Wednesday Question: Fiction Movies That Depict the Music Industry Most Realistically

Votes and nominations inside...

Ultimate Guitar

For this week's traditional Wednesday Question, we thought an experiment with delving into the movie sphere would be in order. Basically, answer this if you're up for it:

Which fiction movie depicts the music industry most realistically?

THE RULES - post only one suggestion per comment after checking that your favorite wasn't already nominated (Ctrl+F and all).Multiple nominations of one movie create heavy confusion, since on one hand it's unfair to the given effort to take into consideration only the most upvoted nomination, but seeing that multiple nominations allow one user to give two or more votes to the same film, it's also unfair to other nominees not to discard it.

Finally, vote up the ideas you support and vote down the ones you dislike. We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another UG top list. Show us what you got now!

130 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Agent 00Awesome
    This Is Spinal Tap
    I just saw Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and that seemed to be a legit depiction of today's music industry.
    the question was *most realistic* movie. Circle jerk voters
    And yet, many rock stars at the time (apparently, Aerosmith were one of the most vocal about this) didn't see the humour in it, due to the movie hitting way too close to home.
    Spinal Tap was funny but it left out drug use. Bands on drugs are mostly not funny
    Rock Star? This is tough because a lot of movies about the music industry are biopics and not really fiction.
    Agent 00Awesome
    Yeah it should probably be "best fictional music industry movie" cause if it's not a biopic they're going to exaggerate a lot of things.
    It's a weird angle, because most biopics are far from the truth, and most fictional ones are based just as much on actual events (Rock Star is about Judas Priest, for example; Almost Famous is about Cameron Crowe). Also, how is this question not just (in theory and in practice) "Favorite Fictional Music Industry Film"?
    Ill agree when it comes to replacement people. Alot of bands have a formula especially 80s bands. But everything else is pretty subtle. Walbergs character doesn't seem to cross paths w record execs or anything like that. Just band drama mostly.
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    I hope this makes the list. I can't really think of any other movies that really delve into the lifestyle of a starving artist struggling to make ends meet. It's a very melancholic look at the trade-offs you make trying to be a full time musician, like the part where Llewyn signs away royalty rights to a song he helped record because he needs cash in hand (and then the song becomes kind of popular). I imagine that's a dilemma for a lot of small time session players.
    Almost Famous
    We all know Spinal Tap is taking 1st place so its a race for 2nd! And "Fever Dog", what a great jam!
    Yeah. Maybe not the "music industry" per se, but the musician view and part in that aspect without going to a more comical way like Spinal Tap or Rockstar. Fever dog? bitch please... Hour of Need!
    That being said, it covers touring, merchandise, managing, media, and radio broadcasting while also throwing in all the conflict.
    KillRoy Ver 3.0
    Crossroads! The original with The Karate Kid & Steve Vai.
    There was a remake? I know Britney Spears had a movie with the same name, but it's a totally different movie (I think. I never saw it).
    yeah the one with Britney in it was totally different...I know this cuz i took my little sister to see it (cuz i'm a wonderful brother) it was pretty crap ngl
    8 mile
    Movies like this make the distinction between fiction and nonfiction in this question seem pretty arbitrary. This is a movie about Eminem (but not explicitly), featuring Eminem in the lead role. If all you did was change the main character's name to Marshall instead of Rabbit, all of a sudden this is a biopic. And it would be more accurate than The Doors...
    I think you make the distinction between "inspired by..." and "based on..." a true story seem pretty arbitrary. It's like his life was, but not character for character.
    That's why I said it would still be more accurate than The Doors, which is an actual biopic (a generally well-received one, too, despite the fact that a lot of it is about as accurate as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). Or The Buddy Holly Story. It's not like most biopics are much more truthful. There's a thin line between "inspired by" and "based on", and a lot of times, the only real difference between the two are the names of the characters. All "based on a true story" means is that there is some sliver of truth, and it's usually not much more than that.
    The spongebob squarepants movie. I think we're all a little bit of a goofy Goober on the inside.
    Alien. First things appear to be okay then things start to burst from your chest.
    Phantom of the Paradise
    This better be on the final list!
    Phantom of the Paradise is a 1974 American musical horror film written and directed by Brian De Palma, and starring Paul Williams, William Finley and Jessica Harper. In the film, a disfigured composer writes his music for a woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, a record producer betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise. Betrayed, the composer dons a new appearance and exacts revenge on the producer.
    Dream Girls...yeah I know it's a bit different, But it does show in some parts how hard life was in the R&B and Motown scene back in the 60's and 70's, not to mention there were a lot of dangerous people around back then both black and white. I believe the story was based upon a famous Motown record label owner who's name escapes me
    And another non-rock movie that is really great: It's All Gone Pete Tong (2004) It's a story about Frankie Wilde, (fictional) DJ who goes completely deaf.
    I know it's too late, but I want to post this amazing movie: Málmhaus [aka "Metalhead"] (2013) It shows personal drama of metalhead girl - as well as black metal culture.
    24 Hour Party People is a great look at the Manchester post-punk scene with Factory Records. All about Sex Pistols, Joy Division, Buzzcocks, New Order...just tonnes of great bands!
    Grease - because let's be honest who hasn't had their whole town bust out in song and dance.
    Cadillac Records. I liked how it captured the very ambiguity of the relationship between the typical executive of the industry, and his artists.
    That is an excellent movie that didn't get the attention it deserved, but it's nonfiction. It's about Chess Records.
    I know it's about Chess Records, but even though the movie was rather solid, you can tell they exaggerated several of the events featured in the story, or even made them up. Counts as semi-fiction, to me !
    What about Straight Outta Compton. Loads of back stabbing, double crossing and people getting screwed out of money. Pretty realistic no?
    Biographical. Although, there's definitely a lot of fiction in there.
    Electric Apricot: The Quest for Festeroo
    I doubt you are gonna find too many that have seen this but it gets an up vote from me just for the damn Burning Man song...
    I'm surprised it doesn't have more of a following being a film Les Claypool made. It's dangerously close to some people I've played music with and festivals I've gone to, such as the drummer taking 9 hours to set up in the studio, some of the weird fans at festivals, the Seth Green and Matt Stone audio bootleggers, or just making an ass of yourself in front of your hero and then getting wasted in a field, naked, and waking up thinking you've seen the ghost of Jerry.
    Bill n Ted... - Either film; they basically tell the truth about making it as a rock musician... They tel it like it is, no dressing.
    I don't know that any film can capture the subject well, I mean how do you portray the anguish of the artist prostituting themselves to create art that is meaningful,but still appeal to the masses?And the pain of having to sell that art to people that you'll never see,making a cheap buck off of your hard work,and sweat.It would be nice to see that without fucking it up, and telling the truth. In respect, a good ending on the film, WITHOUT the Hollywood ending.
    You should watch Inside Llewyn Davis. It's not exactly what you're talking about, but it's pretty damn close.