(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The rock and roll biopic is a very popular film genre. But what are the best rock biopics? I’ve made a short list, but I want your help.


The success of recent biopics like Bohemian Rhapsody and The Dirt has certainly rekindled interest in the genre. But biopics are nothing new. Hell, The Doors was released over 30 years ago. And friggin’ Oliver Stone directed that one! Come to think of it, that might be the first movie of that ilk I’d ever seen. I can’t count The Rutles, because that’s a mockumentary.


I remember The Doors being decent. Val Kilmer played a worthy Jim Morrison. My friend Chris and I watched it a few times during our after-school hangs during freshman year of high school. Not because we were big fans of The Doors, per se, but because there were a ton of topless scenes. I think we actually dubbed it “The Movie of Many Boobs.” But I digress.


The Best Rock Biopics: Bio-PICK Your Favorite

The Doors is in the mix below, as is Bohemian Rhapsody and The Dirt, along with a bunch of other biopics that deal with rock bands, rock stars, or rock-adjacent subjects. That last bit is important because I have Walk the Line on my list. Because while the music of Johnny Cash doesn’t fall within the “rock” genre, Johnny Cash is indeed a rock star. And inspired countless rockers.


Take a scroll through my list, check out the trailers of the movies you might not be familiar with, then cast your vote in the 12-Inch Poll at the end. And, as always, if I’ve left one of your favorites off or committed another glaring omission, just holler at me on the ROCK 92.9 Facebook page or over on Twitter. Which doesn’t show anyone our posts anymore. Because we don’t pay. Because we’re not chumps.

  • Sid and Nancy (1986)

    Gary Oldman has had a scary number of stand-out roles in his lifetime. His portrayal of Sid Vicious certainly is one.

  • La Bamba (1987)

    Lou Diamond Phillips captures almost perfectly the life and times of Ritchie Valens.

  • The Doors (1991)

    Val Kilmer stars as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 film. Be warned: there are many boobs.

  • 24 Hour Party People (2002)

    This story of Manchester’s burgeoning punk scene and Factory Records is a fan favorite. And? Simon Pegg!

  • Ray (2004)

    Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for playing Ray Charles in this one, which should surprise no one.

  • Walk the Line (2005)

    Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon are pitch-perfect as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.

  • Control (2007)

    The story of Ian Curtis and Joy Division. A moving portrayal by Sam Riley.

  • I'm Not There (2007)

    This polarizing portrayal of Bob Dylan by four different actors certainly makes for a unique viewing experience.

  • The Runaways (2010)

    Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett. Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. What more could you want?

  • Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

    Rami Malek is transcendent in his transformation into Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

  • The Dirt (2019)

    A crowd-pleaser of a biopic that tells the over-the-top, ’80s hair metal story of Motley Crue.

  • Rocketman (2019)

    I feel like the reviews for this one were…not good. But I also feel the need to include it for those who enjoyed it.

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