5 Best Music Films of 2016
As we close out 2016, we look back at some of the best music films of 2016. Whether you’re in ultimate “chill on the couch” mode, locked in your childhood bedroom hiding from family members during an extended holiday visit, or killing time and watching the clock in a ghost-town of an office, you’ll want to check out these films before 2017.
1) Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall
Perhaps you’ve heard of the King of Pop? Any chance you might be familiar with a little album called Off the Wall, which featured some obscure songs like “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Rock With You?” Do you know anything about a little film director named Spike Lee? Sarcasm aside, this Sundance-premiered look at a pivotal time in Jackson’s career is a fascinating documentary featuring behind-the-scenes glimpses of the creative process as well as interviews today with artists like The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams, and Questlove.
2) Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping
We all know that the Lonely Island guys are good for providing hilarious, musically-on-point sketches and music videos, but they really went all out with their first feature film. This mockumentary details the rise and fall of rap group the Style Boyz, poking fun at some of the absurdities of the music industry while also ringing true to the type of story that we’ve seen countless times. Fun cameos by a gang of artists, including Usher, the Roots, DJ Khaled, Ringo Starr, Adam Levine, and more.
3) Miles Ahead
Jazz icon Miles Davis gets the bio-pic treatment, courtesy of this film directed by and starring Don Cheadle. Taking place during a mysterious hiatus in the musician’s career in the late 1970’s, the story follows music reporter Dave Braden (Ewan McGregor) as he follows Davis on a quest to retrieve a stolen tape of his latest compositions.
4) The Art of Organized Noize
Hip hop production trio Organized Noize were responsible for some of the biggest hits of the ’90s, working with artists like Outkast, TLC, and En Vogue. This Netflix documentary sheds some light on the Atlanta collective, showcasing how instrumental they were in shaping the sounds that would go on to take the industry by storm – and also tells the story of how things started to go sour amongst the musicians once the fame kicked in.
5) The Beatles: Eight Days A Week
Despite their unquestionable status as music icons, the Beatles actually had a relatively brief touring career, as the group only did shows from 1962 to 1966. Director Ron Howard examines this period with interviews with the surviving members and – most importantly – remastered archival footage of some of the performances. Seeing the biggest band in the world in ascent to stardom is an experience that needs to be seen to be believed – and you might even learn something new, too.
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