43 user 129 critic

Miles Ahead (2015)

2:15 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
3,431 ( 463)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A re-imagining of jazz legend Chet Baker's musical comeback in the late '60s.

Director: Robert Budreau
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo, Callum Keith Rennie
Elvis & Nixon (2016)
Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The untold true story behind the meeting between Elvis Presley, the King of Rock 'n Roll, and President Richard Nixon, resulting in this revealing, yet humorous moment immortalized in the most requested photograph in the National Archives.

Director: Liza Johnson
Stars: Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey, Alex Pettyfer
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A failed American sales rep looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his company's product to a wealthy monarch.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Tom Hanks, Sarita Choudhury, Ben Whishaw
Demolition (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A successful investment banker struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. With the help of a customer service rep and her young son, he starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The story of the country-western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life.

Director: Marc Abraham
Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Maddie Hasson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman
Maggie's Plan (2015)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Maggie's plan to have a baby on her own is derailed when she falls in love with John, a married man, destroying his volatile marriage to the brilliant and impossible Georgette. But one ... See full summary »

Director: Rebecca Miller
Stars: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore
Sing Street (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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
Café Society (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the 1930s, a young Bronx native moves to Hollywood, where he falls in love with the secretary of his powerful uncle, an agent to the stars. After returning to New York, he is swept up in... See full summary »

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The vacation of a famous rock star and a filmmaker in Italy is disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and his daughter.

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ralph Fiennes
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of the life and academic career of the pioneer Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and his friendship with his mentor, Professor G.H. Hardy.

Director: Matt Brown
Stars: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Malcolm Sinclair
Genius (2016)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A chronicle of Max Perkins's time as the book editor at Scribner, where he oversaw works by Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others.

Director: Michael Grandage
Stars: Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dave Braden
Junior (as Lakeith Lee Stanfield)
Walter (as Brian Bowman)
Janice (as Christina Karis)
Brent Vimtrup ...
Michael Bath ...
Reginald Willis ...
Montez Jenkins ...
Chris Grays ...


An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fight | party | key | sunglasses | recluse | See All (55) »


If you gonna tell a story, come with some attitude

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language throughout, drug use, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

22 April 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kill the Trumpet Player  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$114,530 (USA) (1 April 2016)


$2,610,719 (USA) (22 July 2016)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally titled "Kill The Trumpet Player". See more »


The film is clearly set in the late 1970s, when Miles was not playing, and before he released The Man With the Horn (1981). A number of scenes in his basement studio include a Marshall Micro-stack amp, which was first manufactured in 1985. See more »


Doorman: Do you have a pass?
Miles Davis: [points to his face] Your Looking At It
See more »


Moja Part 1 and 2
Performed by Miles Davis
Written by Miles Davis (as Miles Davis Jr)
Published by Jazz Horn Music Corporation
Courtesy of Kobalt and Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Jumbled and Alienating

"Miles Ahead" is chaotically put together, difficult to follow, and difficult to care about. Miles Davis (Don Cheadle), the main character, is depicted as a repugnant human being. The film plays shopworn musician biopic tricks in nasty ways to manipulate the audience. In interviews, Don Cheadle has said that he needed to get a big white star to appear in the film, and thus he built the film around the MacGuffin of Davis being interviewed by Ewan McGregor, allegedly the big white star. My guess is that Cheadle's funding didn't come through not because he is a black actor playing a black musician. My guess is that the funding was hard to find because the script was not a commercial script, no matter the color of the main character.

The film opens with a confusing mishmash of images. Miles Davis is being interviewed. We don't see the interviewer. There is film in the background of the Jack Johnson fight. This confused me. I know the fight took place over a hundred years ago and I did not know that anyone filmed it – meaning I was losing focus on the movie I was watching, and drawn into thinking about the movie in the movie. Not a good thing.

The scene is shot in extreme close-up. We see Don Cheadle's mouth and fingers as he smokes a cigarette; we also see an ashtray. This extreme close-up gives the film a claustrophobic feeling. As the film went on I began to wonder if the tight close-ups were used because there wasn't enough of a budget to create a set that reflected the time periods of the film: the 1970s and the 1950s.

The unseen interviewer asks Davis about jazz. Davis interrupts the interviewer and commands, "Don't call my music jazz." He insists that calling his music "jazz" stereotypes it. That's one of the dumbest and most petulant things I've ever heard a character say. Of course Miles Davis was a jazz musician. Ordering someone not to call jazz jazz is the demand of a petty dictator who wants control of language. The film was just beginning and I already hated the main character. And I was really sick of all that focus on his cigarette and his ashtray.

Ewan McGregor, the big white star meant to offer his magical powers to get purportedly rich whites to underwrite the movie and buy tickets to see it, shows up as Dave, a Rolling Stone reporter. He knocks on Miles Davis' door. Davis opens the door and immediately sucker punches Dave, a visitor he has never met. At this point, the film has offered me no reason to like Miles Davis, and lots of reasons to dislike him. There's more. He has a receding hairline and he wears his hair long – an older man's unsuccessful attempt to look young. And he dresses like a blind pimp. He's wearing a hip-length, turquoise and black jacket made of fabric best reserved for upholstery in houses of ill repute.

Davis has already proved he's cool by sucker punching a white man. He also proves he's cool in other cheap, manipulative ways. The film consists of a jumble of scenes shot in the 1970s and flashbacks to the 1950s. In the 1950s scene, Davis is in a car with a young white woman. The young white woman behaves foolishly. The young black woman in the front scene rolls her eyes at this white girl's buffoonery. So, Davis is cool because he can get a white girl.

The car pulls up to a house. A very beautiful young black woman is on the street. This is Frances Taylor, whom Davis will marry. He asks his white date for a twenty dollar bill. She gives him one. He writes his phone number on the bill and hands it to the black girl. Again, Davis is cool because he can mistreat white people, in this case a woman.

In more jumbled together, plot-less scenes, we see Frances dancing. She is exquisitely beautiful and the camera adores her. We see Frances and Davis making love. We don't see Miles Davis beating his wife. He did. He also made her quit her dancing career. What a guy.

More jumbled, plot-less scenes whose only point is to show what a boss Miles Davis really was, because he could mistreat white people. Miles Davis marches in to the offices of Columbia records. There is a man there who is obviously meant to be Jewish. He is smarmy and oily and condescending and power trips Davis. Davis pulls out a gun and shoots at him. He takes the man's money and uses that money, in a subsequent scene, to purchase cocaine, from yet another worshipful, star-struck white man he mistreats, while a white girl, partially undressed, sits on a bed. Davis, of course, must tell her to move over so he can sit next to her.

You get the idea.

What the movie does not show you is that Miles Davis grew up comfortable and privileged. Davis' father was a dentist who owned a couple of homes and a ranch. His mother was a musician. Davis received music lessons as a teenager, on daddy's dime. Davis was no gangster. He was a brat and a creep and an abuser of himself and others. I learned nothing about his appeal or his talent from this movie.

22 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
My father Bill Evans evanevans333
What's with all the random gun toting? banzaibill
In more than 30 years, this is what they pick? loatygoodlife
Don Cheadle on the five essential Miles Davis albums alex_unnamed
Do we think the character of Junior was based on anyone specific? amarcordian
Don Cheadle? Lmiklowitz
Discuss Miles Ahead (2015) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: