Music Biopics

by CorleoneWarrior88 | created - 23 Apr 2015 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

A list of biographical films about musicians

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1. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

88 Metascore

The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporaneous composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 343,813 | Gross: $51.97M

2. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, Music

49 Metascore

The story of the legendary British rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985).

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy

Votes: 387,070 | Gross: $216.43M

3. Straight Outta Compton (2015)

R | 147 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr.

Votes: 167,980 | Gross: $161.20M

4. Walk the Line (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, Music

72 Metascore

A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick

Votes: 217,490 | Gross: $119.52M

5. Control (2007)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Music

78 Metascore

A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.

Director: Anton Corbijn | Stars: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Craig Parkinson, Alexandra Maria Lara

Votes: 58,559 | Gross: $0.87M

6. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 129,457 | Gross: $75.33M

7. Shine (1996)

PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Music

87 Metascore

Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Director: Scott Hicks | Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine, Sonia Todd

Votes: 49,089 | Gross: $35.81M

8. La Vie en Rose (2007)

PG-13 | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Music

66 Metascore

Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.

Director: Olivier Dahan | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory, Emmanuelle Seigner

Votes: 78,432 | Gross: $10.30M

9. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama, Music

87 Metascore

Biographical story of Loretta Lynn, a legendary country singer that came from poverty to worldwide fame. She rose from humble beginnings in Kentucky to superstardom and changing the sound and style of country music forever.

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm, Phyllis Boyens-Liptak

Votes: 15,527 | Gross: $67.18M

10. Rocketman (I) (2019)

R | 121 min | Biography, Drama, Music

69 Metascore

A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.

Director: Dexter Fletcher | Stars: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 73,480 | Gross: $96.37M

11. Immortal Beloved (1994)

R | 121 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved, and the movie tries to ... See full summary »

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini, Johanna ter Steege

Votes: 21,956 | Gross: $9.91M

12. Love & Mercy (2014)

PG-13 | 121 min | Biography, Drama, Music

80 Metascore

In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.

Director: Bill Pohlad | Stars: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti

Votes: 32,894 | Gross: $12.55M

13. 24 Hour Party People (2002)

R | 117 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

85 Metascore

In 1976, Tony Wilson sets up Factory Records and brings Manchester's music to the world.

Director: Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Steve Coogan, Lennie James, John Thomson, Paul Popplewell

Votes: 30,874 | Gross: $1.13M

14. What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of singer Tina Turner's rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from her abusive husband, Ike Turner.

Director: Brian Gibson | Stars: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, RaéVen Kelly, Virginia Capers

Votes: 15,870 | Gross: $39.10M

15. Bound for Glory (1976)

PG | 147 min | Biography, Drama, Music

70 Metascore

The early life of Woody Guthrie as a vagabond folk singer.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: David Carradine, Ronny Cox, Melinda Dillon, Gail Strickland

Votes: 4,393

16. The Glenn Miller Story (1954)

Approved | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Biography of bandleader Glenn Miller from his beginnings to his death over the English Channel in December 1944.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, Charles Drake

Votes: 7,389

17. The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

PG | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Music

78 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the early rock and roll singer, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death.

Director: Steve Rash | Stars: Gary Busey, Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith, Conrad Janis

Votes: 7,647 | Gross: $14.36M

18. The Doors (1991)

R | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Music

62 Metascore

The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band The Doors and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley

Votes: 79,092 | Gross: $35.18M

19. Bird (1988)

R | 161 min | Biography, Drama, Music

78 Metascore

The troubled life and career of jazz musician Charlie "Bird" Parker (Forest Whitaker).

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker, Samuel E. Wright

Votes: 10,644 | Gross: $2.18M

20. Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

R | 144 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan

Votes: 3,380 | Gross: $9.60M

21. Nowhere Boy (2009)

R | 98 min | Biography, Drama, Music

67 Metascore

A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson | Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne-Marie Duff, David Threlfall

Votes: 33,294 | Gross: $1.45M

22. 8 Mile (2002)

R | 110 min | Drama, Music

77 Metascore

A young rapper, struggling with every aspect of his life, wants to make it big but his friends and foes make this odyssey of rap harder than it may seem.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer

Votes: 232,797 | Gross: $116.72M

23. Sweet Dreams (1985)

PG-13 | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

65 Metascore

The story of Patsy Cline, the velvet-voiced country music singer who died in a tragic plane crash at the height of her fame.

Director: Karel Reisz | Stars: Jessica Lange, Ed Harris, Ann Wedgeworth, David Clennon

Votes: 3,879 | Gross: $9.09M

24. Sid and Nancy (1986)

R | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Music

76 Metascore

The relationship between Sid Vicious, bassist for British punk group Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen is portrayed.

Director: Alex Cox | Stars: Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman, Debby Bishop

Votes: 27,847 | Gross: $2.83M

25. Behind the Candelabra (2013)

TV-MA | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A chronicle of the tempestuous six year romance between megastar singer, Liberace, and his young lover, Scott Thorson.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Eric Zuckerman

Votes: 38,385

26. Cadillac Records (2008)

R | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Music

65 Metascore

Chronicles the rise of Chess Records and its recording artists.

