Best Punk Rock Movies

by Jamie_Shannon | created - 03 Nov 2013 | updated - 16 Nov 2019 | Public

Punk never died and will never. 70's 80's 90's 00's. All had their punk scenes. Check out the thrash grass/folk punk scene right now to see (they are playing at your local clubs) what they will be making movies about in the 20's Days n Daze, Blackbird Raum etc. the punk scene is still alive. Check it out and you can say you were there.

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1. Sid and Nancy (1986)

R | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Music

76 Metascore

The relationship between Sid Vicious, bassist for British punk group Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen is portrayed.

Director: Alex Cox | Stars: Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman, Debby Bishop

Votes: 31,329 | Gross: $2.83M

A movie not really about John Ritchie and Nancy Spungen. Its about a Hollywood version of them, the acting and cinematography are brilliant enough to put it at the top of the list.

2. American Hardcore (2006)

R | 100 min | Documentary, History, Music

69 Metascore

The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986

Director: Paul Rachman | Stars: Greg Ginn, Ian MacKaye, James Drescher, Lucky Lehrer

Votes: 3,421 | Gross: $0.28M

In depth coverage across the country of the scene extensive interviews with H.R.

3. Suburbia (1983)

R | 94 min | Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

When household tensions and a sense of worthlessness overcome Evan, he finds escape when he clings with the orphans of a throw-away society.

Director: Penelope Spheeris | Stars: Chris Pedersen, Bill Coyne, Jennifer Clay, Timothy O'Brien

Votes: 5,135

Everybody I knew wanted to get a pet rat after this movie came out. Flea is in it also.

4. Punk's Not Dead (2011)

104 min | Comedy, Drama

A group of crotchety codgers attempt to revive the punk-rock band they all played in 17 years earlier in "Punk Is Not Dead," from Macedonian scribe-helmer

Director: Vladimir Blazevski | Stars: Jordan Simonov, Kamka Tocinovski, Toni Mihajlovski, Kiril Pop Hristov

Votes: 945

A Macedonian Punk Movie you have to seek this one out its good really good.

5. Salad Days (2014)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

"Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90)" examines the early DIY punk scene in the Nation's Capital. It was a decade when seminal bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Crawford | Stars: Fred Armisen, Brendan Canty, Dave Grohl, Andre 'Whiteboy' Johnson

Votes: 673

Documentary focuses on the Washington DC Hardcore punk. They used to run into the ice cream store that Henry Rollins worked at when Rednecks used to hassle the Punk kids. The Rednecks would take one look at Henry and run away.

6. SLC Punk! (1998)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

50 Metascore

In the early 1980s Stevo and Heroin Bob are the only two dedicated punks in conservative Salt Lake City.

Director: James Merendino | Stars: Matthew Lillard, Michael A. Goorjian, Annabeth Gish, Jennifer Lien

Votes: 28,614 | Gross: $0.30M

I had a friend like Marshal There are many haters of this movie. Claiming that the movie is about posers. That is the point I think. Really there were not that many true punks during the day. This movie is closer to what it was for most kids than Suburbia was. Unless you went out like Sid/Darby/GG/Ian/Kurt or you are still on tour don't throw stones.

7. Repo Man (1984)

R | 92 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

82 Metascore

A young punk recruited by a car repossession agency finds himself in pursuit of a Chevrolet Malibu that is wanted for a $20,000 bounty - and has something otherworldly stashed in its trunk.

Director: Alex Cox | Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash

Votes: 36,535 | Gross: $3.57M

Miller: A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness. Otto: You eat a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days? Miller: I'll give you another instance: you know how everybody's into weirdness right now?...

8. Control (2007)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Music

78 Metascore

A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.

Director: Anton Corbijn | Stars: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Craig Parkinson, Alexandra Maria Lara

Votes: 64,217 | Gross: $0.87M

We could have used him for a little while longer. We needed him to stick around. World didn't need New Order. This flick was written from his wife's view I think.. No sure how much was skewed, if they consult my wife for my biopic after I am gone; it will not paint me in a good light. But what it comes down to one of greatest tragedies in music was when Ian called it quits, forget Janis, Jim and Jimi. He and Curt could have had huge libraries of work.

