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50 Best Movies About Music You Need To See

Music has always been a vital part of people's lives. It has the power to make people feel things, to change lives, or sometimes even trigger nostalgic memories associated with specific songs. A world without music would be bleak, dull, and unimaginable. That's why it plays such a significant role in filmmaking — it brings the story and action alive as it effectively sets up what emotions the audiences should feel. 

This is also the reason why music-themed films are so popular with moviegoers. Apart from the vibrant energy, movies about music often depict inspirational stories with frequent themes about love, hope, and dreams, ultimately revolving around the impact of music on a person's life.

Whether you're a music enthusiast or not, music-themed movies are for everyone — in fact, they make up one of the most versatile subgenres. Ranging from biopics to comedies, from action to sci-fi, from coming-of-age dramas to animated adventures, we've gathered 50 of the very best movies about music, both popular and underrated.

8 Mile

Grammy-winning rapper Eminem makes his feature acting debut in "8 Mile," a drama inspired by some of his real-life experiences growing up in Detroit. The story begins with Jimmy, a 23-year-old blue-collar worker and aspiring rapper who goes by the alias of B-Rabbit. After getting fired from a pizza place, Jimmy moves back in with his alcoholic mother and younger sister in their run-down trailer. His friends constantly encourage Jimmy to enter a rap battle, where more people can discover his mad freestyle skills and his ability to improvise rhymes. The film follows Jimmy's attempts to enter the hip-hop scene as a white rapper in a genre predominantly defined by Black artists. As he finds the courage to step up to his potential, he must also deal with his difficult poverty-ridden home life as he struggles to maintain his new job at a factory.

This 2002 semi-biopic is directed by Scott Silver from a screenplay written by Cutis Hanson. Besides enjoying critical recognition, the film was also a commercial success with a worldwide gross of more than $240 million. Eminem, who delivers a convincing and honest leading performance as Jimmy, is joined by Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger, future Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, Mekhi Phifer, Taryn Manning, Anthony Mackie, and the late Brittany Murphy. For composing and producing the film's theme song "Lose Yourself," Eminem made history by becoming the first rapper to receive an Oscar Award for Best Original Song (via Eminem News).

A Hard Day's Night

"A Hard Day's Night" is a musical comedy starring one of the greatest bands of all time, The Beatles, as fictionalized versions of themselves. Filmed at the height of Beatlemania, the 1964 film follows John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr over the course of two days, leading up to a live television performance. During their train ride to London, John, George, and Ringo meet Paul's seemingly timid grandfather for the first time. However, as it turns out, Paul's grandfather is actually a troublemaker who will lead them into a series of mishaps that might potentially cause them to miss out on their scheduled live performance. 

The film is directed by American filmmaker Richard Lester, who's best known for directing two Christopher Reeve-led "Superman" films during the early 1980s. It's written by Welsh screenwriter Alun Owen, who based most of the events and dialogue in the film on the band's real-life experiences after seeing them firsthand when he accompanied them for a series of Paris concerts (via Vanity Fair).

"A Hard Day's Night" is considered a critical and commercial success, with Owen securing an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. During the 40th anniversary of its theatrical release in 2010, Time Magazine named the film as one of the 100 all-time great movies, praising Lester and Owen for being able to deliver such a delightful story despite having a limited production time.

A Star Is Born (2018)

Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper made his feature directorial debut with Warner Bros.' third film version of "A Star is Born," based on the 1937 Technicolor film of the same name. This remake introduces country-rock singer Jack Maine, who's struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. One night, Jack stumbles into a dive bar, where he gets mesmerized by waitress Ally's incredible voice. He spends all night talking with her, and discovers Ally's songwriting talent. Ally, who has already given up on the idea of pursuing a music career, gets another shot at stardom through Jack's encouragement and mentorship. As they find themselves falling in love with each other, Jack continues to wrestle with his inner demons and his declining fame, while Ally becomes a rising music star.

This 2018 romantic music drama is led by Cooper and Golden Globe winner Lady Gaga, who both give passionately moving performances as Jack and Ally. Their electrifying chemistry radiates through all of their scenes together, easily making the audiences root for their love story. Cooper also received praise for being able to bring something new to a classic story through his thoughtful direction and writing.

For her work on the film's hit theme song "Shallow," Lady Gaga became the first woman to win an Oscar, a Grammy, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award all in the same year (per Capital FM). The film became not just a critical success, but it also a box office smash with a worldwide gross of over $430 million against a reported budget of $36 million.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Across the Universe

Following the critical success of the biographical drama "Frida" in 2002, award-winning filmmaker Julie Taymor directed another classic film in the form of the jukebox musical romantic drama "Across the Universe." Featuring 34 new renditions of beloved songs by The Beatles, the film is set in the late 1960s and centers around Jude, a young man from Liverpool who heads to the U.S., where he falls in love with the beautiful Lucy against a backdrop of social upheaval. Aside from Jude and Lucy, the film also follows the stories of various characters in their orbit, including Lucy's slacker brother Max from New Jersey, closeted cheerleader Prudence from Ohio, guitarist Jo-Jo from Detroit, and free-spirited singer Sadie from the Greenwich Village. They will each find friendship in one another as their lives converge in New York City.

This 2007 film features an imaginative and colorful story about love, friendship, peace, and war. In addition to including reimagined covers of Beatles songs, the six main characters' names and storylines also take inspiration from the band's iconic lyrics. Taymor's inventive storytelling is brought to life in visually striking musical numbers, stylish cinematography, and sentimental performances from a cast led by Jim Sturgees and Evan Rachel Wood. It also features cool cameos from Bono and Salma Hayek, who's reuniting with Taylor after their successful collaboration on "Frida." Despite receiving mixed reviews, the film still went on to become a cult classic and introduce a new generation to the music of The Beatles.


In "Airheads," Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler, and Steve Buscemi star as a struggling three-man metal band called The Lone Rangers. After failing to get the attention of record producers, Chazz, Rex, and Pip decide to take matters into their own hands by sneaking into their local radio station in hopes of convincing DJ Ian to play their demo tape on-air. Their initial plans eventually get upended, as the not-so-bright trio unwillingly become hostage-takers after the police trap them inside the building. Despite their inexperience with being criminals, Chazz, Rex, and Pip are able to threaten the radio station employees by successfully deceiving them into believing that their fake water guns are real. Left with no other choice, Chazz decides to use this strange opportunity to promote the band and their music, leading them to earn the support of a crowd of metal fans who've shown up outside of the station.

Regardless of some negative reviews and poor box office performance, this 1994 comedy remains as a highly-enjoyable film, thanks to its easygoing storyline and great cast. Fraser, Sandler, and Buscemi definitely make a fun combination, as they effectively showcase their likable charms and infectious humor through their hilarious characters. The film also features appearances from familiar stars, including comedic genius Chris Farley, "Ghostbusters" vets Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis, pre-"Scream" David Arquette, Joe Mantegna, and Michael McKean. It also includes cameos from heavy metal rocker-turned-filmmaker Rob Zombie, and Mike Judge reprising his voice roles as Beavis and Butt-Head.

