What makes an excellent drumming movie? Is it the ability to showcase the drummer’s skills and abilities? Is it the storyline and ability to engage the audience? Or is it a combination of both?
In this blog post, we look at some of the best drumming movies. Whether you’re a drummer, these films will entertain and engage you. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!
1) The Rocker (2008)
The Rocker is a 2008 American comedy-drama film directed by Peter Cattaneo and written by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky.
The film stars Rainn Wilson as Robert “Fish” Fishman, a failed drummer who gets a second chance at fame when his former band, A. Dd., reunites for a reunion tour two decades after their break-up.
The film also stars Christina Applegate, Josh Gad, Teddy Geiger, Jason Sudeikis, and Emma Stone. The Rocker was released on August 20, 2008, by 20th Century Fox.
The film received mixed reviews from critics but was a box office bomb, grossing only $8 million against its $15 million budget.
2) Step Brothers (2008)
Step Brothers is a comedy movie that came out in 2008. It stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as two middle-aged men forced to live together as stepbrothers.
Will Ferrel and Adam Mckay wrote the movie, and it received mixed reviews from critics but was a box office success, grossing over $100 million worldwide. The film has become a cult classic.
Step Brothers is notable for its quotable dialogue, silly humor, and lovable characters. It also features an iconic scene in which Will Ferrel’s character destroys John C. Reilly’s drum set after being told, “Don’t touch my drum set!” Step Brothers is a hilarious movie that will have you laughing from beginning to end.
3) Whiplash (2014)
Whiplash is a 2014 American drama film that tells the story of a jazz drummer who strives to achieve perfection under the tutelage of an abusive music teacher. It’s by far the most well-known jazz drum movie.
The film starred Miles Teller as Andrew Neiman and J. K. Simmons as Fletcher and was written and directed by Damien Chazelle. It was inspired by Chazelle’s own experience as a jazz drummer in high school.
Whiplash met with critical acclaim upon its release and won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film has also been hailed as one of the best jazz drumming movies of all time. If you’re a fan of jazz or enjoy watching characters strive for greatness, Whiplash is worth watching.
4) Count Me In (2021)
Count Me In is a drumming documentary that follows the journey of musician Mark Lo as he travels around the world to meet other drummers. He meets Taylor Hawkins, Chad Smith, and other famous drummers and learns about their techniques and experiences.
Count Me In also highlights the importance of music education and how drums can be used to connect people from all walks of life. The film is an inspiring look at the power of music and how it can bring people together. You can stream Count Me In now on Netflix.
5) Drumline (2002)
Drumline is a 2002 movie about a talented but egoistical percussionist who enrolls in college and learns the importance of working as part of a team.
The movie stars Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana, and it features an electrifying Drumline battle between the college’s marching bands.
Drumline is an entertaining movie that captures the excitement of marching band competition, and it also provides a glimpse into the culture of historically black colleges. So if you’re looking for a fun, feel-good movie, Drumline is worth checking out.
6) Studio 666 (2022)
Studio 666 is a comedy horror movie directed by Dave Grohl and starring the Foo Fighters. The film centers on a group of friends trying to make a movie about the Devil. However, things quickly go wrong when they accidentally summon him to the set.
Studio 666 is a fast-paced and humorous movie that will keep you entertained from beginning to end. The cast includes Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, and other members of the Foo Fighters. If you’re a fan of the band, you’ll want to check out this movie.
7) Wayne’s World (1992)
Wayne’s World is a classic movie from the 90s that is still quoted and loved today. The film stars Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar, two friends who host a public-access television show from Wayne’s basement.
The movie follows Wayne and Garth as they try to save their show from being taken over by a sleazy network executive while also dealing with the personal struggles of Wayne’s newfound relationship with rock star Cassandra Wong.
Wayne’s World is hilarious, heartwarming, and wholly unique—it’s no wonder that the movie has remained so popular all these years later. You’re in for a treat if you’ve never seen Wayne’s World.
8) A Drummer’s Dream (2010)
A Drummer’s Dream is a 2010 documentary directed by John Walker. The film follows a group of students as they attend the Nasyrium Drum Camp, where they have the prospect of learning from some of the world’s greatest drummers, including Dennis Chambers, Horacio Hernandez, and Kenwood Dennard.
The film provides an inside look at the world of professional drumming, and it is sure to inspire any aspiring musicians out there. A Drummer’s Dream is a must-see for any music lover.
9) The Gene Krupa Story (1959)
The Gene Krupa Story is a 1959 American biographical film directed by Don Murray and starring Sal Mineo, Susan Kohner, and George Hamilton. The film is based on the life of famed drummer Gene Krupa.
As a young man, Gene falls in love with drumming and quickly becomes one of the most talented jazz drummers in the world. However, his career is derailed when he is arrested for marijuana possession. After serving time in prison, Gene returns to the jazz scene and quickly regains his place as one of America’s most remarkable drummers.
The Gene Krupa Story is a fascinating look at the life of a pioneering musician and an important figure in jazz history.
10) That Thing You Do (1996)
That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American musical comedy-drama film written and directed by Tom Hanks, in his directorial debut. The film stars Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Charlie Sheen, and Bill Paxton.
The plot follows the rise to fame of a small-town Pennsylvania rock band known as The Wonders, who have a hit with their song “That Thing You Do!”
The film was well-received by critics and audiences alike, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and earning Hanks a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
That Thing You Do! was released in theaters on October 4, 1996, and grossed $56 million worldwide.
11) The Sound Of Metal (2020)
The Sound of Metal is a new movie starring Riz Ahmed as a metal drummer who begins to experience hearing loss. The film follows his character as he navigates his new reality and tries to find a way to keep playing the music he loves.