9. The Filth and the Fury (2000)

R | 108 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

82 Metascore

A film about the career of the notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols.

Director: Julien Temple | Stars: Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon, Glen Matlock

Votes: 5,865 | Gross: $0.61M

When Mr. Lydon speaks of his relationship with Mr. Ritchie its really really hard not to be moved. This documentary is seriously well filmed, edited and never hits a boring note. Truly the best tale of the 2 and half years of these guys before they imploded.

10. We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (2005)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

66 Metascore

A feature-length documentary chronicling early 80's punk rock band the Minutemen, from their beginnings in San Pedro, California, to their demise after the death of singer D. Boon in 1985.

Director: Tim Irwin | Stars: Milo Aukerman, Joe Baiza, Kevin Barrett, Scott Becker

Votes: 995

We could have used D. Boon for a while longer too. Most of this documentary is filmed from the passenger seat of Mike's Van. You feel like you know him by the time its done.

11. What We Do Is Secret (2007)

R | 92 min | Biography, Drama, Music

54 Metascore

The true-life story of Darby Crash, who became an L.A. punk icon after getting kicked out of high school and forming The Germs with a collection of friends who have little experience with their instruments or playing music.

Director: Rodger Grossman | Stars: Shane West, Rick Gonzalez, Bijou Phillips, Noah Segan

Votes: 1,878 | Gross: $0.06M

Shane West was good enough to go on tour with the Germs. More Mr. Crash would not have been a bad thing, either. He seems more of free spirited hippie than a punk. His music reflected this and so does this movie. Some people can feel too much,

12. HR Finding Joseph I (2016)

92 min | Documentary

"Finding Joseph I" is a feature documentary chronicling the eccentric life and struggles of punk rock reggae singer, Paul "HR" Hudson, a.k.a. Joseph I, legendary lead singer from Bad Brains.

Director: James Lathos | Stars: Mark Andersen, Yana Chupenko, Anthony Countey, Cro-Mags

Votes: 146

Poor guy this is not a documentary about Punk but a very talented man with an illness

13. A Fat Wreck (2016)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Music

This feature length documentary film follows the early history of Fat Wreck Chords, from its founding by Fat Mike and his then wife Erin Burkett, through its cultural zenith in the late 1990's.

Director: Shaun Michael Colón | Stars: Fat Mike, Erin Burkett, Joey Cape, Laura Jane Grace

Votes: 331

Better than a NOFX documentary more interesting, his label has done more for punk than NOFX

14. D.O.A. (1980)

90 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary chronicaling the rise and fall of the punk movement with rare interview footage of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Also concert and news footage.

Director: Lech Kowalski | Stars: Stiv Bators, Terry Chimes, The Clash, Paul Cook

Votes: 577

More focus on the Sex Pistols scene, Dead boys and the rich kids. Saw this one after some the higher ranked ones. Maybe it was timing, it felt like a retread. Nice to see Generation X as time seems to have forgotten them for Billy Idol.

15. One Nine Nine Four (2009)

90 min | Documentary, History, Music

Documenting the birth, growth and explosion of punk rock during the 90's.

Director: Jai Al-attas | Stars: Tim Armstrong, Joey Cape, Tim Curran, Tom DeLonge

Votes: 212

Operation Ivy, really, Operation Ivy is mentioned one of the few documentaries to mention them. Before Rancid, Green Day, NOFX, Pennywise, and Offspring. A tad slow in one stretch but its better than most. Overall it could have spent a bit more time on random bands it lists at the end. A couple of names I didn't know, and seriously I know more punk bands than the next guy. So I could have learned something more from this documentary rather than googling them afterward. But overall not too bad.

16. The Day the Country Died (2007)

120 min | Documentary, Music

Through interviews with major players in the anarchist-punk movement, DAY THE COUNTRY DIED explores the evolution of a genre. Those sharing their views include Colin Jerwood of Conflict, ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Wallace | Stars: Jon Active, Petesy Burns, Francisco Carreno, Gerald Evans

Votes: 28

17. Los Punks: We Are All We Have (2016)

79 min | Documentary, Music

Los Punks: We Are All We Have is an intimate documentary about the teens and young adults who find meaning in the thriving punk rock scene in the backyards of South Central and East Los Angeles.