Almost Famous

Best known for his work on iconic teen films like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Say Anything," writer-director Cameron Crowe delivers another coming-of-age masterpiece with the music comedy-drama "Almost Famous." Inspired by Crowe's real-life experiences as a former teen writer for the Rolling Stone, it's the story of 15-year-old William Miller, a social outcast but gifted writer and music enthusiast who gets hired by a premier music magazine. For his first assignment, he's tasked with writing an article about an up-and-coming band Stillwater. Despite objections from his overprotective mother, he joins them on the road as they take him on an unforgettable tour. Meanwhile, he forms a close bond with self-proclaimed "band aid" Penny Lane, whose charming and energetic personality captivates William.

This 2000 film offers an endearing storyline about music, love, and life which cleverly captures the essence of being young. Crowe's flawless direction and sentimental writing are further elevated by an incredible cast led by Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jimmy Fallon. Hudson is absolutely the biggest highlight, as she delivers a career-defining performance as Penny Lane.

For his acclaimed work on the film, Crowe won his first Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, while Hudson and McDormand both received nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, with Hudson winning a Golden Globe Award. 

August Rush

In "August Rush," future Golden Globe nominee Freddie Highmore stars as 11-year-old Evan Taylor, a music genius who runs away from an orphanage and heads to New York City in hopes of using his music to find the parents he never knew. Soon, he encounters the Wizard, a homeless man who makes money off of the talents of street kids. After learning about Evan's impressive skills, the Wizard takes him under his wing and gives him the stage name of August Rush. Meanwhile, Evan's birth parents, cellist Lyla and Irish band frontman Louis, who have never gotten the chance to rekindle their romance, are also embarking on their individual journeys, with Lyla seeking Evan and Louis trying to find Lyla.

Despite receiving a mixed reception, the film has proven to be a hit with moviegoers, currently holding an audience rating of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. "August Rush" features a heartwarming and feel-good story about hope, which people of all ages will certainly find entertaining. Following his memorable performance in the 2005 film "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Highmore continues to shine here in another engaging lead performance as Evan/August. Joining him are Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, William Sadler, Terrence Howard, and Robin Williams, who's able to show off his versatility as an actor through his portrayal of a not-so-likable sleazy character, far different from his usual charming and comedic roles.

Baby Driver

Four years after completing his popular "Cornetto" trilogy with the release of the sci-fi comedy "The World's End" in 2013, Edgar Wright made a feature directorial comeback with the action film "Baby Driver." The story revolves around a young man known as Baby, who's always listening to music to cope with the tinnitus he developed after surviving a car accident when he was a kid. Baby is working for a criminal mastermind who's been employing him as his go-to getaway driver for bank heists. Through music and a natural talent for driving, Baby is able to drown out any distractions, allowing him to easily evade and outsmart the cops. His life changes after he falls in love with Barbara, a woman who shares his love for music. His plans of leaving a life of crime get disrupted when their latest heist fails, leaving Baby on the run from both the police and his former partners.

"Baby Driver" was something of a passion project for Wright, who had been developing the story since 1995 (per Entertainment Weekly). The 2017 film earned a Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, garnering acclaim for a highly entertaining, fast-paced, thrilling storyline elevated by stylish visuals and some of the most well-choreographed stunts of all time. The cast is led by Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, and Lily James. Wright also earned praise for flawlessly integrating a great music selection into the film's story.

Begin Again

In "Begin Again," Mark Ruffalo stars as Dan Mulligan, a record producer who's struggling to manage his personal and professional life. After getting fired from the record label that he co-founded, Dan meets Keira Knightley's Gretta James, a talented singer and songwriter who's also in a rough patch after breaking up with her long-time boyfriend Dave Kohl. Dan becomes instantly enthralled by Gretta's music, leading him to offer her a record deal. After failing to convince his producer friend to sign Gretta, a determined Dan decides to produce an album himself by recording Gretta's songs all around New York City. While working together, they unknowingly help each other get through their problems, with Dan beginning to repair his relationship with his family and Gretta being able to move on from Dave.

This 2013 film marks director John Carney's second music drama feature, following the success of the Irish romantic drama "Once." "Begin Again" features a charming and sentimental storyline which somehow feels intimate and cinematic at the same time. Ruffalo and Knightley both deliver solid leading performances, made possible by their sweet chemistry. They're joined by an incredible supporting cast, including Oscar nominees Catherine Keener and Hailee Steinfeld, along with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine in his feature acting debut. The film's soundtrack also received recognition, particularly the "Lost Stars" performed by Levine, which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Before becoming the ultimate action star with iconic roles in two blockbuster franchises, "The Matrix" and "John Wick," Keanu Reeves' big break first came in 1989 when he starred alongside Alex Winter in the classic time-travel comedy "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure." The film revolves around rock band Wyld Stallions, consisting of best friends Bill Preston and Ted Logan, high school students who are on the verge of failing their history class. In hopes of passing, they've signed up for an extra credit that requires delivering a class presentation. To help them succeed with their project, time traveler Rufus arrives in a phone booth from the future, informing the most excellent dudes about their music's influence on the utopian society he calls home. Through Rufus' time machine, Bill and Ted embark on an adventure through the past, bringing historical figures like Napoleon and Abraham Lincoln back to the present in order to incorporate them into their presentation.

This cult classic features an entertaining and feel-good storyline, which gets elevated through the delightful performances from Reeves and Winter, who are extremely charming and hilarious as the titular duo (not to mention the legendary George Carlin as Rufus). Despite the film's silliness and outrageous plot, it still became a box office hit and a critical success, with critics praising Reeves and Winter's great chemistry. Due to its pop culture influence and success, Reeves and Winter are able to reprise their roles in two more sequels — 1991's "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" and 2020's "Bill & Ted Face the Music."

Blinded by the Light

Inspired by the teenage years of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, 2019's "Blinded by the Light ” is set in the late 1990s and follows British Pakistani teen Javed, an aspiring writer who falls in love with the music of Bruce Springsteen. Javed enrolls a new school where he meets Roops, who is the one responsible for introducing him to "The Boss." Javed is initially reluctant to listen to Springsteen's music, feeling that the American rock legend wouldn't know a thing about his struggles as a South Asian kid. However, after getting overwhelmed with emotion concerning his difficult relationship with his traditional father and his everyday bouts with racism, Javed gives in and proceeds to listen to Roops' Springsteen tapes. That moment changes his life forever, as he immediately finds connection and strength within Springsteen's lyrics. Deeply moved by the songs, Javed gains the confidence to follow his dreams.

Director Gurinder Chadha's coming-of-age comedy-drama features a heartwarming story about hope, family, and changing your life for the better. This criminally underrated film delivers a completely refreshing take on the genre, made possible by Chadha's direction and well-crafted storytelling. Leading the ensemble cast is Viveik Kalra, who gives a compelling performance as he conveys Javed's genuine feelings to the audiences. This actually marked Kalra's feature acting debut after starring in two short-lived miniseries including the historical drama "Beecham House," his first collaboration with Chadha.

The Blues Brothers

Based on the "Saturday Night Live" characters of the same name, "The Blues Brothers" follows Jake and Elwood Blues as they go on a cross-country road trip in the hope of reuniting their band. After Jake gets out of prison, the brothers visit the Catholic orphanage where they grew up. There, they learn about the orphanage's impending closure due to unpaid taxes. To prevent this, Jake and Elwood realize that they can save it with their music. They embark on a wild journey to seek out members of their band, so that they can perform some gigs and raise the $5,000 they need for the orphanage. What follows is a series of misadventures which includes evading the police, taking down hate groups, and narrowly surviving a few assassination attempts by a mysterious woman.

