The 25 Best Music Documentaries to Stream & Where to View Them

The best music documentaries have the ability to go beyond time and location, carrying the audience to a specific minute in history– be that in the recent or distant past. They can take the form of performance movies, bios honoring an artist’s life, and bits into particular eras– either of an artist’s profession or history in general– there’s no limitation to what they can express.

In recent years there has actually been a strong wave of music documentaries making their way onto streaming platforms, both newer releases and older movies finding new distribution channels. Throughout Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO, the pickings have actually never looked this good, so tune in and inform yourself or enjoy for the sheer home entertainment value.

Scroll on to see our choice of the finest music documentaries streaming now.

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé

Year: 2019

Director: Beyoncé & Ed Burke

Rotten Tomatoes: 98 percent

Editor’s note: Among the finest music documentaries on Netflix today, Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé charts the artist’s journey to Beychella– Beyoncé’s turn last year as the first black female headlining Coachella. Beyond the performance’s extraordinary spectacle and behind-the-scenes take a look at a significant moment in current music history, the documentary– which was composed, co-directed, and co-executive produced by Bey herself– has been hailed as one of the best concert movies of all time by numerous critics.

The Bold Ones

Year: 2017

Director: Allen Hughes

Rotten Tomatoes: 100 percent

Editor’s note: This four-part series tracks the specific and combined success of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, creators of Beats Electronics. From Dre’s early days in N.W.A. and Iovine’s achievements producing for artists such as Tom Petty and U2, to where their careers combined leading to The Chronic, Eminem, and their Beats headphone company (which was ultimately offered to Apple in a historical $3 billion deal), this power duo are really the very best in the biz. This series provides us a better look at their sparkle and decision.




Rotten Tomatoes:

Editor’s note: Among the finest music documentaries in current years, Amy is a post-humous take a look at the life of Amy Winehouse, doing justice to her unbelievable musical capabilities while also depicting her tragic life. Seriously acclaimed, Amy went on to win 30 film awards including the Oscar for Best Documentary Function and Best Music Movie at the Grammys.

Hip-Hop Evolution

Year: 2015

Director: Asif Kapadia

Rotten Tomatoes: 95 percent

Editor’s note: Over an eight-episode series, Hip-Hop Advancement dives deep into the roots of hip-hop and rap culture. Starting in New York City in the 1970 s, the show brings us to the increase of gangster rap on the West Coast and cuts off there, when the genre had moved from the underground to the mainstream. If you’re just going to enjoy a choose couple of music documentaries from this list, make this one of them. Essential seeing for anyone who’s a fan of rap and hip-hop.

Leaving Neverland

Year: 2019

Director: Dan Reed

Rotten Tomatoes: 98 percent

Editor’s note: One of the more grim music-adjacent documentaries to come out recently, Leaving Neverland details two guys’s accusations of sexual abuse against Michael Jackson. The movie concentrates on their stories and does not directly comment on Jackson’s actions or inspirations, while Jackson’s estate has actually knocked Leaving Neverland for lack of evidence and providing a one-sided narrative. There has because been international backlash versus Michael Jackson and his life’s legacy.

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

Year: 2019

Director: Chris Smith

Rotten Tomatoes: 90 percent

Editor’s note: By now Fyre Festival has actually ended up being the stuff of legend. If you haven’t yet checked out Netflix’s documentary detailing how precisely all of it went incorrect, then you’re in for a treat. Controversially, the documentary was produced in part by Jerry Media, the firm that helped market the festival, with criticism drawn relating to the dispute of interest. Hulu made their own Fyre Festival doc and highlighted this reality. Eventually both are worth seeing as they present various sides of the exact same messy story.

Sample This

Year: 2012

Director: Dan Forrer

Rotten Tomatoes:

Editor’s note: Another hip-hop history lesson, Sample This concentrates on an unknown ’70 s track by The Extraordinary Bongo Band called “Apache.” and how regardless of stopping working to end up being a hit, it ultimately turned into one of the most tested tracks of all time. Afrika Bambaataa used it early on, citing its impact, while everybody from L.L. Cool J, Nas, The Roots, Moby, Missy Elliott, JAY-Z, and more have included it in their work.

Keith Richards: Under the Impact



Rotten Tomatoes: 93 percent

Editor’s note: The Rolling Stones’ guitar player Keith Richards is still at it at the age of 71, and Under the Impact records the recording of his first solo album in 23 years. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, the movie is absolutely not one to miss for rock ‘n’ roll fans.

