Jazz Movies

by mbirgi | created - 18 Feb 2015 | updated - 17 Mar 2015 | Public
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1. The Cool World (1963)

105 min | Crime, Drama

A look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a sense of despair due to the racial prejudices of American society.

Director: Shirley Clarke | Stars: Rony Clanton, Carl Lee, Yolanda Rodríguez, Clarence Williams III

Votes: 459

2. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

75 Metascore

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant

Votes: 64,613 | Gross: $24.38M

3. 'Round Midnight (1986)

R | 133 min | Drama, Music

A troubled, but talented musician flees the US to escape his problems, finding refuge and support in Paris.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier | Stars: Dexter Gordon, François Cluzet, Gabrielle Haker, Sandra Reaves-Phillips

Votes: 4,485 | Gross: $3.27M

4. Bird (1988)

R | 161 min | Biography, Drama, Music

78 Metascore

The troubled life and career of jazz musician Charlie "Bird" Parker (Forest Whitaker).

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker, Samuel E. Wright

Votes: 11,030 | Gross: $2.18M

5. The Cotton Club (1984)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Music

68 Metascore

Meet the jazz musicians, dancers, owner and guests (e.g. gangster Dutch Schultz) of The Cotton Club in 1928-30s Harlem.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, Lonette McKee

Votes: 15,845 | Gross: $25.93M

6. New York, New York (1977)

PG | 155 min | Drama, Music, Musical

64 Metascore

An egotistical saxophonist and a young lounge singer meet on VJ Day and embark upon a strained and rocky romance, even as their careers begin a long, uphill climb.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro, Lionel Stander, Barry Primus

Votes: 17,593 | Gross: $16.40M

7. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)

115 min | Animation, Action, Crime

61 Metascore

A terrorist explosion releases a deadly virus on the masses, and it's up the bounty-hunting Bebop crew to catch the cold-blooded culprit.

Directors: Shin'ichirô Watanabe, Tensai Okamura, Hiroyuki Okiura, Yoshiyuki Takei | Stars: Beau Billingslea, Melissa Fahn, Nicholas Guest, Kôichi Yamadera

Votes: 41,423 | Gross: $1.00M

8. Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

70 Metascore

In the 1930s, jazz guitarist Emmet Ray idolizes Django Reinhardt, faces gangsters and falls in love with a mute woman.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Sean Penn, Samantha Morton, Woody Allen, Ben Duncan

Votes: 31,470 | Gross: $4.20M

9. Miles Ahead (2015)

R | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Music

64 Metascore

An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.

Director: Don Cheadle | Stars: Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg

Votes: 8,999 | Gross: $2.61M

10. Mo' Better Blues (1990)

R | 130 min | Drama, Music, Romance

61 Metascore

Jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam makes questionable decisions in his professional and romantic lives.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito

Votes: 10,576 | Gross: $16.15M

11. Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

R | 144 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan

Votes: 3,590 | Gross: $6.03M

12. Chico & Rita (2010)

Not Rated | 94 min | Animation, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey - in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero - brings heartache and torment.

Directors: Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal, Fernando Trueba | Stars: Eman Xor Oña, Limara Meneses, Mario Guerra, Jon Adams

Votes: 8,433 | Gross: $0.35M

13. Kansas City (1996)

R | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Music

57 Metascore

A pair of kidnappings expose the complex power dynamics within the corrupt and unpredictable workings of 1930s Kansas City.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Miranda Richardson, Harry Belafonte, Michael Murphy

Votes: 4,223 | Gross: $1.35M

14. The Gene Krupa Story (1959)

101 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of legendary jazz drummer, Gene Krupa. Since his youth, all Gene ever wanted to do is play the drums and make music. This is something his parents would not approve of- they want ... See full summary »

Director: Don Weis | Stars: Sal Mineo, Susan Kohner, James Darren, Susan Oliver

Votes: 542

15. All Night Long (1962)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Music

This movie, based on William Shakespeare's Othello, is neatly positioned as a vehicle to showcase some of the best jazz musicians of the period, including Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus.

Director: Basil Dearden | Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Keith Michell, Betsy Blair, Paul Harris

Votes: 972

16. Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way (2010 TV Movie)

85 min | Documentary

A chronological look at the life and career of jazz musician, composer, and performer Dave Brubeck (December 6, 1920 to December 5, 2012), presented through contemporary interviews, ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Ricker | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bill Cosby, Sting, Duke Ellington

Votes: 80

17. Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

A documentary film about the life of pianist and jazz great Thelonious Sphere Monk. Features live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius.

Director: Charlotte Zwerin | Stars: Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Jimmy Cleveland, Harry Colomby

Votes: 971 | Gross: $0.52M

18. Let's Get Lost (1988)

Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

85 Metascore

Documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter and drug addict Chet Baker. Fascinating series of interviews with friends, family, associates and lovers, interspersed with film from Baker's ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Weber | Stars: Chet Baker, Carol Baker, Vera Baker, Paul Baker

Votes: 1,758

19. Oscar Peterson: Music in the Key of Oscar (1995 Video)

Music

This riveting music documentary traces the history of piano legend Oscar Peterson, from his early days as Montreal's teenage boogie-woogie sensation through his meteoric rise to ... See full summary »

Stars: Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie

Votes: 13

20. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

Passed | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker, Arnold Stang

Votes: 9,352

21. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Not Rated | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

94 Metascore

A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin

Votes: 20,579 | Gross: $0.11M

22. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Not Rated | 161 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

95 Metascore

In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell

Votes: 57,238 | Gross: $11.90M

23. The Five Pennies (1959)

Approved | 117 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Loring "Red" Nichols is a cornet-playing country boy who goes to New York in the 1920s full of musical ambition and principles. He gets a job playing in Wil Paradise's band, but quits to ... See full summary »

Director: Melville Shavelson | Stars: Danny Kaye, Barbara Bel Geddes, Louis Armstrong, Harry Guardino

Votes: 1,569

24. Play Misty for Me (1971)

R | 102 min | Drama, Thriller

78 Metascore

The life of a disc jockey is turned upside down after a romantic encounter with an obsessed fan.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch

Votes: 24,548 | Gross: $11.80M

25. All That Jazz (1979)

R | 123 min | Drama, Music, Musical

72 Metascore

Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer.