This 1980 comedy is led by "SNL" co-stars Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, who both deliver hilarious and engaging lead performances as the titular blues-loving siblings. It offers an outrageous rollercoaster ride of unexpected scenarios and soul music. It's a cult classic that's often considered as one of the best music comedies of all time. The film also features cool appearances from legendary singers including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, and Chaka Khan. The comedic duo are also joined by a few iconic Hollywood figures in supporting roles and cameos, such as Carrie Fisher, Henry Gibson, Steven Spielberg, and John Candy.

The Bodyguard

"The Bodyguard" is a dramatic thriller starring superstar Whitney Houston in her acting debut as Rachel Marron, a famous actress and singer whose life changes after receiving death threats from a stalker. Due to the seriousness of the situation, Rachel's manager hires former secret service agent Frank Farmer to become her bodyguard. Rachel, who initially fails to grasp the severity of her situation, is frequently annoyed by Frank's over-the-top security measures. However, as they spend more time together, Rachel grows to like Frank's presence, especially after he saves her from a terrifying situation during one of her concerts. As their professional relationship slowly evolves into something more, death threats against Rachel continue to intensify, jeopardizing her life and her family's safety. Now, Frank needs to get one step ahead of the unknown stalker before it's too late.

Mick Jackson directed this 1992 classic from a long-in-development screenplay written by Lawrence Kasdan, best known for co-writing "Star Wars" films, including "The Empires Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." Joining Houston in the co-lead role of Frank is Kevin Costner, who prior signing onto the project had already won two Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director for his work on his feature directorial debut "Dances with Wolves." "The Bodyguard" is best known for its phenomenal soundtrack, including the timeless singles "I Will Always Love You" and "I Have Nothing," both performed by Houston.

Bohemian Rhapsody

"Bohemian Rhapsody" chronicles the meteoric rise of one of the most influential rock bands in the world, Queen, from their first meeting to the events leading up to their historic Live Aid performance in Wembley Stadium. At the heart of the story is lead singer Freddie Mercury, whose unique moves, commanding stage presence, and defiant fashion led him to becoming a trailblazing music icon. The film also explores certain aspects of Mercury's life, including his difficult relationship with his strict father, his bonds with friends and bandmates, his bisexuality, and his AIDS diagnosis.

This 2019 biographical drama offers a unique look into the history of Queen, primarily told through the perspective of Mercury himself, brilliantly portrayed by Rami Malek. The film also introduces the music of Queen to a whole new generation through its entertaining storyline and visually impressive recreation of the band's greatest hits and memorable live performances. "Mr. Robot" star Malek delivers a career-best leading performance by masterfully captivating audiences with his spot-on portrayal of legendary rock star. He's joined by a solid cast, including Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Lucy Boynton, and Aidan Gillen.

Despite receiving middling critical reviews, the film still became a box office success with a worldwide gross of over $910 million. It also won multiple awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture and a Best Actor Oscar for Malek.


Pixar's "Coco" is an animated fantasy inspired by Mexico's traditional holiday Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, when family members honor and remember the memories of their departed loved ones. In the 2017 film, Miguel is a 12-year-old boy whose dreams of becoming a musician feel nearly impossible, especially with his family (most notably his grandmother Elena) adamant on banning all forms of music. As it turns out, they all carry a grudge from the memory of his great-great-grandfather, who chose to pursue music over staying with his family. 

When Miguel discovers that his great-great-grandfather might actually be his long-time idol Ernesto de la Cruz, he finds the courage to defy his family's wishes and start chasing his dreams. But due to an honest mistake, Miguel finds himself stranded in the Land of the Dead, where he reunites with his late relatives. What follows is an unforgettable adventure that will lead Miguel to the truth of his family's past. Accompanying him on his journey is the poor Héctor, who's beginning to fade away as his daughter slowly starts to forget about him.

Leading the voice cast are Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, and Renée Victor. The film offers a heartfelt and entertaining storyline about family, following your dreams, and not forgetting those who have gone before. In addition to its compelling story, "Coco" also received praise from critics for its animation and its memorable music, which highlight the beauty of Mexican culture. The film also won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for the deeply touching "Remember Me."


"CODA" (a title derived from the acronym for Child of Deaf Adults) is a coming-of-age family comedy drama, based on the 2014 French-Belgian film "La Famille Bélier." Sian Heder's English-language remake is the story of 17-year-old talented singer Ruby. As the only hearing member of her family, she's been the translator for her parents and brother all of her life. Because of this, she's never gotten the chance to plan for her own future, resigned to believing she has no option but to join her family's fishing business after finishing high school. However, her feelings about the future start to change when she meets her new choir teacher Mr. V, who encourages her to try out for Berklee College of Music. Soon, Ruby finds herself struggling to make the decision of whether to stay behind for her family or to pursue a life of her own where she can achieve her dreams.

This 2021 film features a sentimental and thoughtful storyline about growing up and the importance of family. It effectively portrays the lives of deaf characters with nuance, exploring their strengths and flaws as human beings. Leading the cast are Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Durant, and Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin. Both Jones and Kotsur were singled out by critics for their brilliant and moving performances, with Kotsur even winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In addition to Kotsur's victory, the film also successfully pulled off an upset by scoring two more Oscars: Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Heder.


After adapting the screenplay for the critically acclaimed musical film "Chicago," Oscar-winning filmmaker Bill Condon returned to the vibrant genre as the director of "Dreamgirls," based on the popular Broadway musical of the same name. Inspired by Motown Records and The Supremes, the film chronicles the career of a Black singing group, spanning from the early 1960s up to the mid-'70s. The group — consisting of childhood friends Effie White, Deena Jones, and Lorrell Robinson — gets their first shot at fame after being introduced to Curtis Taylor Jr., a car salesman who's determined to do whatever it takes to become a successful music producer. As they gradually transition from being backup singers for singing sensation Jimmy "Thunder" Early to gaining fame as a popular musical trio called The Dreams, tensions and conflicts within the group begin to arise as they get caught in the middle of Curtis' relentless ambitions.

This 2006 musical drama's highly entertaining and engrossing storyline is brought to life by the electrifying and glamourous performances of its star-studded ensemble. Leading the cast are Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Anika Noni Rose, Danny Glover, and former "American Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson, who makes a powerful feature acting debut as Effie White. Hudson was instantly hailed by critics as the film's standout performer, leading her to bag two major acting awards — a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar — for Best Supporting Actress.


After nearly a decade since the theatrical release of "The Great Gatsby," Golden Globe winner Baz Luhrmann made his feature directorial comeback with the biographical musical film "Elvis," inspired by the life and music of the King of Rock and Roll. This 2022 film chronicles Elvis Presley's personal and professional life, from his impoverished childhood and his game-changing Louisiana Hayride performance, through his eventual rise to stardom and meeting wife Priscilla, chronicling his political defiance and his struggle with drug addiction. All of it is told through the lens of his complicated relationship with manager Colonel Tom Parker.

Leading the film is former Disney Channel and Nickelodeon star Austin Butler, who, after a month-long audition process, successfully landed his first high-profile film role by beating out big name-actors such as Harry Styles, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (per Deadline). Butler is joined by a solid supporting cast that includes Oscar winner Tom Hanks and "The Society" star Olivia DeJonge.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Butler revealed that he went through a rigorous two-year preparation to achieve his goal of portraying Presley in the most authentic way possible without ever becoming a caricature. His hard work ultimately paid off, with critics widely praising his raw and emotional performance. In addition to Butler's critical recognition, Luhrmann also gained praise for delivering another cinematic spectacle and effectively capturing Elvis' sensational influence.