Director: Angela Boatwright | Stars: John Alvarado, Gary Alvarez, Nacho Corrupted, April Desmadre

Votes: 198

The Latino punk scene. One of the best named punk bands of all time are featured the Crusty Drunks. What we have seen before that Punk is everywhere. That its happening in Latino culture in LA is great. That this documentary is pretty freaking well filmed and the bands are the bomb, is also good. What is not good is there is a man who calls himself Nacho Corrupted.

18. Punk's Not Dead (2007)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Music

On the edge of the 30th anniversary of punk rock, Punk's Not Dead takes you into the sweaty underground clubs, backyard parties, recording studios, and yes, shopping malls and stadium shows... See full summary »

Director: Susan Dynner | Stars: Craig Aaronson, Colin Abrahall, Adri, Lorraine Ali

Votes: 1,013

The reason for this documentary as far as I can tell is showing the commercialization of Punk through Pop punk and Hot topic; not coming out in support or against it. Then they jump to the UK Subs still on tour which is cool and then even better goes into DIY. Then they go back to pop punk; AGAIN. Anyway last time I was in a Hot topic (almost ten years after this doc) there was not a Misfit/Black Flag shirt to be found.. So they might have been just riding the wave, rather than cannon balling into the pool. Over all though just a well made documentary,

19. Punk's Dead: SLC Punk 2 (2016)

Not Rated | 75 min | Comedy, Music

A young punk's odyssey.

Director: James Merendino | Stars: Ben Schnetzer, Hannah Marks, Machine Gun Kelly, Sarah Clarke

Votes: 1,040

Heroin Bob looking on from the after life at his nineteen year old of death obsessed son. Its a massively brilliant take on every thing touching the youth culture. Summing up all the fractions of punks and influences alienate our children into rebelling or its just a confused episodic movie. Could go either way depending upon your mood when you watch it. Ross was simply dumped by Shelly or its a representation of the loss of innocence when we come to an understanding our dreams are not going to come true. No matter how small they are. This movie is either really simple or really complex.

20. 24 Hour Party People (2002)

R | 117 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

85 Metascore

In 1976, Tony Wilson sets up Factory Records and brings Manchester's music to the world.

Director: Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Steve Coogan, Lennie James, John Thomson, Paul Popplewell

Votes: 36,581 | Gross: $1.13M

Managers are scum bags in my humble opinion at least 99% of the time. But this guy in Manchester was part of the the 1%. The funeral scene for some reason, I will not forget. The contract scene is priceless.

21. Another State of Mind (1984)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary following the 1982 tour of punk bands Youth Brigade and Social Distortion.

Directors: Adam Small, Peter Stuart | Stars: M. Otis Beard, Dennis Danell, Brent Liles, John Macias

Votes: 819

Epic chronicle that is short and cheaply filmed padded with slam dance instructions. But damn wow are we right there with Social.

22. End of the Century (2003)

Unrated | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

74 Metascore

The story of the punk rock band The Ramones.

Directors: Jim Fields, Michael Gramaglia | Stars: Rick Rubin, Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone

Votes: 3,735 | Gross: $0.39M

Pretty much the best documentary about the Ramones.

23. The Punk Rock Movie from England (1978)

R | 86 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary on the London punk-rock scene, circa '78.

Director: Don Letts | Stars: Soo Catwoman, Steve Strange, Robin Banks, Mark Perry

Votes: 284

Great performances. The British scene will always have a place in my heart. Just after the the current folk punk one, the eighties hardcore, CBGB bands but before everything else. The pure British style of punk from this era had a sound that its own. It had its Clash, Sex Pistols, Generation X, Sham 69 and the Slits of course. If you are unfamiliar with bands like Marquee from Chelsea there is more to be heard.

24. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies.

Director: Dan O'Bannon | Stars: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews

Votes: 59,071 | Gross: $14.24M

Really good Horror Comedy not so much really a Punk movie but it has punks in it. Frank: Watch your tongue, boy, if you like this job! Freddy: Like this job?

25. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, History, Music

93 Metascore

A look into the Los Angeles punk rock scene, that was largely ignored by the rock music press of the time.

