No matter which version of A Star Is Born you’re watching, it’s sure to be a genuinely great look at the rise and fall of a music icon. The original film follows an actor on the rise, but the ‘54 version, the ‘76 version, and the 2018 version all show up-and-comers across different genres.
Cameron Crowe hasn’t made anything as good as Almost Famous. Based on his own experiences as a Rolling Stone reporter, the movie shows what it’s like to follow around a popular musician while they’re on tour during the height of 70s rock.
We need more movies about punk. Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room is an absolute punch to the face and the gut, a violent and abrasive look at a punk group held captive by murderous white supremacists.
Leave it to the Coen Brothers to make not just one, but two of the greatest movies about folk music—O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Inside Llewyn Davis. The latter is a masterpiece, showing a week in the life of a struggling solo act played by Oscar Isaac.
The Lonely Island have always been underrated when it comes to the feature films they associate with—from Hot Rod to MacGruber to The Watch to Popstar, the comedy trio consistently cranks out comedy gold without the box office numbers to match. The latter is a satire of modern pop music, with its main character Conner4Real epitomizing the commercialization of the 21st century pop star.
Edgar Wright’s needledrops have long been one of the most-praised aspects of his filmography, from Shaun of the Dead all the way to Baby Driver. That’s what makes Scott Pilgrim vs. the World so great—not only is it a perfect example of what makes Wright great, it’s also filled with all kinds of excellent original songs from the titular character’s fictional band, Sex Bomb-Omb.
Tom Hanks’s directorial debut arrived after a long string of success for the actor throughout the 90s. He was untouchable, and this likely played a big part in him being able to direct this charming little comedy about a fictional rock band during the heyday of rock and roll.
Saturday Night Live stand-outs Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi completely changed the game with their film The Blues Brothers. Tracking a fictional musical duo, the film redefined comedy by proving how talented SNL’s cast could be.
Christopher Guest’s films make up a large part of the mockumentary genre, effectively paving the way for shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation. One of the earliest films from the writer follows a fake rock band named Spinal Tap and the turbulent relationship between its members.
Probably the goofiest script Judd Apatow has ever put out, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story parodies the life of Johnny Cash and the success of Walk the Line while also roping in countless other groups and acts, as well. It’s a musician biopic satire to end all musician biopics.