Empire Records

"Empire Records" is a teen dramedy revolving around the young and easygoing employees of an independent record store. A.J., Corey, Debra, Gina, Lucas, and Mark are all under the supervision of manager Joe Reaves, portrayed by "One Good Cop" actor Anthony LaPaglia. The story begins with Lucas discovering that their beloved store is about to be bought by a big company. To prevent this from happening, he takes most of the store's money and gambles it in a casino in hopes of winning enough to save the store. Unbeknownst to him, Joe is trying to save up money to become an official co-owner, which would ultimately save the store. However, after Joe and the rest of the gang find out about Lucas' failed plan, Joe is forced to use his savings to make up for the lost money. Now, they must all try to come up with a new plan before it's too late.

At the time of its theatrical release, the 1995 film was considered as a box office flop, garnering negative reviews and only earning a domestic gross of $303,000. Despite this, it still slowly transitioned into a cult classic, thanks to its fun storyline, engaging characters, and impeccable soundtrack (per Dazed). The film features a cast of then-rising stars, including future "Lord of the Rings" star Liv Tyler and eventual Oscar winner Renee Zellweger.

Footloose (1984)

Herbert Ross directs Kevin Bacon in his breakthrough role as Ren McCormack in the classic 1984 film "Footloose." The coming-of-age musical drama follows high school senior Ren as he moves from Chicago to the small town of Bomont, where he finds himself struggling to fit in with the town's traditional standards. Ren first meets the Reverend's rebellious daughter Ariel, who dreams of getting away from her father's strict and traditional rules. He eventually finds a friend in local teen Willard Hewitt, who educates Ren about the town's ban on dancing and rock music. With his free-spirited nature and perseverance, Ren plans to persuade the council into lifting the ridiculous dancing and music ban so that they can have a senior prom.

The film features a highly enjoyable and feel-good story filled with catchy songs and memorable dance sequences, including Bacon's famous Warehouse scene. Bacon is joined by an incredible cast including acclaimed stars Dianne Wiest and John Lithgow, along with Lori Singer, Chris Penn, and future "Sex and the City" lead Sarah Jessica Parker in one of her of first film roles. Despite being considered one of the best films from the '80s, the film was initially met with poor reviews. However, it remains as a proven hit among the moviegoers, and currently holds an Audience Score rating of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Get on Up

In "Get on Up," the brilliant Chadwick Boseman stars as the legendary funk singer James Brown. Brown, who died at the age of 73 in 2006, was responsible for hit songs such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," "It's a Man's Man's World," "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," and "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud."

The film explores his early life as a kid living in an abusive and poverty-ridden home, through finding hope and inspiration through music. It also chronicles Brown's more than 50-year career from his unprecedented rise to fame to his difficult relationship with his colleagues, through significant performances including his Live at the Apollo concert and USO shows in Vietnam. In addition, the film also gets to tackle Brown's tumultuous affairs and controversies.

This 2014 biographical musical drama hails from "The Help" director Tate Taylor. Thanks to his ability to command the screen, Boseman delivers a remarkable leading performance as he masterfully portrays Brown's eccentric personality and undeniable stage presence. The film also features notable appearances from acting powerhouses Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Aunjanue Ellis, and Allison Janney. Regardless of a disappointing box office performance, the film still holds a Certified Fresh rating of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Happy Feet

"Happy Feet" is an animated jukebox musical comedy following the story of Mumble, an emperor penguin who's treated as an outcast due to his inability to sing like the rest of the penguins in the colony. Unlike his peers and parents, he was born with the natural talent for dancing, which is something totally unprecedented within the colony. As a young adult, Mumble befriends a group of Adelie penguins called the Amigos who are instantly amazed by his dancing skills and eventually welcome him into their group. With the help of the Amigos, Mumble tries to win the heart of his long-time crush Gloria with his dance moves. However, their blooming romance gets cut short when the elder penguins blame his dancing for a fish shortage. In order to prove the elders wrong and save the colony from starvation, Mumble embarks on a dangerous adventure beyond Antarctica in search of the "aliens" who are stealing their food.

This 2006 family film hails from "Mad Max" director George Miller, helming his first animated feature. It offers a cinematic and relevant story brought to life by an all-star voice cast that includes Elijah Wood, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Robin Williams, Hugo Weaving, and Brittany Murphy. In addition to garnering commercial success, the film received critical recognition for its charming storyline, great animation, and catchy renditions of famous songs. It also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Hearts Beat Loud

"Hearts Beat Loud" is a comedy drama centering around single dad Frank and his teenage daughter Sam, who are both musically talented. Frank, a former musician, owns a record store, which he is planning to close for good. Meanwhile, Sam is starting to get ready to leave Brooklyn to go to medical school after summer ends. In an attempt to bond with his daughter, Frank is constantly urging Sam to play music with him, leading them to have weekly jam sessions. During one of their sessions, Frank learns that Sam has written a cool song, which they decide to record together. However, without Sam's permission and knowledge, Frank goes ahead and uploads their song on Spotify. To his surprise, it suddenly goes viral, and Frank sees this as an opportunity to finally start a band with his daughter.

It's a story about growing up, the art of letting go, and the complex bond between fathers and daughters. Leading the cast are "Parks and Recreation" vet Nick Offerman and "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" actress Kiersey Clemons, both delivering charming and endearing performances. They're joined by an acclaimed cast consisting of Toni Collette, Ted Danson, and Blythe Danner with "American Honey" breakout Sasha Lane. Despite flying under the radar upon release, the film remains a hit among the critics and audiences who've found it, holding a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

John Cameron Mitchell wrote and directed the film adaptation of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," based on his acclaimed stage musical of the same name. It follows genderqueer East German rock singer Hedwig as she recounts her life story while on a small tour with her unlikely band across America. Her story begins when she undergoes a botched gender confirmation surgery in order to move to the U.S. with Luther, an American soldier who offers her marriage. However, her new life in Kansas falls apart when Luther leaves her for a man. Moving on from her heartbreak, Hedwig decides to start doing music again, forming her titular band. Soon, she meets outcast teenager Tommy, who she mentors into becoming a rock star. However, Tommy betrays her by stealing her songs and becoming a successful solo musician. Hedwig embarks on a self-realization journey that will allow her to find her real identity.

In addition to helming the film, Mitchell also stars as Hedwig, reprising his role from the original stage musical. The former "Head of the Class" star earned rave reviews for an absolutely brilliant and strong leading performance, which brought him his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.

High Fidelity

Based on English author Nick Hornby's popular 1995 novel, "High Fidelity" introduces Rob Gordon, a musicophile who owns a record store called Championship Vinyl. After his longtime girlfriend Laura breaks up with him, Rob becomes an absolute mess as he tries to figure out why he keeps failing at his relationships. To find out the reason, he makes a top five list of his most painful heartbreaks, setting out to examine and reflect on each of them. For him to do this, he must reconnect with his exes and ask them about his faults. Meanwhile, Rob's situation becomes worse when he discovers that Laura has already moved on with another man, the eccentric Ian.