Director: Bob Fosse | Stars: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking, Leland Palmer

Votes: 26,583 | Gross: $37.82M

26. Dingo (1991)

PG | 109 min | Drama, Music

Traces the pilgrimage of John Anderson, an average guy with a passion for jazz, from his home in outback Western Australia to the jazz clubs of Paris, to meet his idol, jazz trumpeter Billy... See full summary »

Director: Rolf de Heer | Stars: Colin Friels, Miles Davis, Helen Buday, Joe Petruzzi

Votes: 299

27. Lush Life (1993 TV Movie)

R | 106 min | Drama

Two best friends play jazz in nightclubs.

Director: Michael Elias | Stars: Ernie Andrews, Jeff Goldblum, Buddy Arnold, Forest Whitaker

Votes: 386

28. De-Lovely (2004)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Music

53 Metascore

Inspecting a magical biographical stage musical, composer Cole Porter reviews his life and career with his wife, Linda.

Director: Irwin Winkler | Stars: Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce, Kevin McNally

Votes: 10,679 | Gross: $13.34M

29. Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music

73 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell

Votes: 134,438 | Gross: $75.33M

30. Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

PG | 93 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels

Votes: 92,510 | Gross: $31.50M

31. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Approved | 96 min | Drama, Film-Noir

100 Metascore

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner

Votes: 26,663

32. Alfie (1966)

PG | 114 min | Comedy, Drama

An unrepentant ladies' man gradually begins to understand the consequences of his lifestyle.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Michael Caine, Shelley Winters, Millicent Martin, Julia Foster

Votes: 13,096 | Gross: $18.87M

33. Afterglow (1997)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

A handyman with marital problems meets a housewife with the same.

Director: Alan Rudolph | Stars: Nick Nolte, Julie Christie, Lara Flynn Boyle, Jonny Lee Miller

Votes: 3,199 | Gross: $2.44M

34. Barefoot Adventure (1960)

Not Rated | 74 min | Documentary

This film from the Bruce Brown Collection explores the trials and tribulations of the barefoot adventurers from the Wedge to Waimea, Honolulu to Huntington, Santa Cruz to Kaui. This film ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Brown | Stars: Bruce Brown, Sammy Lee, Peter Cole, Kemp Aaberg

Votes: 55

35. Black Orpheus (1959)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music

81 Metascore

A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

Director: Marcel Camus | Stars: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira, Léa Garcia

Votes: 9,315

36. Breathless (1960)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Henri-Jacques Huet

Votes: 69,803 | Gross: $0.34M

37. Bullitt (1968)

M/PG | 114 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

81 Metascore

An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn, Don Gordon

Votes: 58,427 | Gross: $42.30M

38. Illustrious Corpses (1976)

PG | 120 min | Crime, Thriller, Mystery

A detective (inspector Rogas) is assigned to investigate the mysterious murders of some Supreme Court judges. During the investigation he discovers a complot that involves the Italian ... See full summary »

Director: Francesco Rosi | Stars: Lino Ventura, Tino Carraro, Marcel Bozzuffi, Paolo Bonacelli

Votes: 1,870

39. Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Not Rated | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè, Yves Montand

Votes: 20,971 | Gross: $0.37M

40. Cleopatra Jones (1973)

PG | 89 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

During the 1970s, U.S. Special Agent Cleopatra Jones proves to be an invaluable asset to the local police forces in the war on drugs.

Director: Jack Starrett | Stars: Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Antonio Fargas

Votes: 2,532

41. Death Wish (1974)

R | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

51 Metascore

A New York City architect becomes a one-man vigilante squad after his wife is murdered by street punks in which he randomly goes out and kills would-be muggers on the mean streets after dark.

Director: Michael Winner | Stars: Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats

Votes: 34,202 | Gross: $22.00M

42. Detective Belli (1969)

R | 103 min | Crime, Drama

A crooked detective begins investigating a situation on behalf of a friend and gets involved in murder, deception and double-cross.

Director: Romolo Guerrieri | Stars: Franco Nero, Florinda Bolkan, Adolfo Celi, Delia Boccardo

Votes: 208

43. The Road to Shame (1959)

85 min | Thriller

Pierre Rossi and Béatrice live in the same block of flats in Marseille and love each other. One night, Béatrice leaves her apartment. Pierre knows that his fiancée goes to a rendezvous, but... See full summary »

Director: Édouard Molinaro | Stars: Robert Hossein, Magali Noël, Estella Blain, Philippe Clay

Votes: 104

44. The Final Comedown (1972)

R | 83 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Black revolutionaries take action in the white suburbs.

Director: Oscar Williams | Stars: Billy Dee Williams, D'Urville Martin, Celia Milius, Ed Cambridge

Votes: 283 | Gross: $0.16M

45. Get Carter (1971)

R | 112 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

Director: Mike Hodges | Stars: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland, John Osborne

Votes: 27,791 | Gross: $0.39M

46. In Cold Blood (1967)

R | 134 min | Biography, Crime, Drama