The ten best music biopics

The ten best music biopics

Word came down recently that André 3000 of Outkast will be playing the highly influential Jimi Hendrix in a biopic called All Is By My Side, which centers on the iconic guitarist's early years. With inspired and estimable casting like this, it made us think about the other memorable biopics that have been made in recent years focusing on everyone from the Doors and Ray Charles to Tina Turner and Ian Curtis. Keep reading for a rundown of the ten best music biopics.

Also see: Johnny Cash: The five most memorable portrayals of the man in black

10. Great Balls of Fire! Like Wyatt Earp and Dragonheart, Great Balls of Fire! is one of the few movies where Dennis Quaid didn't play a boring character you forgot about before you even walked out of the theater. As realistic as a PG-13 movie can get, this movie doesn't show the darker and unpleasant side of Jerry Lee Lewis's Lolita-like love story, but it recreates legendary events like burning a piano at a fun full-tilt speed -- similar to his music.

9. Notorious Unfortunately there is a severe shortage of hip-hop biopics in the music world (hint, hint moviemakers), but of the few, Notorious stands out, highlighting the life of Biggie Smalls (aka Christopher Wallace). The movie illustrates more of Biggie's struggle in every day life than the musical icon he became, giving the story a more human quality. With a virtually unknown cast, Notorious also notably reflects the people in Biggie's life with actors who give them an uncanny representation.

8. I'm Not There As far-out and experimental as Dylan himself, I'm Not There is a film about his life played by six actors, including Cate Blanchett. This movie isn't for the average movie watcher looking for a linear account of a musician. Instead, it is a jumble of scenes about the affect Dylan had on people he crossed paths with.

7. Walk the Line Before Joaquin Phoenix went off his rocker in I'm Still Here, he played the Johnny Cash like a man enraptured in a burning ring of fire in Walk the Line. This movie could have easily been called The Man in Black due to a large lump of the story taking place after a brief pluck of his childhood on a cotton farm. The large amount of detail and storytelling put into this film makes it memorable and enjoyable -- even for the uninitiated who have never listened to Cash's music.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >