18 Biographical Movies About Great Musicians' Lives


There are many types of movies we like watching, but I personally think biopics, especially that are about musicians, are the greatest ones. You get to watch the legendary musicians' stories and see how the songs we like listening to came to life. These 18 movies are some of the biopics that are truly effective. 

The list isn't in particular order, they're all great movies. Enjoy the list.

Storylines were taken from IMDb.

1. The Runaways (2010) | IMDb 6.6


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

2. La Bamba (1987) | IMDb 6.8


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.

3. Cadillac Records (2008) | IMDb 6.9


In this tale of sex, violence, race, and rock and roll in 1950s Chicago, "Cadillac Records" follows the exciting but turbulent lives of some of America's musical legends, including Muddy Waters, Leonard Chess, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James and Chuck Berry.

4. I'm Not There. (2007) | IMDb 7.0


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

5. Get On Up (2014) | IMDb 7.0


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

6. Lady Sings The Blues (1972) | IMDb 7.1


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

7. Nowhere Boy (2009) | IMDb 7.2


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.

8. The Doors (1991) | IMDb 7.2


The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band 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.

9. Bird (1988) | IMDb 7.2


Saxophone player Charlie Parker comes to New York in 1940. He is quickly noticed for his remarkable way of playing. He becomes a drug addict but his loving wife Chan tries to help him.

10. The Buddy Holly Story (1978) | IMDb 7.2


The musical career of rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly is chronicled, from the days when "Peggy Sue" was "Cindy Lou", a song about his first girlfriend, to the meteoric run of "That'll Be the Day" up the charts, to his marriage, breakup with the Crickets, reunion with the Crickets, and untimely death.

11. Immortal Beloved (1994) | IMDb 7.4


The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Beside all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved and the movie tries to find out who this beloved was. Not easy as Beethoven has had many women in his life.

12. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) | IMDb 7.5


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.

13. La Vie en Rose (2007) | IMDb 7.7


An un-chronological look at the life of the Little Sparrow, Édith Piaf (1915-1963). Her mother is an alcoholic street singer, her father a circus performer, her paternal grandmother a madam. During childhood she lives with each of them. At 20, she's a street singer discovered by a club owner who's soon murdered, coached by a musician who brings her to concert halls, and then quickly famous. Constant companions are alcohol and heartache. The tragedies of her love affair with Marcel Cerdan and the death of her only child belie the words of one of her signature songs, "Non, je ne regrette rien." The back and forth nature of the narrative suggests the patterns of memory and association.

14. Ray (2004) | IMDb 7.8


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.

15. Once (2006) | IMDb 7.9


A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.

16. Walk the Line (2005) | IMDb 7.9


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 alongsideElvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

17. Marley (2012) | IMDb 8.0


Bob Marley's universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. The definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international super-stardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, there is rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.

18. Amadeus (1984) | IMDb 8.4


The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.

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