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Top 10 Rock 'n' Roll Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma. Our countdown only goes to ten but all the films on this list take it to eleven. The movies are full of bands – both real and fictional – that melt our faces and make us get up and dance. Some are over-the-top, some are subdued, but they’re always fun to watch. In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 rock ‘n’ roll movies. For this list, we’ve picked the hardest rocking, show-stopping films for our countdown, which best represent what it is to rock. Special thanks to our users Shawn Frary, Andreas Philippou and Jason Lundgren for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

Top 10 Rock ‘n’ Roll Movies

Our countdown only goes to ten but all the films on this list take it to eleven. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 rock movies.

For this list, we’ve picked the hardest rocking, show-stopping films for our countdown, which best represent what it is to rock.

#10: “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” (1979)

Starting our countdown is the pick that features the Ramones and one of the strangest plots on our list: The band takes over a high school filled with students who’ve gone crazy over rock music. Authorities try to shut the Ramones’ party down, but the band manages to strut up and down the hallways playing their tunes before total chaos erupts.

#9: “The Commitments” (1991)

When you think about soul music, a group of white Irish kids doesn’t normally come to mind, but they are at the heart and soul of this flick. The film follows the formation of a band of misfits as they hope to popularize soul music in Ireland. Against all odds, they struck a chord with fans – both on and off-screen – earning award nominations galore and making beautiful music together.

#8: “The Blues Brothers” (1980)

Based on the popular “Saturday Night Live” characters, this musical comedy was challenging to make due to bidding wars, Dan Aykroyd’s unconventional script and John Belushi’s partying; but the car chases, legendary cameos and hijinks courtesy of the brothers make it well worth it. The movie now has a cult following, a sequel, and catchphrase; not to mention, some of the most rocking musical numbers this side of Chicago.

#7: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (2001)

This is a musical about a transgender singer from East Germany who tries out luck in love and rock ‘n’ roll in America. Hedwig’s story is a mash-up of emotion, triumph, and defeat but at the heart of the story are some damn good songs. It’s no wonder it has a cult following, numerous awards, and a 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

#6: “School of Rock” (2003)

This flick features Jack Black at his best as a substitute teacher who makes a band out of the over-achieving fifth-graders at a private school. Along the way, he teaches them about the basics, the legends and the rules of rock, while bringing them all together to compete in a Battle of the Bands. And make no mistake, they may be kids but they will melt your faces.

#5: “Tommy” (1975)

What would this list be without a proper rock opera? The story follows the titular Tommy as he witnesses a murder, goes catatonic, and is revitalized by a pinball machine. The movie is equal parts a visual feast, and ear-pleasing celebration, and uses a star-studded cast to tell the story of this pinball wizard’s journey through the highs and lows of his extraordinary life.

#4: “Velvet Goldmine” (1998)

You wouldn’t think that any rock film would get plot comparisons to the classic “Citizen Kane” but this one breaks the mold. Telling the story of a Ziggy Stardust-like rockstar as he rises to fame, it’s a decadent tale of glam rock excess, theatrics, and androgyny – and it’s over-the-top in the best way possible. With musicians like Thom Yorke and Placebo contributing to the film and its soundtrack, it’s a rock lover’s dream.

#3: “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984)

Well ahead of its time is this mockumentary, which tells the shockingly-close-to-reality tale of a fictional band. Upon its initial release, many thought Spinal Tap was a real band, which only made their exploits and ridiculous behavior that much funnier. The film’s genius lies in the actors’ mostly ad-libbed dialogue, which makes their interactions seem real and authentic. Not to mention, their performances rock.

#2: “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964)

The British Invasion was kicked off by this group of mop tops, and what better way to take in the Fab Four than in film form? This black and white classic arrived at the height of the Beatles’ fame and depicts a few days in the life of the band. Considered one of the best and most influential musical films of all time, it was nominated for two Academy Awards, and listed as one of TIME magazine’s 100 greatest films.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Hard Core Logo” (1996)
- “24 Hour Party People” (2002)
- “The Doors” (1991)
- “Pink Floyd: The Wall” (1982)
- “Control” (2009)

#1: “Almost Famous” (2000)

Securing our number one spot is the coming-of-age story loosely based on the life of director and screenwriter Cameron Crowe, who traveled the U.S. as a teenaged reporter for Rolling Stone. The film captures the essence of rock ‘n’ roll and life on the road as the young journalist follows the fictional band Stillwater on tour. It wasn’t a box office success but the critics loved it, earning it an Oscar, Grammy, and three Golden Globes.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite rock ‘n’ roll movie? For more rocking Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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