This 2000 comedy drama is a skillful adaptation of Hornsby's story, offering a clever and satirical look at romantic relationships. John Cusack, who portrays the role of Rob, delivers another charming, hilarious, and relatable leading performance as one of his most memorable characters to date. It also includes appearances from Catherine Zeta-Jone, Iben Hjejle, Lisa Bonet, Lili Taylor, Joan Cusack, and Tim Robbins, with Jack Black in a breakthrough role as one of Rob's employees. In addition to having a great cast and entertaining story, the film is also known for its incredible soundtrack.

The High Note

2020's "The High Note" is a comedy-drama about aspiring music producer Maggie Sherwoode. Despite being an overworked personal assistant to iconic superstar Grace Davis, Maggie loves what she's doing, having been a fan of Grace's music for a long time. When an opportunity to produce for Grace arrives, Maggie decides to go for it and present her personal remixes of the singer's hit songs. This leads to Maggie secretly working on new songs alongside up-and-coming artist David, with whom she forms an instant connection. Meanwhile, due to Maggie's influence, Grace contemplates her future as she must decide between a stable Las Vegas residency or a chance at recording a new album that will change the world's perception of her.

"The High Note" was directed by Nisha Ganatra from a Black List screenplay written by Flora Greeson. Leading the cast are Dakota Johnson and Golden Globe winner Tracee Ellis Ross, whose top-notch chemistry elevates the film's sweet and simple storyline. Through Ross' compelling portrayal of Grace Davis, she offers a glimpse of what it would be like if she followed in the footsteps of her real-life mother, legendary singer Diana Ross. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ross described playing Grace as a life-changing experience, particularly because she's always been terrified of showcasing her singing abilities.

How to Build a Girl

"How to Build a Girl" is a coming-of-age comedy about a teenage girl who reinvents herself as a scathing music critic. Set in the 1990s, the film follows 16-year-old aspiring writer Johanna Morrigan, who dreams of escaping her mundane life in Wolverhampton. After an incident in which she embarrasses herself on national television, Johanna accidentally causes another mishap that leads to her family losing an important source of income. Because of this, she tries to take responsibility for her actions by getting a job as a writer to support her family's financial needs. Johanna applies to become a critic for a London music paper, where she finds herself falling in love with rock music. Through her new job, she meets rising musician John Kite, and the two form an instant connection. Soon, Johanna learns that writing negative reviews is the only way she can elevate her career.

This 2019 film is based on writer Caitlin Moran's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. It features a witty and fun leading performance from Golden Globe nominee Beanie Feldstein, whose likable charms and strong but quirky presence can instantly capture the audiences' attention. She's joined by Alfie Allen, Emma Thompson, and Chris O'Dowd, with special cameos from Michael Sheen, Sharon Horgan, Jameela Jamil, Lily Allen, and Gemma Arterton. During its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the independent dramedy took home the FIPRESCI Special Presentations award.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Following the critical success of the Western remake "True Grit" in 2010, Joel and Ethan Coen returned with "Inside Llewyn Davis." Loosely inspired by the life of late folk singer Dave Ronk, this part-black comedy, part-musical drama takes the audiences into one week in the life of Llewyn Davis, a talented but struggling folk singer who can't seem to catch a break. Set in 1961 New York City, the story follows Llewyn as he navigates the Greenwich Village as a broke and homeless artist who always relies on his friends' kindness for a place to sleep each night. Throughout the film, he' faces a number of challenges and mishaps which seem to keep leading him further away from his goal of becoming a successful singer.

The 2013 film is led by Oscar Isaac, who gives an outstanding leading performance as Llewyn Davis in what is considered to be the breakout role of his career. Despite portraying such a flawed and complex character, Isaac is still captivating, thanks to his undeniable charisma and compelling portrayal. He's joined by a remarkable supporting cast including Carey Mulligan, Adam Driver, and John Goodman. Interestingly, almost all of the main cast, including Isaac and Mulligan, performed their characters' music live (via Sound and Picture). The film received plenty of awards recognition, including the Grand Prix Award at the Cannes Film Festival. It also earned Isaac his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.

Josie and the Pussycats

Based on the Archie Comics characters created by Dan DeCarlo, "Josie and the Pussycats" centers around the titular all-female rock band from Riverdale, consisting of lead singer Josie McCoy, bassist Valerie Brown, and drummer Melody Valentine. Like any other up-and-coming band, the talented trio wants nothing but to perform in front of a large crowd instead of playing gigs at dingy garages and a bowling alleys. That's why, when music producer Wyatt Frame suddenly offers them a record deal at MegaRecords, they immediately agree without any hesitation. Unbeknownst to them, Wyatt and label CEO Fiona are actually planning to use the girls' music to manipulate millions of teens into buying consumer products. When their friendship and teamwork are eventually getting affected by the label's creative control on their music and image, The Pussycats will soon realize that fame does indeed come at a price.

This 2001 musical comedy is written and directed by the team of Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan. Leading the cast are "She's All That" breakout Rachael Leigh Cook, "American Pie" vet Tara Reid, and future "Star Wars" star Rosario Dawson. In addition to the catchy songs, the trio's infectious charms and fun chemistry elevate the film's delightfully silly storyline. Despite initially receiving negative reviews, the film eventually gained a cult following over the years, with critics and audiences finding a new appreciation of its satirical take on the music industry, pop culture, and consumerism.

Joyful Noise

In "Joyful Noise," hard times hit the small town of Pacashau, Georgia. The troubles begin with the death of beloved church choir director Bernard Sparrow, whose gospel music has always been a source of inspiration for the townspeople. In the hope of continuing to uplift the locals' spirits in a time when they need it the most, Pastor Dale sets out to find a new choir director from among the existing choir members. However, tensions rise when he chooses single mother Vi Rose instead of Sparrow's widow G.G., a major benefactor to the church. Meanwhile, Vi Rose's daughter Olivia unexpectedly forms a connection with G.G.'s troublemaking grandson Randy, who's smitten with Olivia due to their shared talent in music. Hoping for a chance to win the Joyful Noise competition, Vi Rose and G.G. must work together in order to bring a new harmony to the choir.

This 2012 musical comedy from writer-director Todd Graff features an entertaining and emotional storyline elevated by the incredible music of Grammy winner Mervyn Warren, who creatively mixed gospel elements into the musical arrangements of existing popular songs featured in the film. Leading the cast are Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, Courtney B. Vance. It also features a noteworthy appearance by country legend Kris Kristofferson, best known for starring in the 1976 version of "A Star is Born."

La Bamba

In "La Bamba," Lou Diamond Phillips portrays legendary rock and roll star Ritchie Valens, who is known as one of the pioneers in Chicano rock music. The biographical drama chronicles Ritchie Valens' life, from his rise to fame up to the events leading to his untimely death in 1959. Introduced as an unbelievably talented 16-year-old from a poor family in Los Angeles, Ritchie's life immediately changes after he gets discovered by Del-Fi Records owner Bob Keane. After releasing his rendition of "We Belong Together" and his self-written song "Come On, Let's Go" on the radio, Ritchie becomes an instant music sensation. Meanwhile, he must try his best to manage his personal relationships as he struggles to balance them with his rising music career. This includes his strained relationship with girlfriend Donna, whose parents are trying to separate them apart, and the tension rising between himself and his jealous brother Bob.

This 1982 film features an inspiring and tragic storyline about a great artist's effect on other people's lives. It currently holds a rating of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising Phillips' perfect casting, sentimental story, and engrossing music performances. Phillips delivers a breakout leading performance as he brilliantly does justice for the legacy of Ritchie Valens by conveying the charm, sincerity, and infectious energy of the character. The film also includes memorable performances from Esai Morales and Rosanna DeSoto, who play the roles of Bob and Ritchie's mother Connie, respectively.

