Special Report

40 Movies Starring Musicians

Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

Musical talent alone is often not enough these days to launch a successful music career, and those who reach the pinnacle of the industry often have many other qualities. Chief among them is showmanship, which often lends itself to acting.

Of course, the results of such crossover of mediums vary greatly. While some entertainers learn that acting is far from their strong suit, others find they have a knack for it. In certain cases, acting replaces music as the entertainer’s primary craft. Sometimes, such as in the latest remake of “A Star Is Born” in which Lady Gaga plays a singer, the roles of actor and musician blur.

24/7 Wall St. has identified 40 of the most popular movies starring musicians based on data from the Internet Movie Database. To be included, the performer must have found success in the music industry prior to acting in movies.

Click here to see 40 movies starring musicians.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

40. Juice (1992)
> Starring: Tupac Shakur
> Directed by: Ernest R. Dickerson
> IMDb rating: 7.1/10

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

39. 8 Mile (2002)
> Starring: Eminem
> Directed by: Curtis Hanson
> IMDb rating: 7.1/10

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

38. Pay It Forward (2000)
> Starring: Jon Bon Jovi
> Directed by: Mimi Leder
> IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

37. Mask (1985)
> Starring: Cher
> Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
> IMDb rating: 7.2/10

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

36. Steel Magnolias (1989)
> Starring: Dolly Parton
> Directed by: Herbert Ross
> IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

35. Tremors (1990)
> Starring: Reba McEntire
> Directed by: Ron Underwood
> IMDb rating: 7.2/10

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

34. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
> Starring: Chris Isaak
> Directed by: David Lynch
> IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

33. A League of Their Own (1992)
> Starring: Madonna
> Directed by: Penny Marshall
> IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Source: Courtesy of World Northal

32. Quadrophenia (1979)
> Starring: Sting
> Directed by: Franc Roddam
> IMDb rating: 7.3/10

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

31. Now You See Me (2013)
> Starring: Common
> Directed by: Louis Leterrier
> IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

30. The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
> Starring: Courtney Love
> Directed by: Milos Forman
> IMDb rating: 7.3/10

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

29. Videodrome (1983)
> Starring: Debbie Harry
> Directed by: David Cronenberg
> IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Source: Courtesy of Lionsgate

28. Precious (2009)
> Starring: Mariah Carey
> Directed by: Lee Daniels
> IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

27. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974)
> Starring: Kris Kristofferson
> Directed by: Martin Scorsese
> IMDb rating: 7.4/10

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

26. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
> Starring: T.I.
> Directed by: Peyton Reed
> IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Source: Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

25. Southpaw (2015)
> Starring: 50 Cent
> Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
> IMDb rating: 7.4/10

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

24. Labyrinth (1986)
> Starring: David Bowie
> Directed by: Jim Henson
> IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Classics

23. Hustle & Flow (2005)
> Starring: Ludacris
> Directed by: Craig Brewer
> IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

22. Thief (1981)
> Starring: Willie Nelson
> Directed by: Michael Mann
> IMDb rating: 7.4/10

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

21. The Aviator (2004)
> Starring: Gwen Stefani
> Directed by: Martin Scorsese
> IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Source: Courtesy of Lionsgate

20. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
> Starring: Lenny Kravitz
> Directed by: Francis Lawrence
> IMDb rating: 7.5/10

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

19. White Christmas (1954)
> Starring: Bing Crosby
> Directed by: Michael Curtiz
> IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

18. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
> Starring: Queen Latifah
> Directed by: Marc Forster
> IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Source: Courtesy of Orion Classics

17. Mystery Train (1989)
> Starring: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
> Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
> IMDb rating: 7.6/10

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

16. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
> Starring: Paul McCartney
> Directed by: Richard Lester
> IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

15. The Social Network (2010)
> Starring: Justin Timberlake
> Directed by: David Fincher
> IMDb rating: 7.7/10

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

14. The Blind Side (2009)
> Starring: Tim McGraw
> Directed by: John Lee Hancock
> IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

13. What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
> Starring: Barbra Streisand
> Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
> IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

12. Boyz n the Hood (1991)
> Starring: Ice Cube
> Directed by: John Singleton
> IMDb rating: 7.8/10

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

11. Tangled (2010)
> Starring: Mandy Moore
> Directed by: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
> IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Source: Courtesy of Island Pictures

10. Down by Law (1986)
> Starring: Tom Waits
> Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
> IMDb rating: 7.8/10

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

9. Boogie Nights (1997)
> Starring: Mark Wahlberg
> Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
> IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

8. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
> Starring: Will Smith
> Directed by: Gabriele Muccino
> IMDb rating: 8/10

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

7. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
> Starring: Frank Sinatra
> Directed by: John Frankenheimer
> IMDb rating: 8/10

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

6. Rio Bravo (1959)
> Starring: Dean Martin
> Directed by: Howard Hawks
> IMDb rating: 8/10

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

5. The Iron Giant (1999)
> Starring: Harry Connick Jr.
> Directed by: Brad Bird
> IMDb rating: 8/10

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

4. Sling Blade (1996)
> Starring: Dwight Yoakam
> Directed by: Billy Bob Thornton
> IMDb rating: 8/10

Source: Courtesy of Fine Line Features

3. Dancer in the Dark (2000)
> Starring: Björk
> Directed by: Lars von Trier
> IMDb rating: 8/10

Source: Courtesy of No Distributor Found

2. Something the Lord Made (2004)
> Starring: Yasiin Bey (Mos Def)
> Directed by: Joseph Sargent
> IMDb rating: 8.2/10

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

1. Fight Club (1999)
> Starring: Meat Loaf
> Directed by: David Fincher
> IMDb rating: 8.8/10

The inclusion of musicians in feature films has a long history. Bing Crosby began acting in the late 1920s and starred in major hits such as “White Christmas” and “High Society” throughout the 1950s. Rock acts such as The Beatles and Elvis Presley picked up the torch in the 1960s, carrying numerous titles based on the recognizability of their names alone.

Some artists merely dipped their toes in the world of cinema. Icelandic singer Björk only has a handful of acting credits in feature films, yet she struck gold with her turn in Danish auteur Lars Von Trier’s critically acclaimed drama “Dancer in the Dark.” Rapper Eminem is a similar case – despite appearing in only four feature films, he wowed audiences with his performance in the biopic “8 Mile,” which grossed over $245 million worldwide.

Others have managed to build hugely successful acting careers. Will Smith began as a rapper but is now considered primarily an actor. Pop singer Mandy Moore released her last album in 2009 but has acted in seven feature films that have been released since.

Methodology:

To determine the list of 40 movies starring musicians, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed numerous user-generated lists of musicians who act. We then looked at each musician’s filmography and selected the top-rated film on IMDb for which the musician has a leading role. To be included, a film must have at least 10,000 user ratings on IMDb. Concert films and documentaries were not considered. Musicians must have found success in the music industry prior to any acting success.

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.