Making It Through R. Kelly

Year: 2019

Director: NA

Rotten Tomatoes: 95 percent

Editor’s note: R. Kelly’s supposed sexual abuse of minor women has long been talked about. In reality it’s been 25 years since his marriage to a then 15- year-old Aaliyah, when the very first stirrings that something was off began. Life time’s six-part series, Enduring R. Kelly, covers these two-and-a-half decades, analyzing all of the different claims versus him, leading up to the last number of years where reports of a sex cult have been swarming. A number of stars appear in the series, including Possibility the Rap artist and John Legend, while numerous of his other collaborators who were asked to comment have actually kept silent. Considering that the series aired Kelly has actually been officially charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.


Year: 2018

Director: Alan Hicks & Rashida Jones

Rotten Tomatoes: 81 percent

Editor’s note: Rashida Jones co-wrote and co-directed this documentary about her dad, the legendary artist Quincy Jones. With a career that covers 6 years, the film states his body of work, as well as offering us an intimate take a look at his life– from his roots on the Southside of Chicago during the Great Anxiety, through to recent health terrifies. Artists who Quincy has affected appear throughout, consisting of Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Will Smith, and more.

Gaga: Five Foot 2

Year: 2017

Director: Chris Moukarbel

Rotten Tomatoes: 74 percent

Editor’s note: Revolving around Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album, Joanne, and her Super Bowl LI halftime performance program, Gaga: Five Foot 2 uses a close-up glimpse at one of the world’s biggest ever pop stars. Highlighting her development process and strong work principles, the movie likewise veers into personal area, as it records her ongoing chronic pain due to Fibromyalgia, along with her home life.

Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives

Year: 2015

Director: Bobbito Garcia

Rotten Tomatoes: 92 percent

Editor’s note: For those who understand, The Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show was the most influential hip hop radio show that existed. And for those who do not understand, it’s time to school yourself. This Netflix documentary honors the famous program while featuring many of the artists who premiered on it back when they were unsigned or unknown, including JAY-Z, Nas, Well-known B.I.G, Wu-Tang, Fugees, and much more.

Bum Rap

Year: 2016

Director: Salima Koroma

Rotten Tomatoes: 63 percent

Editor’s note: Bad Rap shines a light on four Asian-American rappers attempting to burglarize the mainstream, recording their journeys and numerous obstructions in attempting to advance their professions. These 4 artists include Dumbfoundead, Awkwafina– who in the last year broke through with her performing in Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8— Rekstizzy, and Lyricks. It’s a well made film that highlights the lack of presence for Asian-Americans in rap.

Fyre Fraud

Year: 2019

Director: Jenner Furst & Julia Willoughby Nason

Rotten Tomatoes: 78 percent

Editor’s note: Hulu’s Fyre documentary has been neck and neck with Netflix’s because they were both released in January. And while Hulu’s highlights Jerry Media’s participation with the Netflix movie, their own features an interview with festival organizer Billy McFarland, while Netflix’s does not. It was revealed that McFarland was spent for his interview, however the sum has not been revealed, prompting criticism. If you have an interest in the catastrophe that was Fyre, think about both essential watching.


Year: 2018

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Rotten Tomatoes: 89 percent

Editor’s note: The most recent documentary to be launched about Whitney Houston’s life, Whitney, premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and was chosen at this year’s Grammy Awards for Best Music Film. It’s an extremely intimate take a look at the late singer, including interviews with her member of the family, archival video that hasn’t been seen before, and unusual performances.

Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids

Year: 2016

Director: Jonathan Demme

Rotten Tomatoes: 100 percent

Editor’s note: This performance film recording Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience World Trip was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jonathon Demme. Tape-recorded in Las Vegas during the final stop on JT’s world tour, its name is in recommendation to the 25- piece live band that carried out together with Timberlake. It’s certainly a well-executed production– both the efficiency and the recording of it.


Year: 2018

Director: Marcus A. Clarke, Steven Caple Jr., Geeta Gandbhir, Sacha Jenkins, Gabriel Noble, Ben Selkow

Rotten Tomatoes: 83 percent

Editor’s note: Rapture is Netflix’s six-part documentary series about rappers and their lives in and beyond music. Each episode centers on a different artist, including Nas, G-Eazy, 2 Chainz, T.I., Logic, and others. The series specifically intends to reveal often hidden aspects of the rappers’ lives, painting a more complete photo of their general artistry at the same time.