Director: Darnell Martin | Stars: Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Beyoncé, Columbus Short

Votes: 18,664 | Gross: $8.20M

27. I'm Not There (2007)

R | 135 min | Biography, Drama, Music

73 Metascore

Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where six characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw

Votes: 54,489 | Gross: $4.02M

28. Get on Up (2014)

PG-13 | 139 min | Biography, Drama, Music

71 Metascore

A chronicle of James Brown's rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.

Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis

Votes: 19,292 | Gross: $30.51M

29. La Bamba (1987)

PG-13 | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Music

65 Metascore

Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of early rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

Director: Luis Valdez | Stars: Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto, Elizabeth Peña

Votes: 25,818 | Gross: $54.22M

30. Jersey Boys (2014)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, Music

54 Metascore

The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza

Votes: 30,884 | Gross: $47.03M

31. Copying Beethoven (2006)

PG-13 | 104 min | Biography, Drama, Music

59 Metascore

A fictionalized account of the last year of Beethoven's life.

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Ed Harris, Diane Kruger, Matthew Goode, Ralph Riach

Votes: 12,427 | Gross: $0.35M

32. Selena (1997)

PG | 127 min | Biography, Drama, Music

67 Metascore

The true story of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Texas-born Tejano singer who rose from cult status to performing at the Astrodome, as well as having chart topping albums on the Latin music charts.

Director: Gregory Nava | Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Jon Seda, Jackie Guerra

Votes: 22,788 | Gross: $35.42M

33. Notorious (2009)

R | 122 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

The life and death story of Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace), who came straight out of Brooklyn to take the world of rap music by storm.

Director: George Tillman Jr. | Stars: Jamal Woolard, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke, Momo Dione

Votes: 38,736 | Gross: $36.84M

34. Beyond the Sea (2004)

PG-13 | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music

46 Metascore

A swooning study of "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby Darin and specifically his relationship with wife Sandra Dee.

Director: Kevin Spacey | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, John Goodman, Bob Hoskins

Votes: 14,105 | Gross: $6.32M

35. Backbeat (1994)

R | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A dramatization of the Hamburg, Germany phase of The Beatles' early history.

Director: Iain Softley | Stars: Stephen Dorff, Sheryl Lee, Ian Hart, Gary Bakewell

Votes: 5,472 | Gross: $2.39M

36. The Runaways (2010)

R | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Music

65 Metascore

A coming-of-age biographical film about the 1970s teenage all-girl rock band The Runaways. The relationship between band members Cherie Currie and Joan Jett is also explored.

Director: Floria Sigismondi | Stars: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Stella Maeve

Votes: 44,241 | Gross: $3.57M

37. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010)

TV-MA | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

57 Metascore

A biography of Ian Dury, who was stricken with polio at a young age and defied expectations by becoming one of the founders of the punk-rock scene in Britain in the 1970s.

Director: Mat Whitecross | Stars: Andy Serkis, Tom Hughes, Clifford Samuel, Joseph Kennedy

Votes: 3,803

38. What We Do Is Secret (2007)

R | 92 min | Biography, Drama, Music

54 Metascore

A biopic of punk legend Darby Crash and his band, the Germs.

Director: Rodger Grossman | Stars: Shane West, Rick Gonzalez, Bijou Phillips, Noah Segan

Votes: 1,705 | Gross: $0.06M

39. Evita (1996)

PG | 135 min | Biography, Drama, History

45 Metascore

The hit musical based on the life of Evita Duarte, a B-picture Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas, Jimmy Nail

Votes: 32,511 | Gross: $50.05M

40. Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998)

R | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Three women each claim to be the widow of 1950s doo-wop singer Frankie Lymon, claiming legal rights to his estate.

Director: Gregory Nava | Stars: Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox, Lela Rochon, Larenz Tate

Votes: 3,431 | Gross: $12.41M

41. Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

PG-13 | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Music

49 Metascore

The life and career of wildly controversial rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis.

Director: Jim McBride | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, John Doe, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 14,602 | Gross: $13.74M

42. Stoned (2005)

R | 102 min | Biography, Drama, Music

41 Metascore

A chronicle of the sordid life and suspicious death of Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones, who was found in the bottom of his swimming pool weeks after being let go from the band.

Director: Stephen Woolley | Stars: Leo Gregory, Paddy Considine, David Morrissey, Ben Whishaw

Votes: 3,739

43. Last Days (2005)

R | 97 min | Drama, Music

67 Metascore

A Seattle musician's life and career are reminiscent to those of Kurt Cobain.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Michael Pitt, Lukas Haas, Asia Argento, Scott Patrick Green

Votes: 20,909 | Gross: $0.45M

44. All Eyez on Me (2017)

R | 139 min | Biography, Drama, Music

38 Metascore

Tells the true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur.

Director: Benny Boom | Stars: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, Annie Ilonzeh

Votes: 19,150 | Gross: $44.92M

45. El cantante (2006)

R | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Music

46 Metascore

The life story of Hector Lavoe who started the salsa movement in 1975 and brought it to the United States.

Director: Leon Ichaso | Stars: Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, John Ortiz, Manny Perez

Votes: 4,500 | Gross: $7.56M



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