It's all about musical biopics at the moment.

There was the runaway success of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' last year, and then Netflix got in on it with 'The Dirt' about Motley Crue. Now 'Rocketman', based on the life of Elton John, hits cinemas this week. There are even more musical biopics on the way based on The Beatles and Bob Marley among other renowned musicians.

Musical biopics are nothing new. Many have hit cinemas over the years and quite a few earned their leads awards, including Oscars.

If you can't get enough of the hype, here are eight musical biopics which we cannot recommend enough.



Magnificently shot in black and white, 'Control' depicts the life of Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division. Sam Riley does a fantastic job playing Curtis while Samantha Morton is brilliant as his wife, Debbie. Ian Curtis had a lot of demons which led to his untimely death at the age of 23. 'Control' effectively portrays the emotional and psychological turmoil he went through, as well as the insanely fast rise of his band, Joy Division.


Walk the Line

One of the great and most rewatchable musical biopics out there has to be 'Walk the Line'. Joaquin Phoenix plays country music legend Johnny Cash and as always, he doesn't put a foot wrong. Reese Witherspoon plays June Carter, the great love of Cash's life, which she won an Oscar for. Who knew the two could sing for their supper?


La Vie en Rose

If you haven't yet seen the film that won Marion Cotillard an Oscar, you need to get on that immediately. 'La Vie En Rose' follows the life of iconic French singer Édith Piaf from her impoverished roots to a huge international career, with high points and tragedies scattered throughout. Don't be surprised if you end up alternately bawling and applauding.


8 Mile

This one probably doesn't need much of an introduction (or do the young people not know who Eminem is anymore? May God have mercy on us all...). Marshall Mathers plays a young rapper struggling but determined to make it to the big leagues. Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger and Michael Shannon are among the supporting cast members.



Jamie Foxx won an Academy Award, Golden Globe and a BAFTA for playing legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. Like other biopics on this list, Charles came from humble upbringings before breaking into stardom. 'Ray' does a fabulous job at establishing the '50s and '60s backdrop of the story and has great supports in Kerry Washington and Regina King.


Straight Outta Compton

The movie that inspired the #OscarsSoWhite trend ought to be seen by all - not only because of its contemporary relevance but it's just a blast of a biopic too. It has stellar performances and is as thought provoking as it is entertaining. For those unfamiliar with it, it's about gangsta rap group N.W.A and its members Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre. Director F. Gary Gray has gone on to get such major gigs as 'The Fate of the Furious' and 'Men in Black: International.'



'Amadeus' was the big winner at the 1985 Oscars ceremony, taking home eight awards in all. It follows the rise and fall of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, played fabulously erratically by Tom Hulce. The story is told from the perspective of Antonio Salieri (another class performance in F. Murray Abraham), a fellow composer whose jealousy of Mozart's talent drove him to extremes.


I'm Not There

'I'm Not There' is something of an experimental film as it sees six characters embody different aspects of Bob Dylan's life and work. Whether it works or not is relative according to the individual viewer. As a study in acting anyway - Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Ben Whishaw all step into the music legend's shoes - it is a fascinating piece of work.