons, Miles Teller, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser

2. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 biographical film about Freddie Mercury, vocalist and frontman of the world-famous British rock band Queen.

Like many biopics, the movie boasts a strong central performance which showcases many iconic song performances. The film also explores Mercury's pitfalls of fame, which includes drinking and drug use, getting into ego wars and even battling with his own sexual identity. A roller coaster of a film, Bohemian Rhapsody takes you on an adventure into the fragile life of one of the greatest singers of all time.

Directed by : Bryan Singer, Anthony McCarten

Cast : Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello

3. La La Land (2016)

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Score, La La Land is a film centered on aspiring jazz pianist, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and struggling actress, Mia (Emma Stone). Both are deeply passionate to pursue their dreams but this leads to the dreadful decision of choosing between love or success. Is there room for a successful relationship for two big-dreamers?

The film also explores the music and movement of Jazz. It is heavily inspired by Broadway shows and musicals which helped to further the plot with its choreography and musical scores. Composed by Justin Hurwitz, 'City of Stars' and 'Mia & Sebastian's Theme' proves that with just a simple piano refrain and some authentic vocals, the piece can be more powerful than any other complex compositions. The musical score in this film ranges from the intense and hopeful composition 'Another Day of Sun' to the whimsical, fantasy-like piece that is 'Planetarium'. There is much to unbox in this film and its soundtrack. But it is definitely a must-watch modern day musical that is widely beloved by critics and audiences.

Directed by : Damien Chazelle

Cast : Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Jessica Rothe

4. School of Rock (2003)

School of Rock is a classic comedy that brings rock & roll education to the classroom. Jack Black, who plays Dewey Finn, teaches a class full of children on the history of rock music when he scams his way into a school as a substitute teacher. The children slowly discovers their passion and began to form a band by taking on roles as singers, drummers, guitarists and even band managers.

A memorable quote from the film, Dewey teaches the kids to 'stick it to the man', essentially inspiring them to reject the oppressive system and realize their future goals and dreams that they want to pursue. The children then start to come out of their comfort zones and began to learn to collaborate with each other instead of competing with each other, as was taught by their previous teacher.

The film is filled with endless laughter and songs that are iconic in the history of rock n roll. So, if you are a big rock fan, or even someone who just wants a laugh, then you should check out this classic comedy film.

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Cast : Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove, Mike White, Joey Gaydos Jr.

5. The Runaways (2010)

Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart stars as Cherie Currie and Joan Jett, frontman and guitarist of the all-girl rock band, The Runaways. The film takes you on a trip with the rebellious Southern California kids of the 70's and their adventure into becoming the most iconic female rock band in history.

The Runaways is not afraid to get authentic and raw as it shows difficult scenes of drug abuse, alcoholism and mental illnesses. It exposes the entertainment industry for its brutal and cutthroat competition which drove the girls to go against each other, leading to breakdowns of friendship and the pitfalls of success and fame. Yet, on the other hand, the film evokes a sense of emotional understanding for the girls as we watch them go through tough situations in life as teenagers - a period where most of us can relate to. Emotional turmoil, confusion and anger are a common theme in this film, combined with the aggressive and rebellious music, it makes us long for the days when rock & roll was all about making music without all the posture and pretence.

Directed by : Floria Sigismondi

Cast : Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart, Michael Shannon, Stella Maeve


Zoe is an avid fan of all kinds of music. Her primary instrument is the guitar but she is always passionately learning how to play other instruments such as the drums and keyboard. She is currently playing the bass guitar in a band and has been routinely involved in music since she was a child.

11 views0 comments


bottom of page