Beyonce Homecoming

(Photo by Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment)

45 Great Concert Movies to Watch Now

Itching to go and see live music but can’t because… well… you know? We’ve got the next best thing: Bring the live music into your living room/kitchen/bathroom/onto your laptop with some of the most electric live performances ever committed to screen. In this 45-film guide to the greatest concert movies out there, you’ll find arena pop extravaganzas (with a little emotion – thanks Katy Perry: Part of Me); more intimate – but no less rousing – moments of music history (witness Aretha Franklin in Amazing Grace); an epic street party (remember those? Dave Chappelle does…); and some of the biggest festival events out there (from Beychella to Woodstock).

You’ll also find some of the biggest names in music: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Janis Joplin, Springsteen, Wu-Tang Clan, and more. The majority of films included are pure concert docs – recordings of live shows with little fuss and extraneous material – but a handful do take a more traditional documentary format, with interviews and behind-the-scenes tour footage. We included those because of the amount of live concert footage they feature, Marley and Madonna: Truth or Dare among them.

To be included in the list, the movie had to have a Tomatometer score – which unfortunately means we could not include The T.A.M.I. Show, with the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Chuck Berry, and more – and that score needed to be Fresh. We then ranked the list by adjusted Tomatometer, a weighted calculation that takes into consideration year of release and number of reviews counted. To find out where to stream, buy, or rent each movie, click into the title for more details.

So, lighters up – sorry, phone lights on – and let’s bring the party home.

What’s your favorite concert movie? Let your fellow fans know in the comments. 

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 29099%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The British rock group's 1986 tour includes "We Will Rock You," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Are the Champions."... [More]
Directed By: János Zsombolyai

#44

Coachella (2006)
89%

#44
Adjusted Score: 38728%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Originally used as a test venue for Pearl Jam when they were battling Ticketmaster, the Empire Polo Fields in Indio,... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Drew Thomas

#43
Adjusted Score: 39709%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring: The Cure
Directed By: Tim Pope

#42

The Show (1995)
80%

#42
Adjusted Score: 30787%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Brian Robbins' profile of rap and hip-hop performers includes footage of preparations for a Philadelphia concert.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#41
Adjusted Score: 44490%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Music video director Emmett Malloy shadows guitarist and singer Jack White and drummer Meg White on their 2007 Canadian tour.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Emmett Malloy

#40

Heima (2007)
90%

#40
Adjusted Score: 44759%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ethereal post-rock pioneers Sigur Rós play a string of impromptu gigs in their native Iceland after finishing a world tour... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois

#39

Rock the Bells (2006)
83%

#39
Adjusted Score: 74299%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Like a hip-hop version of indie rock festivals such as Coachella, Rock the Bells (named for the LL Cool J... [More]
Starring:

#38
Adjusted Score: 76027%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On Oct. 9, 2004, music group the Beastie Boys perform a sold-out show at New York's Madison Square Garden. They... [More]

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 63142%
Critics Consensus: The unconverted will remain just as perplexed as ever, but for gleeful Gleeks, The 3D Concert Movie delivers exactly what it promises.
Synopsis: New Directions hits the road to perform a summer concert tour. Rachel (Lea Michele), Finn (Cory Monteith), Kurt (Chris Colfer),... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Tancharoen

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 61053%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1987, legendary Irish rock group U2 -- Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. -- embark on... [More]
Directed By: Phil Joanou

#35
Adjusted Score: 67915%
Critics Consensus: As a tour documentary, it's rather uninspired -- but as a 3D glimpse of a building pop culture phenomenon, Never Say Never is undeniably entertaining.
Synopsis: A young singing sensation prepares to dazzle the crowd at a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. Legions of adoring... [More]
Directed By: Jon M. Chu

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 77055%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Icelandic musician Björk performs in concert at London's Alexandra Palace in 2013.... [More]

#33
Adjusted Score: 72120%
Critics Consensus: This high-energy concert film should please Cyrus' rabid pre-teen fan base -- and may come as a pleasant surprise for parents.
Synopsis: This concert film documents a 2007 tour by Miley Cyrus, star of the tween sitcom "Hannah Montana." In keeping with... [More]
Starring: Miley Cyrus
Directed By: Bruce Hendricks

