Movies coupled with a heartwarming soundtrack that fits the story line can overwhelm the soul and make it resonate toward different audiences. This is why there are many films that incorporate music and sometimes make it the central theme. Over the years, we have seen Broadway musicals turned into big screen movies to films based on music giants in the industry.
ExploreTalent has put together a list of the most popular movies that will satisfy music lovers everywhere. They range from cult classics to documentaries, but each has its own definitive story line and musical score that fits nicely with it.
1. Once (2007)
When director John Carney released his second attempt in the musical/romance genre with Begin Again, it was nothing but a pale comparison to his genius yet heartbreaking movie Once. It follows two struggling musicians played by relatively unknown actors Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova who fall in love in the streets of Dublin yet remain unnamed for the rest of the movie. The film was made on a low budget but went on to become one of the greatest of its kind. The raw feeling of the film was captured particularly by its solemn soundtrack that includes the Academy Award-winning song “Falling Slowly.”
2. Across the Universe (2007)
This film is a unique one as its plot was entirely dependent on a slew of hit The Beatles song. Set in the same era as the biggest band of their generation, Across the Universe is a unique blend of music, heartbreak, revolution, and most importantly, love. The main character, Jude, played by English actor Jim Sturgess, falls in love with Evan Rachel Wood, who played the role of Lucy, whose name is based on another popular The Beatles song: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The fun part is that every single character refers to a classic The Beatles song as well, and audiences will enjoy cameos by Bono, Joe Cocker, and Salma Hayek.
3. Straight Outta Compton (2015)
Straight Outta Compton is known to be the biggest blockbuster biopic in the United States, grossing over $200 million in the box office during it’s cinematic run. The movie had spread in popularity from word of mouth, and the critics have given it a generally positive review. Straight Outta Compton tells the story of Compton based rap group N.W.A during the heavy rise and fall of hip hop music during the 1980s. Produced by the original members of the group namely Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and the late Eazy-E’s widow Tomica Woods-Wright, music lovers would be introduced to the challenges this rap group had to go through. The movie was backed up with a stellar soundtrack that even debuted at # 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 list.
4. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
This musical is one of the rare films that mixes LGBT themes with rock n’ roll, it might be an eyebrow-raising combination, but the end result was stellar. The plot focuses on the titular character Hedwig, formerly a German male called Hansel, who underwent a sex change in order to marry an American and move to the United States. Its musical theme is a mix of glam rock and traditional rock ‘n roll that the late David Bowie popularized during the seventies.
5. 8 Mile (2002)
The movie 8 Mile stars Marshal Mathers, more familiar to everyone by his stage name Eminem. It features the award-winning single “Lose Yourself,” which was written by the rapper himself. Despite getting an R rating due to language, sexual themes, and gang violence, 8 Mile still went on to become a financial success in the box office. It topped many lists including a #2 spot in Billboard’s best rap movies of all time.
6. Empire Records (1995)
Empire Records may not have received financial or critical success, but it is one of the most popular cult films of all time. The film features a young Renee Zellweger and Liv Tyler. The soundtrack of the movie makes it memorable, featuring songs by artists Gin Blossoms, Better Than Ezra, and The Cranberries.
7. Chico and Rita (2010)
Chico and Rita is the only entry on this list that is an animated film, but it isn’t your run-in-the-mill movie about princesses and magic. Instead, it explores Latin musical culture and mixes its elements with heartbreak and real life. The film is made for adults and is set between the ’40s and ’50s.