Movies With Memorable Music

by elizdere | created - 01 Dec 2013 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

These are mainly contemporary movies in which music plays a significant role and/or is performed by characters in the film. So while there are many awesome musicals (like Wizard of Oz), most will not appear on this list. You probably already know those anyway.

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1. Moulin Rouge! (2001)

PG-13 | 127 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
66 Metascore

A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets.

Director: Baz Luhrmann | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent

Votes: 238,663 | Gross: $57.39M

2. Once (2007)

R | 86 min | Drama, Music, Romance

7.9
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88 Metascore

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.

Director: John Carney | Stars: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Hugh Walsh, Gerard Hendrick

Votes: 99,674 | Gross: $9.44M

3. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

7.8
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85 Metascore

A transgender punk-rock girl from East Berlin tours the U.S. with her band as she tells her life story and follows the former lover/band-mate who stole her songs.

Director: John Cameron Mitchell | Stars: John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shor, Stephen Trask, Theodore Liscinski

Votes: 27,926 | Gross: $3.03M

4. The Piano (1993)

R | 121 min | Drama, Music, Romance

7.6
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89 Metascore

A mute woman is sent to 1850s New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

Director: Jane Campion | Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin

Votes: 68,577 | Gross: $40.16M

5. The Sapphires (2012)

PG-13 | 103 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
67 Metascore

It's 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all-girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam.

Director: Wayne Blair | Stars: Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens

Votes: 11,298 | Gross: $2.45M

6. School of Rock (2003)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Family, Music

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
82 Metascore

After being kicked out of a rock band, Dewey Finn becomes a substitute teacher of a strict elementary private school, only to try and turn it into a rock band.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Jack Black, Mike White, Joan Cusack, Adam Pascal

Votes: 226,190 | Gross: $81.26M

7. Chicago (2002)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

7.2
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82 Metascore

Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.

Director: Rob Marshall | Stars: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Taye Diggs

Votes: 186,695 | Gross: $170.69M

8. Almost Famous (2000)

R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

7.9
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90 Metascore

A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand

Votes: 221,833 | Gross: $32.53M

9. Magnolia (1999)

R | 188 min | Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
77 Metascore

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 255,628 | Gross: $22.46M

10. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.3
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93 Metascore

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

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 302,749 | Gross: $51.97M

11. The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Music, Romance

7.8
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71 Metascore

Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He's a romantic atheist, she's a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial.

Director: Felix van Groeningen | Stars: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Nell Cattrysse, Geert Van Rampelberg

Votes: 33,445 | Gross: $0.18M

12. Newsies (1992)

PG | 121 min | Drama, Family, History

7.0
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46 Metascore

A musical based on the New York City newsboy strike of 1899. When young newspaper sellers are exploited beyond reason by their bosses they set out to enact change and are met by the ruthlessness of big business.

Director: Kenny Ortega | Stars: Christian Bale, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall, Ann-Margret

Votes: 16,499 | Gross: $2.82M

13. Labyrinth (1986)

PG | 101 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

7.4
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50 Metascore

A 16-year-old girl is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King.

Director: Jim Henson | Stars: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Shelley Thompson

Votes: 103,940 | Gross: $12.73M

14. Velvet Goldmine (1998)

R | 118 min | Drama, Music

7.0
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65 Metascore

In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale, Toni Collette

Votes: 29,460 | Gross: $1.05M

15. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

PG | 76 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

8.0
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Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home cause confusion.

Director: Henry Selick | Stars: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey

Votes: 246,736 | Gross: $75.08M

16. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

PG-13 | 107 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

7.8
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69 Metascore

In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman

Votes: 244,472 | Gross: $45.51M

17. 8 Mile (2002)

R | 110 min | Drama, Music

7.1
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77 Metascore

A young rapper, struggling with every aspect of his life, wants to make it big but his friends and foes make this odyssey of rap harder than it may seem.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer

Votes: 207,787 | Gross: $116.72M

18. Pirate Radio (2009)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

7.4
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58 Metascore

A band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain, playing the music that defined a generation and standing up to a government that wanted classical music, and nothing else, on the airwaves.

