14 AWESOME MUSIC MOVIES (THAT AREN'T MUSICALS)

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  1. Empire Records
    This gem of a movie dealt with promiscuity, drug use, and mental health in a way that was ahead of its time. Like Degrassi, it goes there — only it has an even better soundtrack (apologies, wheelchair Jimmy). If you don’t have the time to invest in Empire Records, you can always go the TV route with Empire.
  2. Josie and the Pussycats
    Josie and the Pussycats are aesthetically the closest to Jem and her holograms — but if you’re looking for the IRL version, check out indie singer Kate Nash and her girl gang.
  3. Once
    This isn’t the movie to watch when you’re a sucker for a happy ending, but if you’re a fan of indie romances that make you think, Glen Hansard and his real-life girlfriend (at the time) Markéta Irglová will blow you away with their quiet chemistry as they play buskers in Ireland.
  4. Spice World
    Let’s be honest — no matter how hip your current playlist is, the second a solid Spice Girls joint comes on you remember every single lyric and start screaming them. If you’re planning a watch party, you should invest in Spice Girls Chupa Chups to snack on.
  5. Almost Famous
    It’s a guarantee that Almost Famous will make you want to become a rock journalist, or encourage you to hop on the nearest tour bus. Most importantly, the movie confirms that you’re your most authentic self when you’re on an airplane and there’s any kind of turbulence.
  6. The Runaways
    The '70s resurgence might be gone with spring, but after watching this you’ll be inspired to bring it back singlehandedly — glitter and winged hair included.
  7. That Thing You Do!
    'That Thing You Do!' stars an insanely handsome Tom Everett Scott as the good guy that you’re mentally begging Liv to choose. It also has an appearance from Ethan Embry, proving that all cult classics are incomplete without him.
  8. Pitch Perfect
    Even if this movie didn’t make you want to try out for your school’s acapella group, it definitely made you at least calendar their next performance (for the sole purpose of finding a Jesse Swanson of your own).
  9. Pitch Perfect 2
    The Barden Bellas are a preppier and perkier version of Jem, but they’re nowhere near squeaky clean, and that’s what makes them always entertaining. Now, the countdown begins until movie number three...
  10. Selena
    Selena was the queen of Tejano music. This will give a serious case of the feels, so prepare mentally and physically for all the tears before you dive into the singer’s way-too-short life. You’ll need a box of tissues handy, along with your phone to immediately listen to every song she sang.
  11. Never Say Never
    This is old school Bieber at his finest, hair swoop included. Before the drama of the backstage bucket, before he celebrated Halloween a little too early in his neighbor’s yard, he was your favorite Canadian dreamboat with the voice of a teeny, prepubescent angel. If you feel like celebrating #TBT early, pop this on and transport yourself to far simpler times.
  12. Pirate Radio
    If you like British accents and rock rebellion, you’ll love this story about a pirate radio station that secretly broadcast from a ship. When winter break rolls around on and you’re looking for a film that’s fun for the family, this one has a soundtrack that’s parental unit approved, courtesy of The Beach Boys, Hendrix, and The Who.
  13. Music and Lyrics
    Like most solid music movies, it’s a classic underdog story. Hugh Grant plays Alex Fletcher, who was way cool in the 80s. He teams up with the woman watering his plants to create a mega-hit for the latest PYT pop star (Drew Barrymore).
  14. School of Rock
    School of Rock introduced the world to a youthful Miranda Cosgrove, who was way wise beyond her years. The best part of this musical masterpiece is that it spawned one of the most quotable lines in recent years. If you’ve never thought, tweeted, or yelled, “You’re tacky and I hate you!” it can only be for one reason — you haven’t seen School of Rock yet.