For as long as anyone can remember, music has always been a huge part of our lives. From learning to play instruments for the first time, to listening to our top tracks while commuting to see our favorite artists in concert, music is integrated into our lives in more ways than one. Unsurprisingly, it is also a favorite theme when it comes to the films we watch.

Whether it’s about starting up bands like in Sing Street or School of Rock, or romantically connecting people like in Music And Lyrics or The Greatest Hits, music — our love for it and everything in between — has been a popular subject or motif for many movies, even more so in recent years.

Whether you need a creative spark as a musician, or simply want to watch something that perfectly encapsulates your love for it, Billboard Philippines has compiled a list of ten movies about music that you should definitely watch.

School of Rock (2003)

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If there was one movie that had kids in the early 2000s wanting to pick up electric guitars or buy their first drum set, it was School of Rock.

School of Rock follows the story of down-on-his-luck rock musician Dewey Finn (portrayed by Jack Black) who, after getting fired from his band and with no money to pay the rent, steals his best friend’s identity and assumes the role of a substitute teacher at a local prep school. After discovering that his assigned students are musically gifted, he decides to form a band with them. He begins teaching them the ways and history of rock and roll, with the goal of participating in a major battle of the bands in order to win and use the prize money to pay off his rent.

Sing Street (2016)

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One could say that rock and roll is a risk, and nobody knows it better than the characters of Sing Street.

Sing Street tells the tale of a ragtag group of young outcasts who come together to form a band in 1980s Ireland. Vocalist Connor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) originally starts the band to impress a mysterious girl (Lucy Boynton), but the band eventually becomes a positive creative outlet for him and his bandmates, helping them escape family problems and even stand up to bullies at school.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

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What better way to become inspired to form your own band than with the story of a real-life legendary group?

Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic highlighting the rise of British rock icons Queen, exploring their formation in the 1970s up to their historic Live Aid performance in 1985. It also focuses on the life of vocalist Freddie Mercury, portrayed by Rami Malek, who subsequently won an Academy Award for Best Actor thanks to his stellar portrayal of the charismatic frontman.

That Thing You Do! (1996)

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Much like Bohemian Rhapsody, That Thing You Do! narrates the success story of another band of friends in the 20th century, albeit more rooted in fun fiction rather than historical fact.

This Tom Hanks-directed flick tells the story of The Wonders, a fictional 1960s rock and roll group who, after winning a local talent show, begins to experience unprecedented success and stardom that turns them into the biggest up-and-coming band in America. With heaps of great original songs and moments of romance and comedy, it details their meteoric rise and unfortunate fall that leads them to becoming so-called “one-hit wonders.”

The Greatest Hits (2024)

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Establishing personal connections is something that music is certainly pretty good at. Whether it’s meeting someone at a concert or bonding over a shared love for records, music often has a way of helping us build bridges and form deep relationships — so much so that it also serves to bring us back in time to some of our fondest memories together. In The Greatest Hits, all of this happens — and quite literally, in the latter case.

In The Greatest Hits, the plot centers around Harriet (Lucy Boynton), a young woman who continues to mourn the death of her significant other after an accident two years ago — one that has left her with an inexplicable ability to travel back to a specific moment in time whenever she hears a song associated with a memory of him. With this, she tries desperately to change the past, all while slowly learning to fully embrace life and love once more.

Music And Lyrics (2007)

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Indeed, music does a great job at bringing people together, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. In Music And Lyrics, we see it form an unlikely couple, connected by the beauty of creating music itself.

Music And Lyrics is romantic-comedy that sees Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant), a former pop idol who is past his prime, yet trying to stay relevant (and maintain a living) through music. He suddenly gets the opportunity to write a song for the current generation’s fastest-rising pop star. The catch? He only has 48 hours to get it done. Backed up against a wall, Fletcher — whose strength lies in composing music and melody — ultimately enlists the help of Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), a woman who temporarily waters his plants, whom he discovers has a knack for writing lyrics.

I Used To Be Famous (2022)

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When it comes to making connections, forming romantic relationships is not the only thing music can do. In I Used To Be Famous, it shows us how it can build the truest of friendships as well.

Another film involving a former boy band member, I Used To Be Famous tells the story of Vince Denham (Ed Skrein), an ex-member of a once-sensational boy group. Now living jobless but still holding out hope for his own music, he ends up meeting Stevie (Leo Long), an 18-year old boy with autism who has an innate gift for drumming. Sooner or later, they form a bond forged by music, weaving together a heartwarming story of dedication, courage, and camaraderie.

Whiplash (2014)

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Have you ever found the thing you love so much that it kills you? For many musicians, this is a philosophy they live by, showcasing their utmost dedication to perfecting their chosen craft. In Whiplash, we get to see what happens — positively and negatively — when this is taken to the extreme.

In Whiplash, Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is a promising music student with great ambitions to be a jazz drummer, hoping to become like his hero, the legendary Buddy Rich. When he crosses paths with the infamous Terence Fletcher (portrayed by J.K. Simmons) — a brutal instructor and conductor at his conservatory — he soon finds out what it might really take to do so.

Yesterday (2019)

music films movies yesterday

What would you do if you woke up one day and you’re the only one in the world who remembers the greatest band of all time?

Yesterday is romantic-comedy that follows Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), an aspiring yet struggling singer-songwriter who, after an accident caused by a global blackout, finds himself the only person in the world who remembers The Beatles. Being a big fan of the highly influential band himself, he begins passing off their songs as his own and going on to reap both fame and (mis)fortune. While the film serves as a motivator for us to not give up on our dreams, it ultimately also reminds us to make the right decisions and choose what really matters the most.

Tick, Tick… Boom! (2021)

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When talking about dedication to one’s craft, it would be wrong to not include Tick, Tick… Boom! here.

A semi-autobiographical musical, Tick, Tick… Boom! details the story of renowned composer and playwright Jonathan Larson (Andrew Garfield) — the man behind the hit rock musical Rent — as he struggles to write and complete his passion project, Superbia. Based on the musical of the same name by Larson himself, the film fuses together both fact and fiction, detailing the struggles Larson faced and the triumphs he eventually gained out of his undying love for his art.