Director: Penelope Spheeris | Stars: Eugene Tatu, Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline

Votes: 4,134

Yeah Crash died before this one was released. John Doe interview made him sound a bit dim. If they had not made a sequel about Metal this one would have been higher.

26. Green Room (2015)

R | 95 min | Horror, Music, Thriller

79 Metascore

A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.

Director: Jeremy Saulnier | Stars: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Patrick Stewart

Votes: 117,088 | Gross: $3.22M

I could hear the pitch for this movie. You know that Dead Kennedy's song, what if? So this movie takes a simple idea and makes a decent movie from it. It is not really a Punk movie or would be ranked higher.

27. Loren Cass (2006)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Music

Adolescents come to terms with their lives after the rebellions of 1996 St. Petersburg.

Director: Chris Fuller | Stars: Kayla Tabish, Travis Maynard, Chris Fuller, Jacob Reynolds

Votes: 281 | Gross: $0.01M

A film featuring one of my all time favorite bands Leftover Crack live. That being said its a self consciously arty low budget frustratingly full of it self. Its St Petersburg after the riots in 1996. They used to make this type stuff on weekly basis in the seventies. Its not a bad movie its just not what it thinks it is. At least to me.

28. Kurt Cobain About a Son (2006)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary, Music

69 Metascore

In this visual essay style documentary, intimate audio of journalist Michael Azerrad's interviews with Kurt Cobain is played over more recently photographed footage of Cobain's Washington state homes and haunts.

Director: AJ Schnack | Stars: Kurt Cobain, Evan Fortin, Nathan Streifel, Michael Azerrad

Votes: 3,709 | Gross: $0.08M

The most respectful of the documentaries made about him after he died.

29. Scum (1979)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

An uncompromising story of life in a British juvenile offender institution in the 70's.

Director: Alan Clarke | Stars: Ray Winstone, Mick Ford, Julian Firth, John Blundell

Votes: 11,286

30. The Decline of Western Civilization Part III (1998)

R | 86 min | Documentary, Music

77 Metascore

The Decline of Western Civilization III is a 1998 documentary film that follows the gutter punk lifestyle of homeless teenagers.

Director: Penelope Spheeris | Stars: Myke Chambers, Stephen Chambers, Flea, Gary Fredo

Votes: 1,318

Better than the 2nd one in the trilogy but not as good as the first one. Scope of the movie is only a small group of kids. The documentary than brings in Flea of all people. Flea may have started in the scene but the Red Hot Chili Peppers release Mother's Milk in 1989. I kind of think he was not leaving on the street. In 2018 he is worth $115 million. More Music would have helped this or just more kids in different areas.

31. Punk: Attitude (2005)

Unrated | 90 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary on the music, performers, attitude and distinctive look that made up punk rock.

Director: Don Letts | Stars: K.K. Barrett, Roberta Bayley, Jello Biafra, Glenn Branca

Votes: 1,605

There are some of the greatest musicians interviewed in this documentary. A huge collection of names including Captain Sensible enough said,

32. Riot on the Dance Floor (2014)

114 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Riot on the Dance Floor: The story of Randy Now and City Gardens is a documentary from director Steve Tozzi, that features the stark and iconic photography of Thrasher Magazine's Ken ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Tozzi | Stars: H.R., Dean Ween, Jack Irons, Milo Aukerman

Votes: 98

New Jersey never would have thought they made a documentary on Punk there, but here you go. Yea /I know aside from the Misfits never thought too much about it. Focuses on a club in the day that had good music in the day. Similar to the others from the other cities. The stories are similar, this one has some good ones.

33. Hard Core Logo (1996)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A group of washed-up Canadian punk rockers get back together for a road trip in memory of a dear friend who was supposedly shot, or so rumors imply. As they travel, they ignore the underlying psychological darkness within each other.

Director: Bruce McDonald | Stars: Hugh Dillon, Callum Keith Rennie, John Pyper-Ferguson, Bernie Coulson

Votes: 2,688 | Gross: $0.02M

A punk Spinal Tap from Canada.

34. The Clash: Westway to the World (2000 Video)

60 min | Documentary, Music

A career retrospective of British punk band The Clash, featuring exclusive interviews with the entire band.

