Rock Biopics: Notorious

Rock Biopics

sid and nancy love and mercy
Universal/Everett Collection |Samuel Goldwyn/Everett Collection | Roadside Attractions/Everett Collection

The rock biopic never goes away. Its popularity waxes and wanes, and not everyone will agree on what the great ones are.

Just look at the love-it-or-thumb-your-nose-at-it phenomenon that was “Bohemian Rhapsody” — or at Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” seems to be a movie that audiences have embraced more than critics have.

What we can all agree on, perhaps, is how much we cherish this form.

The great rock biopics render the kind of exuberance and excitement that are singular–and seldom prevail in experiencing other movie genres.

The good movies are about art, fame, sex and drugs.

They’re about the electricity of rock, soul, funk, punk and hip-hop.

They’re about actors not just playing but becoming pop stars by immersing themselves in the lives of the characters they inhabit.

Here are the greatest rock biopics of the past four decades, which are worth seeing–and revisiting (if you had already seen them).