Lemonade Mouth

"Lemonade Mouth” is a coming-of-age comedy about five high school students — Olivia, Mo, Stella, Charlie, and Wen — who find themselves together in detention. After spontaneously performing a song, they discover each other's musical talents and realize how well they play together as a band. With the encouragement of music teacher Ms. Reznick, they decide to enter a music competition together against the popular Mudslide Crush. After finding out that their favorite lemonade machine is being replaced by an energy drink brand sponsoring the school's sports program, the five of them decide to use their music to stand up against the administration for cutting the budget of the other school clubs. Apart from becoming a symbol for student revolution, the band unexpectedly becomes their solace from their individual problems.

This underrated teen music film is directed by Patricia Riggen from a screenplay written by April Blair, based on Mark Peter Hughes' 2007 novel of the same name. It features an entertaining, fun, and socially aware storyline elevated by the charming and relatable performances of its main cast, including long-time Disney vet Bridget Mendler, Adam Hicks, Hayley Kiyoko, Blake Michael, and future "Aladdin" star Naomi Scott. Following its premiere on Disney Channel, it became the network's most-watched original movie in 2011 with 5.7 million views (per Adweek). It also garnered positive reviews from critics as they praised the film for showcasing timely themes regarding empowerment and self-expression.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Based on August Wilson's acclaimed 1982 stage play, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" depicts a tumultuous recording session involving legendary blues singer Ma Rainey and her Georgia jazz band, consisting of three veteran musicians and one newcomer in the ambitious Levee Green. The recording takes place on a hot afternoon in Chicago, where Ma Rainey's band, producer, and manager await her arrival. After waiting for an hour, the Mother of Blues finally appears as she brings along her lady companion and her stuttering nephew. What comes next is a series of conflicts as Ma clashes with her white producer and manager, who are getting frustrated with her demands and diva attitude. Meanwhile, Levee continues to boast his talent and bright music career to the rest of the band as he plans to play his own songs for Ma's producer in hopes of finally getting the solo career he wants.

The film was helmed by Tony-winning director George C. Wolfe, who directs Oscar winner Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman in one of his final roles. The adaptation reunites Davis and Boseman after they worked together in another biographical music drama, "Get On Up." They both deliver exceptional leading performances, with critics praising Boseman for evidently pouring his heart and soul into such a flawed and broken character, whose undeniable talent gets overshadowed by his ambitions and anger. For his commendable work on the film, Boseman posthumously won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor.

Music and Lyrics

"Music and Lyrics" is romantic comedy that introduces former '80s pop star and talented composer Alex Fletcher, who teams up with unlikely writing partner to make a song that could potentially launch him back into the limelight. Several years after his boy band PoP! disbanded, Alex's star has faded, leading him to bank on his remaining fans' nostalgia-infused support to keep him afloat. Alex finally gets a chance to reinvigorate his career when young diva Cora Corman asks him to write her next hit song ... on an incredibly tight turnaround. Thankfully, his saving grace appears in the form of his plant lady, Sophie. After discovering Sophie's talent with words, he immediately asks her to help him complete Cora's song, leading to a music collaboration that could potentially bloom into something more.

The film is written and directed by Marc Lawrence, best known for writing the blockbuster comedy "Miss Congeniality." Leading the 2007 film are Golden Globe winners Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, neither a stranger to the romantic comedy genre. Thanks to their sweet and charming chemistry, the film's lighthearted and entertaining storyline offers some classic rom-com escapism. "Music and Lyrics" also features the debut performance of Haley Bennett, who has since moved on to more serious roles in films like "The Girl on the Train" and "Swallow."

Pitch Perfect

In "Pitch Perfect," aspiring music producer Becca Mitchell suddenly gets involved in the highly-competitive world of a capella collegiate competitions after her estranged father forces her to attend college, instead of allowing her to pursue her passion in music. Despite her initial plans of staying away from extracurricular activities, Becca has no choice but to join the Barden Bellas — an all-female singing group trying to move past a recent embarrassing moment during the finals — due to a deal she's made that could potentially get her out of college. In order for the Bellas to win against the Treblemakers and make it into the national finals, Becca becomes an unlikely central figure for the team as she convinces co-leaders Aubrey and Chloe to change the team's traditional methods and routines in favor of finding a new sound and image.

This music comedy is loosely inspired by Mickey Rapkin's non-fiction book "Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory." It offers a hilarious and clever storyline elevated by its stellar cast's infectious energy and witty humor. The film is also known for its great musical numbers, full of catchy renditions that audiences just can't get enough of. Leading the cast is Anna Kendrick, whose incredible and charming performance as Becca solidifies her status as a full-fledged movie star. Apart from Kendrick, Rebel Wilson also delivers a breakout performance as "Fat Amy," whose effortless timing makes her one of the main highlights of the film.

Purple Rain

Legendary musician Prince made his acting debut in the musical drama "Purple Rain," portraying the semi-autobiographical role of "The Kid," talented frontman of the rock band The Revolution. Set in Minneapolis, the story revolves around The Kid as he uses his music to escape from his troubled home life. Afraid of becoming just like his abusive father, he struggles to maintain both his personal and professional relationships, often turning selfish when it comes to his music. Meanwhile, his rival Morris Day tries to take advantage of his flaws by forming plans that would get The Revolution kicked from their slot at the First Avenue nightclub, going as far as convincing The Kid's girlfriend and aspiring singer Apollonia to join a new girl group. Now, The Kid must find a way to deal with his own fear and jealousy before it completely affects his band and his romance with Apollonia.

This 1984 film is directed and co-written by Prince's future manager, Albert Magnoli. In his feature debut, Prince received praise from critics for his unparalleled charisma, stage presence, and genre-defying music, which helped the film become an instant classic. The soundtrack went down in history as one of the greatest albums of all time (per Rolling Stone), with Prince and the Revolution winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture.


"Ray" is a biographical drama that chronicles the life and incredible career of Ray Charles, one of the pioneers of soul music and an influential figure in music history. The film begins with a young Charles living in poverty with his single mother. Following the accidental death of his brother, Ray suffers another tragedy when he completely loses his vision due to glaucoma. Through his mother's perseverance and guidance, he overcomes his disability and maintains his independence. Through this, he discovers his natural talent for singing, songwriting, and playing the piano. After he gets the chance to record his first song, Ray becomes an instant music sensation, known for hit songs such as "I Got a Woman" and "Georgia on My Mind." As he deals with his growing fame and success, he becomes involved in multiple affairs and develops an addiction to heroin, jeopardizing his marriage and career.

Leading the 2004 film is Jamie Foxx, whose evident charm, ingenuity, and confidence made for a career-defining performance as Ray Charles. In addition to trying to perfect the piano performances needed for the film, Foxx also had his eyes glued shut in an attempt to effectively and authentically portray the titular singer (per CBS News). His dedication paid off, and Foxx was recognized by the Academy with his first Oscar for Best Actor. "Ray" also features a solid supporting cast, including Kerry Washington, Aunjanue Ellis, Harry Lennix, and future Oscar winner Regina King.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).


