Whether you’re a drummer yourself or just appreciate the art form, there’s no doubt that drumming has been a popular topic in movies over the years. Here are 10 best movies about drummers – each one with its own unique story and perspective on this fascinating instrument. Enjoy!
“Whiplash” is one of the newest movies about drummers.
It was released in 2014. The story is about a young and talented drummer, a wannabe jazz-legend, at a prestigious jazz conservatory where he needs to cope with a tyrannical music instructor who abused him and showered him with injurious words.
This authentic movie, whose author (director and writer) is Damien Chazelle, personally a drummer, won three Oscars in 2015: for the best performance by an actor in a supporting role, played by amazing J.K. Simmons, for the best achievement in film editing and the best achievement in sound mixing.
2. Beware of Mr. Baker
“Beware of Mr. Baker” is a documentary about the old man of music, a jazz and rock drummer Ginger Baker.
He is harsh and arrogant, prone to disparaging other performers and making poor personal choices.
In this movie, he looks back on his musical career with Cream and Blind Faith, his introduction to Fela Kuti, his self-destructive behavior and his current life inside a fortified South African compound.
This movie’s director, writer, and producer is Emmy nominated writer and director Jay Bulger.
3. Sound of Noise
It’s a quirky Swedish comedy-crime film about a group of eccentric drummers who use everyday objects to create musical masterpieces.
What gets them into trouble is they do it illegally, intruding into public places, making chaotic and improvised music on the objects around them that drive people crazy.
Magnus Börjeson composed the soundtrack for the film, while Fred Avril wrote the story.
The film is both funny and stimulating, and it will make you appreciate the art of drumming like never before.
4. A Drummer’s Dream
“A Drummer’s Dream” is a 2010 documentary film by John Walker. It’s a movie about some of the greatest drummers in the world, Drummers Nasyr Abdul Al-Khabyyr, Dennis Chambers, Mike Mangini, and many others.
They share their skills and passion for music with students at the weekend drumming workshop.
It’s a mix of explosive talent, humor, and passion, that come together in magical settings when the number of different personalities creates an unforgettable experience.
You will be full of positive energy after watching these creative people.
5. The Gene Krupa Story
This is a biographical story about famous American jazz drummer Gene Krupa (played by Sal Mineo), who becomes famous but can’t handle fame and life in the fast lane and ends up penniless and addicted to drugs and alcohol.
You should know that Krupa himself played the drums on the film’s soundtrack.
It’s a pretty old, black and white movie, released in 1959.
“Drumline” is a 2002 American teen movie directed by Charles Stone and written by Tina Gordon Chism and Shawn Schepps.
This is a straightforward coming-of-age story set against an intriguing African American subculture.
It’s about a boy played by Nick Cannon, a young drummer from New York, as he enrolls at the fictional Atlanta A & T University and clashes with the drum section’s leader.
It is one of those movies that will make you watch marching bands online.
7. Step Brothers
“Step Brothers” is a 2008 American comedy film directed by Adam McKay and starring Will Ferrell and hilarious John C. Reilly. They are playing 40-year-old immature adults who are still living with their parents. They get forced against their will to become roommates after their parents marry.
Interestingly, John C. Reilly did all his drumming in Step Brothers on his own since he learned how to play drums for the movie Georgia.
8. That Thing You Do!
This is a light and sweet American comedy, co-starring, written, and directed by Tom Hanks. Guy Patterson, a quiet jazz drum student who works at his father’s electronic appliance company, is the focus of the novel, which is set in the mid-1960s.
When a local rock band needs a drummer for a talent show, he agrees to fill in.
It’s a sweet, likable tale of the quick rise to fame, and then the demise of a small-town band will leave you with a pleasant feeling after watching it.
“Airheads” is a classic American comedy from the ’90s.
The plot is about three aspiring rock musicians played by Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and Adam Sandler.
They are determined to have their band’s demo tape played on the air.
Being turned down as they try to get the demo tape heard by producers, they sneak into a Los Angeles radio station to play their demo tape and end up holding everyone hostage with fake pistols.
If you like cheesy comedies full of action, “Airheads” will make you laugh.
10. Vice Versa
“Vice Versa” is a cheesy comedy about a divorced executive Marshall and his son, with whom he surprisingly switches bodies and mind, and vice versa, after touching a magical Tibetan skull in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand.
While his son now has to do his grown-up tasks, Marshall has a chance to relive his youth and even becomes a kick-ass drummer.
Never strays very far from orthodox Hollywood comedy, though put together with enough skill to be fairly watchable throughout.
“Vice Versa” is a movie that finds humor in many small moments of truth and accurate observation.
In the world of music, drums have been a part of many different genres and styles. Drummers have been instrumental in shaping how music sounds from classical to modern-day pop songs throughout history.
These 10 best movies about drummers showcase some great moments in time for this instrument with stories that will keep you entertained.
If you want to learn more about what makes a good drummer or just want an entertaining movie night, check out some of these best movies about drummers!