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 75294%
Critics Consensus: Gaga: Five Foot Two offers an absorbing glimpse of its superstar subject's backstage life, albeit one weakened by inconsistent focus and a dearth of performance footage.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Chris Moukarbel introduces the woman behind the performer, the costumes, the glitz and the glamour.... [More]
Directed By: Chris Moukarbel

#31

Let It Be (1970)
75%

#31
Adjusted Score: 75382%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Initially slated to be a television documentary about the Beatles in the studio, this film, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, instead... [More]
Starring: The Beatles
Directed By: Michael Lindsay-Hogg

#30
Adjusted Score: 76103%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Documentarian D.A. Pennebaker focuses his lens on a 1973 concert by David Bowie, who performs under the moniker Ziggy Stardust... [More]
Directed By: D.A. Pennebaker

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 75310%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Filmed in 1973 over the course of a three-night stand at New York City's Madison Square Garden, this concert film... [More]
Directed By: Peter Clifton, Joe Massot

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 78352%
Critics Consensus: Katy Perry: Part of Me succeeds on the strengths of the pop star's genuine likability, inspiring work ethic, and dazzling stage show, even if it plays somewhat like a PR puff piece at times.
Synopsis: Filmmakers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz follow wildly popular singer Katy Perry during her yearlong California Dreams tour. During 124... [More]
Directed By: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz

#27

Wattstax (1973)
90%

#27
Adjusted Score: 93252%
Critics Consensus: From the stage to the street, Wattstax brilliantly captures a musical moment -- and a poignantly passionate response to painful social upheaval.
Synopsis: In 1972 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, director Mel Stuart captures the performances of the Watts Summer Festival. Organized by... [More]
Directed By: Mel Stuart

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 85298%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: LCD Soundsystem prepares for their biggest concert at Madison Square Garden.... [More]

#25

Soul Power (2008)
84%

#25
Adjusted Score: 85326%
Critics Consensus: Featuring some incredible performances from many 70s soul legends, Soul Power is an exhilarating snap-shot of a bygone era.
Synopsis: In Zaire, James Brown, B.B. King, Miriam Makeba, the Spinners and others perform in a three-day concert preceding 1974's "Rumble... [More]
Directed By: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 62543%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Highlights from Prince's 1987 European concert tour, including selections from the rock star's album of the same title.... [More]
Directed By: Prince, Albert Magnoli

#23
Adjusted Score: 88830%
Critics Consensus: While it may not be the definitive concert film (or the insightful backstage look) some will hope for, Michael Jackson's This Is It packs more than enough entertainment value to live up to its ambitious title.
Synopsis: Prior to his untimely death, Jackson was in the midst of preparing for a series of sold-out concerts that were... [More]
Directed By: Kenny Ortega

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 88733%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This documentary chronicles Madonna's controversial 1990 "Blonde Ambition" international tour, kicking off in Japan during its rainy season, then traveling... [More]
Directed By: Alek Keshishian

#21
Adjusted Score: 73153%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Filmed by director Taylor Hackford on the occasion of Chuck Berry's 60th birthday, this documentary presents the rock legend performing... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#20
Adjusted Score: 91377%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Clips show Elvis Presley backstage, in rehearsal, and on the road before his 1970 Las Vegas opening night.... [More]
Directed By: Denis Sanders

#19

Shine a Light (2008)
86%

#19
Adjusted Score: 89935%
Critics Consensus: It may offer little new for fans, but Martin Scorsese's document of the Rolling Stones' electrifying live show should provide satisfaction to audiences.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Martin Scorsese documents the Rolling Stones' energetic performance at New York's Beacon Theatre. The concert, filmed in 2006, features... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 89130%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Canadian-born singer Neil Young returns to his hometown of Omemee, Ont., and later performs a solo concert at Toronto's Massey... [More]
Starring: Neil Young
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#17
Adjusted Score: 91776%
Critics Consensus: This documentary focuses less on the music and more on the personality clashes and in-group tensions to great, compelling effect.
Synopsis: Actor Michael Rapaport examines the music of the 1990s hip-hop group as well as the conflicts that drove the band... [More]
Directed By: Michael Rapaport

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 92406%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This documentary by lauded German filmmaker Wim Wenders follows renowned guitarist Ry Cooder and his son, Joachim, as they travel... [More]
Directed By: Wim Wenders

