Straight Outta Compton
Straight Outta Compton is currently doing business to the tune of tens of millions of dollars as it sits proudly atop the US Box Office. The movie, which hits UK cinemas today [28 August], tells the controversial story of US gangster rap pioneers NWA.
The group, which featured Dr Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, Eazy-E and DJ Yella, shot to infamy on the back of their debut album, Straight Outta Compton, and tracks like Fuck Tha Police and Express Yourself.
The movie looks set to inspire a whole raft of future music biopics, with Wu-Tang Clan among those thought to be ready to transfer their story to the silver screen.
So, before we're hit with a deluge of new movies, we have rounded up some of our favourites to present you with the finest music biopics out there.
And no, before you ask, the godawful Hysteria: The Def Leppard story did not make the cut.
Jimi: All Is By My Side
Ok, we admit that this movie didn't get the greatest response on release in 2014, but it deserves a place here on blood, sweat and tears alone. Director John Ridley had the guts to go with a script that was less-than-pleasing to the Hendrix estate, and he had to make the entire movie without a single note of Hendrix's music.
Outkast leader Andre Benjamin took on the role of Jimi, learning to play guitar left-handed in order to make his performance authentic. True, some critics have questioned factual elements of the movie, but we must tip our hat to Ridley for getting this film into cinemas in the first place.
Sid and Nancy
John Lydon hated Alex Cox's take on the Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen story, but Gary Oldman's performance alone sets this apart from the majority of biopics.
Oldman puts in one hell of a shift, his rendition of My Way being a particular highlight. We're not quite so sure about the Liverpudlian, champagne-quaffing Johnny Rotten, though.
While we're talking negative reaction from band members we have to mention this controversial Oliver Stone flick. Again, Val Kilmer made a decent fist of the lead role as Jim Morrison, but his surviving Doors bandmates were upset at the way in which the singer was portrayed.
All questioned Stone's exaggeration of Morrison's drinking habits, and drummer John Densmore commented that the movie was about the 'myth of Jim Morrison.' Okay, so that's a no for factual accuracy, but a big fat yes in the entertainment stakes.
Walk The Line
A real heavyweight of music biopics, and we owe it all to Dr Quinn Medicine Woman. Yes, it was on the set of the truly dreadful US western drama series that in 1993 Johnny Cash met director James Keach.
12 years later Walk The Line hit cinemas with Keach as a producer. Joaquin Phoenix puts in a dynamite performance as Cash and Reese Witherspoon revels in her role as June Carter. A fitting tribute to the Man in Black.
A sugar-coated re-telling of the Ray Charles story this most certainly is not. From the loss of his sight in childhood and his pioneering r'n'b and gospel hybrid to battles with drugs and his recovery, everything you would want from a Ray Charles movie is right here, including yet another sublime lead performance. This time it was Jamie Foxx that nailed the part, and he won himself an Academy Award for his troubles.
A John Lennon movie that ends just as The Beatles get rolling, where's the fun in that?
Well, Nowhere Boy does one hell of a job telling the Lennon story up to 1960. This Brit flick hones in on 1955-60, with Aaron Johnson taking the lead role. Director Sam Taylor-Wood must have got something right as Yoko herself gave the movie the thumbs up.
I'm Not There
When is a biopic not quite a biopic? When Bob Dylan's involved.
I'm Not There sidesteps the traditional set-up and casts six different actors to tell the many phases of Dylan's life, rather than depicting Dylan himself. So we get Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Marcus Carl Franklin and Ben Whishaw telling the Dylan story through a series of individualised personas. A fascinating watch.
Anton Corbijn's debut in the director's chair resulted in this gut-wrenching movie focused on the life of Ian Curtis.
The film takes us from Joy Division's beginnings to a conclusion guaranteed to leave a lump in your throat. It's little surprise that it received rave reviews on release in 2007. A masterpiece in biopic making and a movie befitting the band it chronicles.