Special Report

Great Movies Starring Musicians

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

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

Late rapper Tupac Shakur found some of his earliest musical success performing with the hip hop group Digital Underground, who he also appeared alongside in the 1991 comedy film “Nothing but Trouble.” The following year, Tupac landed arguably his greatest movie role as Harlem teen Bishop in “Juice.” According to an Academy Originals interview with writer and director Ernest Dickerson, Shakur had not planned to try out for the role but did at Dickerson’s request after accompanying a friend to the movie’s auditions.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

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

The 2002 drama “8 Mile” features rapper Eminem as Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith — a character with a life story not entirely unlike the rapper himself. B-Rabbit is a struggling, Detroit-based rapper looking to break through with his music. Of course, Eminem was already hugely successful by the time he made the film, and he would win an Oscar for the song “Lose Yourself,” which he contributed to the film’s soundtrack.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

38. Tremors (1990)
> Starring: Reba McEntire
> Directed by: Ron Underwood
> IMDb rating: 7.1/10

The comedic horror movie “Tremors” features a highly entertaining ensemble cast of characters faced with having to fight against underground monsters in a small Nevada town. Among the town’s most defiant residents is Heather Gummer, played by country music star Reba McEntire in her first of many movie roles. According to Reba, she was performing live concerts during the movie’s production.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

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

New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi displayed his acting chops as Ricky McKinney — alcoholic ex-husband to Arlene (Helen Hunt) and father to young Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) — in this movie about doing good for others. Perhaps inspired by the movie he starred in, Bon Jovi would go on to open the JBJ Soul Kitchen in two New Jersey towns, where patrons can purchase a “pay it forward” card to provide a meal for those in need.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

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

The ageless Cher, who’s been a hitmaker since the 1960s, is equally accomplished in movies, playing characters outside the mainstream. In “Mask,” she plays the mother of a teenage son who suffers from facial deformity called “lionitis” — and she is determined that he has the opportunity at happiness as everyone else.

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