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 92792%
Critics Consensus: Proving that it's neither better to burn out nor fade away, Neil Young: Heart of Gold works both as a concert film and a meditation on mortality.
Synopsis: Shot over the span of two nights in the summer of 2005 at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., this Jonathan... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#14
Adjusted Score: 97287%
Critics Consensus: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese lives up to its unwieldy title with a delightfully unorthodox look at a pivotal period in its subject's career.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Martin Scorsese chronicles the troubled spirit of America in 1975 along with the joyous music that Bob Dylan performed... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#13
Adjusted Score: 97259%
Critics Consensus: Dave Chappelle's Block Party is a raucous return to the spotlight for the comic, buoyed by witty, infectious humor and outstanding musical performances.
Synopsis: Actor, writer and comic Dave Chappelle loads up a bus with residents of his Ohio hometown and takes them to... [More]
Starring: Dave Chappelle
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 95560%
Critics Consensus: The Boss holds court with arresting charisma and storytelling skill in this one-man show, delivering a rollicking rumination on America's past, present, and future.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Unknown Director

#11

Marley (2012)
95%

#11
Adjusted Score: 98575%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Macdonald's exhaustive, evenhanded portrait of Bob Marley offers electrifying concert footage and fascinating insights into reggae's greatest star.
Synopsis: The life story of musician, revolutionary and legend Bob Marley, from the early days to international superstardom. Features rare footage,... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#10

Festival Express (2003)
96%

#10
Adjusted Score: 98364%
Critics Consensus: Festival Express is a spellbinding documentary that nostalgically chronicles five days in the summer of 1970, when a train full of now- legendary rock perfomers jammed its way across Canada.
Synopsis: This compilation of footage from the Grateful Dead's Canadian train tour depicts the height of the band's music and fame... [More]
Directed By: Bob Smeaton

#9

Monterey Pop (1969)
96%

#9
Adjusted Score: 98295%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Featuring performances by popular artists of the 1960s, this concert film highlights the music of the 1967 California festival. Although... [More]
Directed By: D.A. Pennebaker

#8

Gimme Shelter (1970)
93%

#8
Adjusted Score: 95452%
Critics Consensus: Equal parts essential and chilling, Gimme Shelter provides a spine-tingling look at how the Rolling Stones' music paralleled the end of the counterculture movement.
Synopsis: The landmark documentary about the tragically ill-fated Rolling Stones free concert at Altamont Speedway on December 6, 1969. Only four... [More]

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 100081%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This pioneering rock music documentary combines promotional footage, television appearances and production crew- and fan-shot footage of rock legends The... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Stein

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 100355%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This documentary concert film captures the sounds and performances of some of the major jazz artists at the 1958 Newport... [More]
Directed By: Bert Stern

#5
Adjusted Score: 100705%
Critics Consensus: Beychella forever.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring: Beyoncé
Directed By: Unknown Director

#4

Stop Making Sense (1984)
100%

#4
Adjusted Score: 101005%
Critics Consensus: Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense captures the energetic, unpredictable live act of peak Talking Heads with color and visual wit.
Synopsis: Director Jonathan Demme captures the frantic energy and artsy groove of Talking Heads in this concert movie shot at the... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#3

Woodstock (1970)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 101877%
Critics Consensus: By documenting arguably the most renowned music festival in history, Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music achieves the rare feat of capturing the unique spirit of its time.
Synopsis: In 1969, 500,000 people descended on a small patch of field in a little-known town in upstate New York called... [More]
Directed By: Michael Wadleigh

#2

The Last Waltz (1978)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103200%
Critics Consensus: Among one of, if not the best rock movie ever made, The Last Waltz is a revealing, electrifying view of the classic band at their height.
Synopsis: Seventeen years after joining forces as the backing band for rockabilly cult hero Ronnie Hawkins, Canadian roots rockers The Band... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#1

Amazing Grace (2018)
99%

#1
Adjusted Score: 108396%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly capturing a remarkable performer near the peak of her prodigious power, Amazing Grace is a thrilling must-watch documentary for Aretha Franklin fans.
Synopsis: Singer Aretha Franklin performs gospel songs at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972.... [More]
Starring: Aretha Franklin
Directed By: Alan Elliott


Thumbnail image: Courtesy the Everett Collection, Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment, © Neon

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