Director: Richard Curtis | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Michael Hadley

Votes: 96,465 | Gross: $7.99M

19. Nowhere Boy (2009)

R | 98 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.2
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67 Metascore

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.

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson | Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne-Marie Duff, David Threlfall

Votes: 30,814 | Gross: $1.45M

20. Crazy Heart (2009)

R | 112 min | Drama, Music, Romance

7.3
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83 Metascore

A faded country music musician is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life during a doomed romance that also inspires him.

Director: Scott Cooper | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, James Keane

Votes: 73,890 | Gross: $39.46M

21. August Rush (2007)

PG | 114 min | Drama, Music

7.5
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38 Metascore

A drama with fairy tale elements, where an orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents.

Director: Kirsten Sheridan | Stars: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard

Votes: 93,756 | Gross: $31.66M

22. Walk the Line (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.9
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72 Metascore

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 alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick

Votes: 200,251 | Gross: $119.52M

23. The Chorus (2004)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama, Music

7.9
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56 Metascore

The new teacher at a severely administered boys' boarding school works to positively affect the students' lives through music.

Director: Christophe Barratier | Stars: Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Kad Merad

Votes: 48,410 | Gross: $3.64M

24. Footloose (1984)

PG | 107 min | Drama, Music, Romance

6.5
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42 Metascore

A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 57,872 | Gross: $80.04M

25. Dirty Dancing (1987)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Music, Romance

6.9
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65 Metascore

Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle.

Director: Emile Ardolino | Stars: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes

Votes: 157,848 | Gross: $63.95M

26. Empire Records (1995)

PG-13 | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
30 Metascore

The employees of an independent music store learn about each other as they try anything to stop the store being absorbed by a large chain.

Director: Allan Moyle | Stars: Anthony LaPaglia, Debi Mazar, Maxwell Caulfield, Rory Cochrane

Votes: 41,287 | Gross: $0.30M

27. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

8.8
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82 Metascore

JFK, LBJ, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,422,986 | Gross: $330.25M

28. Drive (I) (2011)

R | 100 min | Crime, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
78 Metascore

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks

Votes: 479,620 | Gross: $35.06M

29. Cosi (1996)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

6.8
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Lewis is a young Sydney amateur theater director at his first experience: he is offered a job with a Governmental program for the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients in a Sydney ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Joffe | Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Barry Otto, Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths

Votes: 1,630

30. Muriel's Wedding (1994)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
63 Metascore

A young social outcast in Australia steals money from her parents to finance a vacation where she hopes to find happiness, and perhaps love.

Director: P.J. Hogan | Stars: Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Bill Hunter, Sophie Lee

Votes: 29,986 | Gross: $15.19M

31. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

7.4
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58 Metascore

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien

Votes: 113,817 | Gross: $139.88M

32. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Music

7.5
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68 Metascore

Two drag performers and a transgender woman travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret.

Director: Stephan Elliott | Stars: Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Terence Stamp, Rebel Penfold-Russell

Votes: 39,927 | Gross: $11.22M

33. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

G | 100 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical

7.8
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Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there's an adventure in everything.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Votes: 144,781 | Gross: $4.00M

34. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
70 Metascore

A pretty, popular teenager can't go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does.

Director: Gil Junger | Stars: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik

Votes: 246,759 | Gross: $38.18M

35. Across the Universe (2007)

PG-13 | 133 min | Drama, Fantasy, Musical

7.4
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56 Metascore

The music of The Beatles and the Vietnam War form the backdrop for the romance between an upper-class American girl and a poor Liverpudlian artist.

Director: Julie Taymor | Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs

Votes: 97,102 | Gross: $24.34M

36. Whiplash (2014)

R | 107 min | Drama, Music

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
88 Metascore

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser

Votes: 515,663 | Gross: $13.09M

37. Love & Mercy (2014)

PG-13 | 121 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
80 Metascore

In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.

Director: Bill Pohlad | Stars: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti

Votes: 29,153 | Gross: $12.55M

38. Sing Street (2016)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

8.0
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79 Metascore

A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

Director: John Carney | Stars: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor

Votes: 61,612 | Gross: $3.23M

39. La La Land (I) (2016)

PG-13 | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
93 Metascore

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons

Votes: 328,116 | Gross: $151.10M