Director: Don Letts | Stars: Terry Chimes, Terence Dackombe, Topper Headon, Mick Jones

Votes: 1,087

Best Clash documentary, Strummer one was too sad. The rise and fall too much fall so this one wins.

35. Punk in Africa (2012)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary, History, Music

Three chords, three countries, one revolution...PUNK IN AFRICA is the story of the multiracial punk movement within the recent political and social upheavals experienced in three Southern ... See full summary »

Directors: Keith Jones, Deon Maas | Stars: Paulo Chibanga, Michael Fleck, Ivan Kadey, Ruben Rose

Votes: 154

Jumps from very boring to incredibly interesting and informative in seconds. Some kind of strange pendulum of documentary making style. I can not believe they intended it to be that way. A very large scope is covered over the length of this film and it is one of the better of the international punk scene films.

36. Black Flag Live (1984)

Not Rated | 55 min | Documentary, Music

A record of the 1984 concert tour of the United Kingdom by the rock band Black Flag.

Stars: Black Flag, Henry Rollins, Greg Ginn, Kira Roessler

Votes: 63

Short concert shot during the Rollins days. Kira is there and so is Greg of course. Not a very energetic show but not bad.

37. Bad Brains: A Band in DC (2012)

104 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Bad Brains are one of the most important and influential American bands still working today. They melded punk and reggae into an innovative style that has yet to be copied. Their impact and... See full summary »

Directors: Ben Logan, Mandy Stein | Stars: Julian Cambridge, Anthony Countey, James Drescher, Harley Flanagan

Votes: 143

Man these guys are great.

38. Beijing Punk (2010)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary

A film crew follows underground punks through Communist China in the year of the Olympics.

Director: Shaun Jefford | Stars: Liu Bao, Nevin Domer, Shi Xu Dong, Brian Hardgroove

Votes: 90

Interesting a little uneven, some of the bands seem a bit glam or really I don't what to call them.

39. Looking for Johnny (2014)

94 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary about legendary rock n roll guitarist Johnny Thunders. The film looks at his time with the New York Dolls and the Heartbreakers and also details his solo career and tragic life.

Director: Danny Garcia | Stars: Rachel Amodeo, Nina Antonia, Nite Bob, Leee Black Childers

Votes: 229

We lost a great talent when he died also. People forget him too quickly. IDK too much about the New York Dolls. To paraphrase Johansen in "Let it Ride" they peed it all away.

40. Dead Kennedys: DMPO's on Broadway (1985 Video)

58 min | Music, Documentary

The Dead Kennedys' performance, June 1984, marked the closing of San Francisco's DMPO's on Broadway Avant-garde Theatre and Nightclub.

Director: Dirk B.G. Driksen | Stars: Klaus Flouride, DH Peligro, East Bay Ray, Jello Biafra

Votes: 95

Best documentary about Jello and company.

41. Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer (2013)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

72 Metascore

Follows the court case of three members of the Russian feminist punk protest group Pussy Riot after their performance in a Russian Orthodox cathedral.

Directors: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin | Stars: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Mariya Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Andrey Tolokonnikov

Votes: 1,952

Brave young Russian Punk women.

42. Over the Edge (1979)

PG | 95 min | Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

A group of bored teenagers rebel against authority in the community of New Granada after the death of one of their own.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan | Stars: Matt Dillon, Michael Eric Kramer, Pamela Ludwig, Vincent Spano

Votes: 6,881

Criminal kid gangs as most movies from this time frame its a bit dated. A bit confusing and a bit too arty. I was drinking when I saw this last so I can't be sure.

43. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982)

R | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Corrine Burns retreats far into plans for her band, The Fabulous Stains, after her mother's death. So far that she gets them (she and two cousins) on a tour with a washed-out glam-rock ... See full summary »

Director: Lou Adler | Stars: Peter Donat, Diane Lane, Marin Kanter, Laura Dern

Votes: 2,669

Underrated or overrated by the big music fan magazines. Saw it liked it never wanted to see it again. I think Rolling Stone has it in their top ten pretty high. Yeah whatever like I said it was good but it ain't no top ten. Underrated if your a punker, most generally that I know, think its a pile of carp ( the fish rotting in the sun).