Greatest Concert Films of All Time

Source: Courtesy of Shadow Distribution

15. Air Guitar Nation (2006)
> Musicians: Various
> Directed by: Alexandra Lipsitz
> Runtime: 81 minutes

The concert at the center of “Air Guitar Nation” may not be every music fan’s cup of tea: the first annual U.S. Air Guitar Championship. While instruments may be missing from the stage, this documentary features the type of passionate performances that fans of live music generally love. It also won the audience award at SXSW in 2006 for best music film.

Source: Courtesy of Rogue Pictures

14. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2005)
> Musicians: Kanye West, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, others
> Directed by: Michel Gondry
> Runtime: 103 minutes

“Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” follows the comedian as he sets up a star-studded block party in Brooklyn. The concert features numerous performers, including Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, the Roots, Cody Chesnutt, Big Daddy Kane, and the Fugees. The vast majority of critics liked the movie, giving it a Freshness score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Source: Courtesy of Cineplex-Odeon Films

13. Sign ‘o’ the Times (1987)
> Musicians: Prince
> Directed by: Prince, Albert Magnoli
> Runtime: 85 minutes

Prince was no stranger to the silver screen when “Sign ‘o’ the Times” was released, having starred in “Purple Rain” three years prior. This movie combines footage from shows in Minnesota and the Netherlands’ Rotterdam, in addition to short films starring the musician. It currently holds a 92% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Vantage

12. Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006)
> Musicians: Neil Young
> Directed by: Jonathan Demme
> Runtime: 103 minutes

“Neil Young: Heart of Gold” was shot over a two-night performance at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium. “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) director Jonathan Demme shot the film, managing to create a great concert film as well as “a meditation on mortality,” as described by Rotten Tomatoes’ Critics Consensus.

Source: Courtesy of Artisan Entertainment

11. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
> Musicians: Various
> Directed by: Wim Wenders
> Runtime: 105 minutes

“Buena Vista Social Club” is an impactful tribute to Cuban music performed by various musicians, some in their 90s, who became famous in the pre-Castro era. The film includes concert footage from shows in Amsterdam and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Performers include Ry & Joachim Cooder, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzales, Eliades Ochoa, and many other distinguished Cuban musicians, who were interviewed about their lives on the island nation. Critics and audiences both gave the movie 90% or better approval scores on Rotten Tomatoes.