7 of the Greatest Rock and Roll Films Ever Made

Rock and Roll bands, real and fictional, have long been a subject of many captivating and high-energy films.  Here we will highlight 7 of the greatest rock and roll films ever made, including some box-office, smashes, award winners, and cult classics.

  1.  Almost Famous

A well-received movie by critics and moviegoers alike, Almost Famous chronicles the crazy story of a teenage, cub rock and roll writer who, against all odds, lands a Rolling Stone magazine commission to travel with, and write about a band of long-haired rockers and (one particular groupie, played by Kate Hudson) known as Stillwater as the band tours the nation.


  1.  This is Spinal Tap

A fictional and often hilarious documentary (or mockumentary) about a band of veteran and road-weary British musicians, This is Spinal Tap chronicles the band’s desperate attempt at an American comeback.  Along with their mission, the band encounters one side-splitting obstacle after another, showing the audience how difficult the rock and roll business can actually be.

  1.  Rock Star

Rock Star tells the true story of a tribute band singer, Tim “Ripper” Owens, played by Mark Wahlberg, who is asked to replace his rock and roll idol, Rob Halford, as the lead singer of the heavy metal band Judas Priest.

  1.  The Last Waltz

Directed by film legend Martin Scorsese, the documentary known as The Last Waltz highlights the story of the Canadian rockers known as The Band as they perform their last—and extremely lavish—rock and roll show at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom in November of 1976.  The enormously popular film features amazing performances from rock and roll and folk legends like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison; and shows real interviews in which the members of The Band discuss their history and the trials, tribulations, and successes associated with life on the road.

That Thing You Do

  1.  That Thing You Do

Written and directed by Tom Hanks, That Thing You Do relate the journey of the band The Wonders as they strive to take the title song, That Thing You Do, to the top of the pop charts.  Energetic and toe-tapping from start to finish, this film is sure to have you dancing and singing along with the music.

  1.  Pink Floyd—The Wall

A film describing the making of the title album, The Wall, this movie highlights the story of the drugged-out frontman Pink (Bob Geldof) as he thinks back on his childhood and life’s journey from the squalor of a downtown Los Angeles hotel room.  Flashbacks and drug-induced hallucinations enable Pink to remember the loneliness of his childhood, and “the wall” he put up to shut out others after the death of his father and the strict, needy demands of his mother.


  1.  Jailhouse Rock

A film that explores the perils and the pitfalls of sudden stardom, Jail House Rock stars Elvis Presley as an ex-convict tossed into a murky quagmire of music executives dead set on making money while ignoring the art and the artistic process.

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