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Top Five Rock Musical Movies

Those who have been reading for awhile will know my favourite genre of music is rock, and that I sometimes talk about movies here. Sometimes the lines between these two gets blurred, and you end up with these stellar films. Here’s what are in my opinion, the top five rock musical movies:

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody Movie poster with Rami Malek wearing sunglasses dressed as Freddie Mercury - best rock musical movies

Bohemian Rhapsody is the most recent release on this list. The biopic tells of Queen’s story from Freddie Mercury’s point of view, from their humble college band days to their legendary Live Aid set. Freddie was so much larger than life that no one could ever fully capture his character but Rami Malik came pretty damn close. As it’s a film it’s not 100% factually accurate but it’s still enjoyable for Queen fans and those not very familiar with them.

Music: 10/10, in my opinion you can’t get better than over two-hours of Queen.

The Runaways

The Runaways movie poster with Kristin Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie - best rock musical movies

Based on Cherie Currie’s autobiography “Neon Angel: a memoir of a Runaway”. The movie documents the rise and fall of the 70’s all-girl teenage rock band. The movie is lighter than the book though as they had a rough career and were taken advantage of. Kristin Stewart and Dakoka Fanning give pleasantly surprising performances as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. I would have preferred if they used the original music, instead of using covers of Dakota singing.

Music: 7/10 – I would have given a higher score if the original tracks were used

Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny

tenacious d in the pick of destiny movie poster with jack black and kg - best rock musical movies

Tenacious D is unique as it’s not a biopic but rather a comical adventure starring Tenacious D. It tells of a fictitious journey to becoming the best band in the world. If you’ve dreamt of being in the greatest band in the world, then you’ll find JB (Jack Black) endearing. It’s like a caricature of wannabe rockstars.

Music: 7/10 – light, funny, and Dave Grohl was a wonderful cameo.


labyrinth movie poster with david bowie dressed as the goblin king

The film starring David Bowie isn’t about him as a musician but is one of his best roles as an actor. The cult classic follows Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) as she tries to get her baby brother back from the Goblin King (Bowie). Bowie was very much involved in the music for the film so it’s just as weird and wonderful as he was. It’s not without it’s flaws; the Goblin King’s obsession with a very young Sarah is uncomfortable, as is his crotch bulge.

Music 8/10 – Within You and Underground became staple Bowie songs

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The rocky horror picture show poster reading "a different set of jaws"

Rocky horror isn’t about a band. Although Tim Curry is the star of this cult classic, Meat Loaf deserves some recognition for his role. Albeit a short one. The first time I saw this was at an outdoor screening so there was people in costume doing the Time Warp in sync with the movie so it was the best and most fitting way to watch Rocky Horror. Hot Patooie is by far one of the best songs in the film, but doesn’t get the attention Time Warp does. This movie is also great to rewatch for Halloween.

Music: 9/10

Honourable Mention:

School of Rock

School of Rock poster with Jack Black and the band

School of Rock didn’t make the top 5, because Jack Black featured in Tenacious D, but School of Rock has been a favourite since childhood. Whenever a teacher in school was out sick, we always hoped someone like him would show up and teach us music but were always disappointed.

What are your favourite rock musical movies?

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