The Sound of Metal is a moving and powerful film that explores the challenges of living with hearing loss. Riz Ahmed gives an incredible performance, and the film is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever faced a challenge in their life. The Sound of Metal is a must-see movie for all fans of Riz Ahmed and anyone who loves a good story.
12) Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers (2018)
Fred Armisen may be best known for his work on sketch comedy shows like Saturday Night Live and Portlandia, but he’s also a talented drummer.
In 2010, he released a standup comedy album called Standup for Drummers, full of jokes about the joys and frustrations of drumming. Armisen is a self-taught drummer, and his passion for the instrument shines through in his act.
He covers everything from the challenges of playing in a band to the perils of buying drums online. Whether you’re a musician or just a fan of comedy, Standup for Drummers is sure to entertain.
13) Sound of Noise (2010)
The Sound of Noise is a 2010 Swedish film directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson. The film tells the story of a group of musicians who use everyday objects to create music and has been described as “a love letter to the power of noise.”
The film’s soundtrack was composed by Mulla Kassamali and features a range of percussion instruments, including drums, cymbals, and gongs. The Sound of Noise was released to critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Best Sound Design award at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. It was also nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011 Academy Awards.
14) Adventures of Power (2009)
Have you ever wanted to be a drummer in a rock band? Adventures of Power will make that dream a reality…sort of. This hilarious mockumentary follows the story of wannabe rockstar Power (played by real-life drummer Ari Gold) as he attempts to make it big in competitive air-drumming.
He meets some colorful characters along the way, including his mentor Xerxes (played by Michael McKean) and his arch-nemesis Mina (played by Jane Lynch).
And in a special cameo appearance, the late Neil Peart of Rush makes an appearance as himself. If you love drumming, comedy, or both, then Adventures of Power is a must-see movie.
15) Ain’t in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm
Ain’t in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm is a 2010 documentary film directed by Jacob Hatley. The film chronicles the life and career of Levon Helm, best known as the drummer and vocalist for the rock group The Band.
Helm was born and raised in Arkansas, and he first rose to prominence as a member of The Band, one of the most famous rock groups of the 1960s and 1970s. The Band’s music was steeped in country, folk, and blues, and Helm’s drumming style was integral to their sound.
After The Band broke up in 1976, Helm pursued a solo career, releasing a series of highly acclaimed albums. Ain’t in It for My Health chronicles Helm’s struggle with cancer, which forced him to curtail his musical activities in the late 2000s.
Despite his illness, Helm continued to record and perform, and he won multiple Grammy Awards for his work. Ain’t in It for My Health is an intimate portrait of a musical legend, exploring the life and career of a man who has left an indelible mark on American music.
16) Beware of Mr. Baker (2012)
Mr. Baker is a documentary that tells the story of Ginger Baker, the legendary drummer for the band Cream. The film chronicles his life and career, from his early days as a member of the British band Cream to his later work with Fela Kuti.
Along the way, the film provides an intimate look at Baker’s personal life, including his struggles with addiction and mental illness. Despite its title, Mr. Baker is not a cautionary tale; instead, it is a tribute to a truly unique and gifted artist. Recommended for fans of Cream, Eric Clapton, and Fela Kuti.
17) Airheads (1994)
Airheads is a 1994 American comedy film directed by Michael Lehmann and starring Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and Adam Sandler. The plot follows a struggling rock band who take a radio station hostage to get their song played on the air.
Although the film was not a box office success, it has since become something of a cult classic. Airheads is notable for featuring an early appearance by Sandler and cameos from several famous musicians, including Slash and members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If you’re looking for a fun, irreverent movie with great music, Airheads is worth checking out.
18) The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
The Man With The Golden Arm is a 1955 movie starring Frank Sinatra as a musician struggling with drug addiction. The movie was groundbreaking, featuring jazz drums and creative camera work.
Kim Novak plays the love interest in the movie, and her character’s troubled past helps to add depth to the story. The Man With The Golden Arm was a critical and commercial success, and it remains an acclaimed movie today.
Critics praised the movie for its frank portrayal of addiction, and Sinatra’s performance was singled out as a highlight. The Man With The Golden Arm helped cement Sinatra’s status as one of Hollywood’s leading men, and it remains one of his most memorable roles.
19) This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
This Is Spinal Tap is a 1984 American mockumentary film directed by Rob Reiner. The film portrays the fictional British heavy metal band Spinal Tap and its members, David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer).
This Is Spinal Tap is presented as a serious rockumentary, but it satirizes the subgenre by exaggerating the cliches of rockumentaries, such as exaggerated personalities of the band members, pompous concert footage, and subpar musicianship.
The film is also notable for being one of the first mockumentaries. This Is Spinal Tap was a critical and commercial success, and it has since developed a cult following.
20) Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage is a 2010 documentary film about the Canadian rock band Rush. Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen directed the film, and it features interviews with all three Rush members: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage offers an in-depth look at Rush’s 40-year career, focusing on their creative process and the personal dynamics between the band members. The film also includes live performances of Rush’s best-known songs, including “Tom Sawyer” and “YYZ.”
For Rush fans, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage is a must-see. But even if you’re not familiar with Rush’s music, this documentary is an insightful and entertaining look at one of rock’s most enduring bands.
Drumming is an activity that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their skill level. A passion for percussion translates well to the big screen, as evidenced by the many movies that feature drumming released over the years.
Whether you’re a drummer or enjoy watching others play, we hope you found this list helpful and will check out some of these films soon.
Did we miss a particular movie that features drums? Leave a comment down below and let us know. We’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, keep practicing!