There is something exciting about seeing a musician’s journey on screen. Their childhood experiences, the moment they decided that music was their future and the relationships they made and lost throughout their lives. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of legendary artists or bands, many can relate to the struggles and determination to follow your dreams. If you are looking for movies about legendary musicians, I have compiled a list of 5 of the best movies based on musicians.
Queen is one of the most famous rock bands of all time and their music still lives on to this day. In this film, we get to see who the Queen members were before they made their mark on the world. We see the relationship Freddie Mercury had with his family, his members, and his first love. The struggles the band went through when trying to go against stereotypes are highlighted, as well as some of their most iconic outfits and stages. Mercury is seen questioning his sexuality and eventually, he ends up feeling alone after those closest to him start families of their own. The group disbands until Mercury is diagnosed with AIDS, which was the cause of his death, and convinces his members to perform one last time for the benefit concert, Live Aid.
Selena Quintanilla was a beloved Mexican American singer. She was born in Texas to a father who had dreams to become a musician but failed. He finds that Selena has a natural talent for performing and he forms a band with his children, called Selena y Los Dinos. They gain popularity with their Tejano music style and eventually Selena reaches the stardom her father couldn’t. She falls in love with her guitarist which strains the relationship with her father. After things settle down, Selena ventures into fashion and begins working on a full English-language album. She never got to complete it because she was tragically shot and killed by her fan club president at the age of 23.
Based on singer-songwriter, Elton John, and how he went from piano prodigy to international superstar. We get to see moments of his childhood when his name was still Reginald Dwight and the strained relationships he had with his parents. After developing his stage name and style, his performances made him popular. He falls into a life of partying and substance abuse. There is also a deeper insight into his relationships, his sexuality, and his seeking help at a rehab center.
Rock band Mötley Crüe, lived a life of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Based on their autobiography, The Dirt, this film brings the experiences they wrote about to life. We see the lives they lived before coming together in the streets of Hollywood, as well as the punk rock scene of the 80s. The group rises and eventually falls and we get deeper insight on relationships they had with each other and other people. The darkest times of their lives are highlighted, from car accidents, overdoses, and scandals.
Based on the all-girl rock band, The Runaways, this film shows how as a band they empowered and gave a voice to women living in a male-dominated world. We see the relationships the members had with each other and their style differences that made them unique. Their manager Fowley, put them together in hopes that they would make it big with Joan Jett as guitarist and Cherie Currie as lead singer. We only get some insight on Currie’s family and see the eventual fall of the Runaways.