An epic musical fantasy, "Rocketman" explores the life of one of the greatest artists of all time, Elton John, through his iconic songs like "Your Song," "Crocodile Rock," "Tiny Dancer," and "Rocket Man." The story first introduces John as Reginald Dwight, a shy young boy and music prodigy who has a complicated relationship with his aloof parents. His life completely changes after he reinvents himself into Elton John, signaling the start of his unprecedented journey towards becoming a global music icon. The film depicts different stages of his career, from his long-time friendship with lyricist Bernie Taupin to his toxic relationship with his first manager John Reid, up through his bout with alcoholism and drug addiction, leading to his admission to a rehabilitation center.

The 2019 biographical drama is directed by Dexter Fletcher from a screenplay written by Tony-winning playwright Lee Hall, who worked with John on the popular stage play "Billy Elliot: The Musical." Following his breakout role in the "Kingsman” franchise, Taron Egerton delivers one of the best performances of his career by masterfully embodying the role of Elton John. In addition to delivering an incredible vocal performance, Egerton's electrifying and sentimental portrayal is captivating, particularly accompanied by the film's colorful musical sequences. "Rocketman" won Egerton his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

School of Rock

Award-winning filmmaker Richard Linklater directed Jack Black in one of his most memorable roles to date with the coming-of-age music comedy "School of Rock." The story follows Black's Dewey Finn, a passionate struggling musician who gets voted out of his band for his over-the-top stage antics. In addition to losing his band, Dewey is pressured by his roommates for failing to pay for his share of the rent. However, the situation changes when the desperate Dewey stumbles upon an unlikely job opportunity as a substitute teacher at a prestigious elementary school. The only problem: he's not at all qualified to teach, and will need to impersonate his best friend Ned to secure the gig. Successfully conning his way into the school, he meets a class of musically talented kids, giving him an outrageous idea for the upcoming Battle of the Bands. Under the pretense of a school project, he enlists the class to become his new band by secretly teaching them rock 'n' roll.

This feel-good comedy is elevated by its stellar cast's crowd pleasing performances and impeccable comedy chemistry. Thanks to Black's good-natured humor and energetic charm, he's able to easily make Dewey a likable and relatable character despite his eccentric and loud personality. In becoming "Mr. S," Black effectively showed a new side to his rambunctious screen persona with his character's transformation from an irresponsible musician to a dependable mentor and leader. For his work on the film, Black earned his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical.


"Sing" is an animated musical comedy following the story of a group of talented anthropomorphic animals in the city of Calatonia as they prepare for the biggest performance of their lives. On the verge of losing his beloved theater to the bank, optimistic koala Buster Moon decides to hold auditions for a singing competition that could potentially save the struggling theater from its impending foreclosure. After his assistant Ms. Crawly mistakenly adds extra zeroes to the total prize money advertised on the flyers, Busters' audition garners the attention of hundreds of talented hopefuls. From the auditions, five frontrunners emerge: Johnny, a teen gorilla with a soul; Rosita, an underappreciated mother of 25 piglets who has a hidden musical talent; Meena, a shy teen elephant with a powerful singing voice; Ash, a porcupine who's an aspiring rock star; and Mike, an overconfident street mouse singer.

"Sing" was written and directed by Garth Jennings, best known for his feature directorial debut "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." The 2016 animated film features an entertaining and lighthearted storyline, brought to life by an all-star voice cast consisting of acclaimed actors Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, and Taron Egerton. It currently holds a rating of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising the film for its vibrant tone, engaging characters, and great renditions of popular songs. It went on to become a blockbuster hit with a worldwide gross of over $600 million.

Sing Street

Set in 1985 Dublin, "Sing Street" centers around high school student Conor Lalor, who gets transferred to a new school following his family's financial troubles. On his first day, he immediately encounters problems with not only bully Barry but the school principal, who reprimands him for violating the dress code. Soon, he meets aspiring model Raphina, whom he invites to star in his music video for his non-existent band. In hopes of impressing her, Conor quickly forms a band with the help of his new friend Darren, who introduces him to the gifted multi-instrumentalist Eamon. Following his music-loving older brother's advice, he starts writing his own songs with Eamon in an attempt to become a more authentic band and win Raphina's heart through his music.

This 2016 coming-of-age dramedy was written and directed by John Carney — no stranger to the musical genre, having previously directed "Once" and "Begin Again." The film offers a heartwarming and feel-good story about growing up, first loves, and finding your identity. Leading the film are Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Mark McKenna, Jack Reynor, Aidan Gillen, and Maria Doyle Kennedy. Despite its disappointing box office turnout, the film currently holds a Certified Fresh rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising its catchy soundtrack, uplifting vibe, nostalgic tone, and endearing performances by its young cast.

Sister Act

Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg stars in one of her most iconic roles to date in the musical comedy "Sister Act." The film introduces Deloris Van Cartier, a lounge singer who witnesses her mobster boyfriend committing murder, transforming her from nightclub star to star witness overnight. She's placed into a witness protection program, where she must disguise herself as a nun at St. Katherine's Convent. There, Deloris — now under the alias of Sister Mary Clarence — struggles to adapt to the convent's rules, a struggle for someone so used to the Reno night life. As part of her cover, Deloris is tasked with leading the convent's chaotic choir, teaching them how to blend their harmonies together and find the right songs to entice and uplift the spirits of churchgoers. The choir's unconventional new performances are a hit, and while the newfound attention is great for the church, it could spell disaster for Deloris' cover.

This 1992 film features a hilarious, entertaining, and upbeat storyline paired with catchy and stirring musical numbers, not to mention the energized performances from its amazing cast. Goldberg delivers a fantastic leading performance as Deloris, whose sharp wit and charming personality make her one of the film's main highlights. After garnering commercial success with a worldwide gross of over $230 million, the film turned into a beloved musical franchise, resulting in the 1993 sequel "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” and a Broadway musical adaptation featuring the music of Alan Menken (via Playbill).

Spice World

The Spice Girls made their feature acting debut in the musical comedy "Spice World." Inspired by The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," this 1997 film follows Emma, Geri, Victoria, Mel B., and Mel C. as they embark on an unbelievable adventure throughout London on their customized double decker tour bus, while they prepare for the biggest concert of their career at the Royal Albert Hall. Their nonstop schedule is slowly taking a toll on the girls, who just want to take a short break from the limelight and spend some time with their pregnant best friend Nicola. Meanwhile, a scheming newspaper owner plans to ruin the group's career by secretly following them in hopes of discovering some dirt that could tarnish their reputation.

At the time of its theatrical release, the film was a box office hit, breaking the record for the highest Super Bowl weekend debut (per History Daily) with a worldwide gross of $100 million. Despite initially receiving negative reviews, "Spice World" went on to become a cult classic, with publications like The New York Times later reevaluating the film in a more positive light. Its meta elements, timeless charm, good-natured humor, and satirical take on stardom have only improved with age in the quarter-century since its release. "Spice World" may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's definitely a beloved classic and nostalgic favorite for legions of fans.

Straight Outta Compton

"Straight Outta Compton" chronicles the turbulent rise and downfall of the influential and controversial hip hop group N.W.A. It also depicts the lives of founding members Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, and MC Ren as they navigate the difficult reality of living in Compton, while trying to make a name for themselves. Using their sick rhymes and game-changing beats, the N.W.A transforms music forever by laying down the foundation of the gangsta rap movement. From their unprecedented success to their police protests, from their controversial songs to their breakup, the film offers a no holds barred portrayal of N.W.A.

