It’s enchanting when two of the most dazzling forms of art, music and movies, meld together. Movies that wholly focus on music allow you to enjoy the drama and captivation of a film along with the catharsis of a striking soundtrack full of divine songs. Check out 24 movies where music is everything.
1. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury and delivers an emotional and convincing performance. The film is moving, and you get to jam out to all of Queen’s greatest hits throughout.
2. Mamma Mia! (2008)
Mamma Mia! is a lovely story that centers around the upbeat and infectious music of ABBA. Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried star in this comforting and colorful film, where you can admire the beautiful Greek island and sing along to the fun and feisty ABBA songs.
3. Whiplash (2014)
This film is about music but doesn’t have the lighthearted and sweet vibe of Mamma Mia!. It stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons as a young drummer and music instructor, respectively. Their relationship is quite intense, and the movie will give you an anxious feeling, but the music is the soul of the film.
4. A Star Is Born (2018)
A Star Is Born is a classic love story about two artists who fall for one another, and this remake stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, who have palpable chemistry. They fall in love over their passion for music, and you get to listen to some moving and beautiful songs.
5. Sister Act (1992)
Moving back toward something more fun and positive, Sister Act is a fabulous movie to watch if you love the power and zest of gospel singing. The film has heart and soul with plenty of charming humor. Whoopi Goldberg is a delight to watch, and you’ll be dancing in your seat the whole time.
6. Elvis (2022)
Elvis is one of the most recent musical biopics, focusing on the King of Rock and Roll himself. Austin Butler plays Elvis, and by all accounts, he took the role extremely sincerely, utilizing a method approach. The film has a lot of soul, just like Elvis’s music.
7. Yesterday (2019)
I think this film was severely underrated, as it has all the right elements. There is love, humor, and, most importantly, lots of music from The Beatles. Himesh Patel and Lily James are adorable in it, and it’s heavenly hearing so many marvelous songs in one film.
8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (2021)
Another film centered on music that will put at your heartstrings while also tickling your funny bone. Tick, Tick… Boom! stars Andrew Garfield as a young Jonathan Larson, the famous playwright. Garfield is a sensation, and you’ll be tapping your foot along to the beat.
9. Almost Famous (2000)
Almost Famous is not a musical by any stretch of the imagination, but it follows the stories of characters who are deeply passionate about music. It shows how music can transform people but also how dark the industry and culture can be.
10. Burlesque (2010)
Burlesque is a visually stunning movie starring Christina Aguilera and Cher. Aguilera is an aspiring singer who lands a job at this hot burlesque club that Cher’s character owns. The musical numbers are exciting and stunning, and everyone’s voice is awe-inspiring.
11. Cabaret (1972)
Cabaret has a similar vibe to Burlesque but with a more vintage and saucy feel. The film takes place in Berlin, following an intense love triangle between two men and a woman. The movie has romance, music, dancing, war, and more, so you’ll be hooked the whole time.
12. Dirty Dancing (1987)
One of the most classic and iconic movies with music at the heart of it is Dirty Dancing. Yes, the movie focuses on the dancing part, but the soundtrack is unforgettable and fun, so you can sing along while the characters bust a move.
13. Rocketman (2019)
Rocketman tells the complex and tumultuous story of Elton John’s rise to fame and eventual descent into turmoil. He is one of the most talented and campy celebrities to ever live, but he didn’t have the easiest journey. The movie features some of his best music and costumes!
14. School of Rock (2003)
Who doesn’t love Jack Black? School of Rock is about an unemployed, former rocker who substitute teaches a class of tweens and turns them into a band of little rockstars. The film is fun and quirky, with the perfect amount of humor and heart.
15. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
One of my all-time favorite movies and a severely underrated one, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is about two people plagued by their exes, but they bond over music and eventually realize they should be together. It’s a wonderful, moody indie film with hilarious characters and a sweet ending.
16. Raise Your Voice (2004)
Okay, this movie is a little cheesy, and it’s best for teens, but it’s so centered on music that I had to include it. It stars Hilary Duff as an aspiring singer who gets whipped into shape at a prestigious music school. Her passion for music and voice are moving, and the movie is cute.
17. The Sound of Music (1965)
The Sound of Music is one of the best films with music at the heart of the story. It highlights how music can be a beautiful way for people to express themselves and find joy in life, even when things are hard or scary. Julie Andrews is as lovely as ever, and it’s a must-watch.
18. La La Land (2016)
La La Land is all about trying to make it in Los Angeles, hence the name. It stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as star-crossed lovers who can never make it work and lose each other on their separate roads to fame. It’s an upbeat watch with plenty of emotion intertwined with the music.
19. 8 Mile (2002)
Eminem stars in this semi-autobiographical film about a young rapper trying to make it big. The movie shows how music can be a way out for some people in tough situations, allowing talented people to make a better life for themselves through artistic expression.
20. Footloose (1984)
Like Dirty Dancing, Footloose is really focused on the dancing, but the soundtrack can’t be beat. The 1984 version, which is definitely the best one, stars Kevin Bacon as the rebellious new kid in town who just wants to cut loose— footloose. Eventually, his stellar dance moves set the uptight town free.
21. Chicago (2002)
Chicago puts the dancing and music at the center of the film, similar to Burlesque. It’s a movie musical about the criminal women in the local prison, focusing on two performers who dream of getting out and becoming as famous as possible. It’s a saucy, unforgettable movie that is always a good time.
22. Coco (2017)
Coco is a sweet animated movie about a young boy who dreams of being a famous musician. Unfortunately, his family has banned music from his home and won’t explain to him why. He ventures to the underworld and discovers that music is in his blood.
23. Moulin Rouge (2001)
Moulin Rouge is another fabulous movie that is all about dramatic performances with inspiring singing and dancing. It stars Nicole Kidman as a mysterious woman who has more secrets than her love realizes. It’s dramatic and campy in all the best ways.
24. Pitch Perfect (2012)
Pitch Perfect focuses on singing and how beautiful it can be to make music with other people. It’s a hilarious comedy with a lot of heart and spirit. All the characters are lovable, and while it may not be an Oscar-worthy movie, it’s perfect for a family movie night or girls’ night.
25. Tár (2022)
Tár is an intense psychological drama starring the always-amazing Cate Blanchett. Lydia Tár is considered one of the most talented and impressive modern composers and conductors, but she fights with her own demons that make it difficult for her to enjoy her life and reach her potential.
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