Best Drum Movies of All Time

Drummers are a unique breed of people. They know how to play an instrument that is very difficult for most people to operate. The drummer’s passion usually shows in his or her face and hands when they’re playing the drums, which makes for some entertaining movie moments. Here are some drum movies you should check out: 

1. Drumline

Drumline is a 2002 American drama film directed by Charles Stone III. It was the first full-length feature film since Spike Lee’s School Daze in 1988 to depict the intense world of competitive drum and bugle corps. The general story involves young African American musicians who struggle to succeed in an elitist, all-white, and primarily male-dominated field. It draws influence from military-style leadership, skilled music pedagogy, modern showmanship, and different hip-hop culture forms. It is about a high school student who becomes a part of the school’s competitive drumline group after he finds he has natural talent as a percussionist and must balance this with his schooling and personal life. 

2. Whiplash

Whiplash is a 2014 American drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The film tells the story of Andrew Nieman, a young drummer who attends one of the most prestigious music schools in the country.

It is about a young jazz drummer’s obsession with the perfection of his playing, even if everything within him tells him to rest. It’s metaphorically speaking the journey many people take in their search for which career path will make them happy and constantly getting themselves more than they can comfortably handle. Even though it may not feel like it at first, you need to learn when it’s time to take care of yourself instead of pushing yourself up against all odds. Otherwise, you’ll eventually snap and self-destruct.

3. The Drummer and the Keeper

The Drummer and the Keeper is a movie about two very different people who end up living together in an old, decrepit house. The drummer is a deaf-mute, while the Keeper was formerly a renowned film director. The Drummer talks to himself by naming his drumsticks “K” and “D.”

The film starts with both characters at what is supposed to be at their respective lowest points in life – The drummer is having trouble pursuing his dreams and a producer who just lost his job. They met, and their life has changed.

4. Wayne’s World

Wayne’s World is a 1992 American comedy film directed by Penelope Spheei-e and Mike Meyers, starring Meyers as Wayne Campbell and Dana Carvey as Garth Davis. The long-term song “Bohemian Rhapsody” has a famous scene in the movie (although not all its lyrics are included).

Young Wayne loves rock and roll, girls, fast cars, and has an on/off love affair with his nerdy sidekick Garth. This at first seems like teen behavior, but it quickly becomes apparent that this film isn’t just about growing up – it’s about embracing your image while surrounded by the expectations of others.  

5. The Gene Krupa Story 

The Gene Krupa Story is a biographical movie that was released in 1959, based on the life and death of American drummer Gene Krupa. The film follows Krupa’s rise to fame through his ensemble work with Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington, his experimentation with drugs for creative purposes crossed with disdain for traditional punishment, and the most visceral account of backstage fashion during this time in jazz musical history.

6. That Thing You Do

It’s a movie about drumming and, more importantly, about how drummers feel like they sit on the sidelines in life even though they’re the ones leading the parade. Also, it makes us understand that we have as much power for making music as anyone else. It does this while also getting people out there aware that a lot of important stuff happens between beats. And we can only realize it if we slow down. 

7. Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap is a mockumentary that parodies the world of heavy metal and the life of a rock band. The film follows their disastrous tours, sensuality, and quest to become one of England’s highest-paid groups.

8. Step Brothers

Step Brothers is an American comedy film starring John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell, nominated for the 2008 MTV Movie Awards for the parts they play in this film.

The movie is about two idealistic 30-years old single men, Dale Doback (Ferrell) and Brennan Huff (Reilly), who are brought together as stepbrothers to present a stable parental environment for Brennan’s six-year-old son Luke after his mother dies. The film’s plot is described by its writers Adam McKay and Will Ferrell as “a slice of life.”

9. More Bad News

More Bad News is an independent film whose soundtrack was released last year. It stars Bob Morton as a struggling musician who’s getting nowhere with his band and Laura Richmond as a struggling reporter who’s getting fired for standing up to her boss.

10. Vice Versa

Released in theaters on November 1, 1988, it stars Tom Berenger as Phil Crowe and Michael Madsen as Grant Tracey. Written by Rick King-Smith and directed by David Sinden, the original score was composed by Ennio Morricone. The story concerns a rock band drummer (Grant Tracey) who finds himself taking over the personality of his incarcerated twin to save him from a lobotomy. This happens after an auto accident injures their shared brain tissue. At first, he maintains control, but later, his new character gradually starts to take over.  

Drums tell the story. Much of what a drummer is doing with his/her hands and feet seeks to communicate emotional energy that would otherwise remain latent in the music, and it often does so through an intuitive, nonverbal language that transcends linguistic barriers. The drumming performance becomes part of the song, rather than vice-versa as is often true of other instruments.

So by watching drummers movies you can feel inspired and view other people who are also drummers like you. 

You’re probably wondering if drum movies are worth it. That’s an easy answer because the only way to know is by watching them! We recommend you give these drum movies a try and see for yourself what your experience will be. Feel free to comment below after you watch one of the drum movies above or tell us how they’ve impacted your life.

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