The 2015 biographical drama was helmed by F. Gary Gray, who has collaborated with both Ice Cube and Dr. Dre since the early 1990s on a few of their music videos, including "Natural Born Killaz." The film features a complex, hard-hitting, and emotional storyline that reflects not only the infamous group's tumultuous beginnings and career, but also their significance and legacy in the history of hip hop. The film received critical acclaim, gaining praise for Gray's flawless direction and visual storytelling. The ensemble cast's powerful portrayals were also well-received, particularly standout performances from Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, and O'Shea Jackson Jr., who portrays the young version of his father Ice Cube.

That Thing You Do!

Following back-to-back Best Actor Oscar wins for acclaimed performances in "Philadelphia" and "Forrest Gump," Tom Hanks made his feature writing and directorial debut with the music comedy "That Thing You Do!" Set in the early 1960s, the film tells the fictional story of the Oneders, a small town band who become an overnight music sensation following the arrival of aspiring jazz drummer Guy Patterson. On the eve of an important talent show, the Oneders' original drummer accidentally breaks his arm, leading them to enlist Guy to become their temporary drummer. During their performance, Guy changes the tempo of the band's original song "That Thing You Do!" to a much faster one, making it more upbeat and catchy. This move proves to be a success, and strangers start asking them for their record. Soon, they get discovered by Mr. White of Play-Tone Records, who becomes their band manager and tries to lead them to success.

This 1996 comedy features a charming and lighthearted storyline about the short-lived success of one-hit wonders. Leading the cast are Hanks, Tom Everett Scott, Steve Zahn, Liv Tyler, Jonathan Schaech, and Ethan Embry. Following appearances in TV shows like "Law & Order" and "Grace Under Fire," Scott made a memorable feature debut as Guy, whose charisma, cool vibe, and likable personality captivated audiences. It also features fun appearances from notable figures including Rita Wilson, Bryan Cranston, and future Oscar winner Charlize Theron in one of the earliest roles of her bright career.

Tick... Tick... Boom!

"Hamilton" star Lin-Manuel Miranda made his feature directorial debut with 2021's film adaptation of "Rent" creator Jonathan Larson's semi-autobiographical stage musical "tick, tick...BOOM!" The drama follows Larson as an aspiring composer and playwright in New York City who's anxiously preparing for the upcoming workshop of his first musical, which he's been developing for eight years. As he turns 30, he starts reflecting on the choices he's made that led him to his current situation. Worried that he wasted all of his youth working on a project that might never get made, he's faced with the difficult decision of whether to continue pursuing his dreams or just start a corporate career like his friends. In addition to his existential crisis, he must also navigate his deteriorating relationship with his girlfriend Susan, who wants him to leave the city with her.

The movie features an honest yet fantastical storyline about the realities of adulthood, and an interesting portrait into one man's unbreakable dedication to creativity and theater. "The Amazing Spider-Man" star Andrew Garfield delivers a phenomenal leading performance as he masterfully conveys the energy, passion, and commitment that Larson had for his craft. Miranda and Garfield are able to brilliantly and thoughtfully give recognition to Larson's timeless works and his personal dilemmas. For his acclaimed portrayal, Garfield scored his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.

Trolls World Tour

In "Trolls World Tour," Queen Poppy of the Pop Trolls faces her biggest challenge yet. After receiving a threatening letter from Queen Barb, Poppy and Branch are shocked to discover that there are other kinds of trolls besides them. Former King Peppy tells them the truth about their history, involving six magic strings that each represent the major genres of music — Pop, Rock, Techno, Classical, Country, and Funk. Due to disagreements over which kind of songs to play, ancestors of each tribe decided to divide the strings and live separately from one another. Now, Queen Barb of the Rock kingdom plans to collect all the strings in order to eliminate the other genres and turn everyone into rock zombies. Because of this, Poppy and her friends embark on an adventure beyond their kingdom in the hope of convincing other tribes to join forces in stopping Barb's plans.

This 2020 sequel is a great follow-up to "Trolls," as it offers a heartwarming and upbeat story about the importance of unity in the face of adversity. The adventure is brought to life by the energetic performances of its ensemble voice cast, including returning stars Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Ron Funches, and James Corden. They're once again joined by an all-star supporting cast, with newcomers Rachel Bloom, Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, and more joining the franchise. The film's varied song selection is showcased through bright, colorful, and visually fun musical sequences.

Walk the Line

"Walk the Line” explores the life of country music legend Johnny Cash, from his turbulent childhood in Arkansas to his meteoric rise, from meeting the love of his life to his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Cash works as a salesman in order to support his family with first wife Vivian. However, his life changes when he finds inspiration in a recording studio, leading him to form his own band. Soon, Cash and his band get the chance to go on tour with other rising talents, including Elvis Presley. While on tour, Cash befriends fellow singer-songwriter June Carter, who becomes a vital part of his life. As they spend more time together, their close friendship eventually transforms into something more. However, his growing fame and success get the better of him as he develops addictions and grapples with destructive behavior.

This biographical musical drama comes from "Girl, Interrupted" filmmaker James Mangold, directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with long-time Johnny Cash autobiographer Gill Dennis. The cast is led by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, who both give outstanding performances defined by their undeniable chemistry. Phoenix gives justice to Cash's music and legacy by effectively conveying the iconic musician's charisma and stage presence as well as his flaws. For Witherspoon's scene-stealing portrayal of June Carter, the "Legally Blonde" actress successfully earned her first Academy Award for Best Actress.


Acclaimed filmmaker Damien Chazelle directed Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons in "Whiplash," the story of a young aspiring jazz drummer enduring the intense training methods of a tyrannical mentor. The story begins with 19-year-old Andrew Neiman, who stumbles upon the rare opportunity to join premier conductor Terence Fletcher's prestigious Shaffer Conservatory Studio Band. Andrew soon finds out the hard way that Fletcher tends to verbally and physically torment his students whenever they fail to keep up with his standards. Regardless of the constant humiliation that he undergoes during practices, Andrew finds himself pushing through Fletcher's challenges in an attempt to win his difficult mentor's approval. Because of this, the pressure to attain perfection overcomes Andrew, which leads him to neglect his mental health and personal relationships.

Both Teller and Simmons deliver exceptionally powerful performances through their anxiety-inducing scenes together. Apart from their top-notch acting, Chazelle's complex and haunting vision makes the film all the more compelling. For Simmons' intense and unapologetic portrayal of Fletcher, the "Spider-Man" vet took home both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.


"Yesterday" is a comedy about Jack Malik, a struggling musician who's about to give up on his dreams of becoming a star after a long road of small gigs and no recognition. His life instantly changes in a snap after he gets hit by a bus during a strange global blackout. When he wakes up, Jack suddenly finds himself in an alternate reality where his all-time favorite band The Beatles never existed. This unusual phenomenon launches Jack into instant stardom when he starts performing and claiming The Beatles songs as his own. As he begins to finally achieve his dreams, his relationship with childhood best friend and ever-loyal supporter Ellie grapples with her growing feelings for him.

The film was directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle from a screenplay written by "Four Weddings and a Funeral" scribe Richard Curtis. Leading the cast are British TV stars Himesh Patel of "EastEnders" and Lily James of "Downton Abbey." Their charming and sweet performances blend well with the film's fantastical and outrageous storyline, which gives Beatles fans an interesting perspective at a world without the influential band's greatest hits. Despite receiving mixed reviews at the time of its release, the film's entertaining musical sequences proved to be a hit among moviegoers, as it currently holds an audience score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.