Going After Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

Year: 2016

Director: John Scheinfeld

Rotten Tomatoes: 75 percent

Editor’s note: One of the best jazz musicians that ever lived, John Coltrane’s impact on the category is immense. This all-inclusive documentary strikes all of the beats of his unfortunately brief but complete life, while providing enough new material to keep the full-fledged Trane fan satisfied. Denzel Washington tells the film while checking out excerpts from John Coltrane’s own writing, bringing to life the artist’s spirit.

George Harrison: Residing In the Product World

Year: 2011

Director: Martin Scorsese

Rotten Tomatoes: 86 percent

Editor’s note: Honoring the life and work of Beatle George Harrison, Residing In the MaterialWorld was directed by none besides Martin Scorsese. Harrison’s widow, Olivia, was approached by numerous production business to make a documentary about her late partner’s life and declined them all, describing that he wished to tell his own life story. However, that altered after she fulfilled Scorsese, delegating him to do the task while signing on as a manufacturer herself. The result is an individual account of the artist, from his youth in Liverpool to the rise of The Beatles and his travels through India.

ReMastered: Who Shot the Constable?

Year: 2018

Director: Kief Davidson

Rotten Tomatoes: NA

Editor’s note: This Netflix Original is an anthology series with eight standalone episodes launched under the ReMastered title, each focusing on high-profile events surrounding numerous musicians such as Bob Marley, Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay, Johnny Money, and more. ReMastered: Who Shot the Sheriff? is clearly about Bob Marley– particularly his made it through murder effort in1976 The other episodes in the series are likewise worth having a look at.

Jimmy Hendrix: Voodoo Kid

Year: 2010

Director: Bob Smeaton

Rotten Tomatoes: NA

Editor’s note: Narrated by funk legend Bootsy Collins, Voodoo Kid informs Jimmy Hendrix’s tragically short life story. Mixing archive video, news archives, and uncommon efficiencies, the movie takes us through his childhood in Seattle, short stint in the army, increase in the music world, and unforeseen death at age 27.

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown

Year: 2014

Director: Alex Gibney

Rotten Tomatoes: 100 percent

Editor’s note: For Mr Dynamite: The Increase of James Brown, the late artist’s estate opened their archives for the very first time, resulting in uncommon and never-before-seen video footage, interviews, and photos– particularly those from early in his career. The documentary illustrates Brown’s increase to stardom and his status as the “hardest working guy in program service.” Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger co-produced the movie while appearing in it, acknowledging Brown’s influence on his own work.

Metallica: Some Type Of Monster

Year: 2004

Director: Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky

Rotten Tomatoes: 89 percent

Editor’s note: A timeless now at 15 years old, Some Sort Of Beast uses a suddenly individual account of Metallica at a low point in their profession. Intended to be a basic behind-the-scenes on the making of their very first album in 6 years, the doc captures the band browsing troubled social relationships, resulting in their management employing a performance improving coach that functions as a therapist between members of the group; diva James Hetfield’s stint in rehab; and previous member Dave Mustaine discussing his exit in an individual conversation with drummer Lars Ulrich. A need to look for any metal fan.

Big Deal & Tupac

Year: 2002

Director: Nick Broomfield

Rotten Tomatoes: 81 percent

Editor’s note: Another one from the vault, Biggie & Tupac tries to shine a light on both rappers’ untimely murders. Investigating the myriad theories that have emerged because their deaths in the late ’90 s, the movie discovers possible collusion with the LAPD and eventually pegs Suge Knight, head of Death Row Records, for the murders. However you most likely already understood all of that, as this story is anything but brand-new. However, if you have actually never ever seen the film summing all of that up, it’s worth a watch.

The Doors: When You’re Strange

Year: 2009

Director: Tom DiCillo

Rotten Tomatoes: 61 percent

Editor’s note: Told by Johnny Depp, When You’re Odd is a sort of official bio of The Doors. Establishing member Ray Manzarek specified, “This will be the real story of The Doors,” which it was the “anti Oliver Stone,” referencing the 1991 biopic that was overly dramatized, drawing ridicule from the band and lots of fans. When You’re Strange tracks the development of the band through to Morrison’s death at age 27, and included the very first public release of scenes from HWY: An American Pastoral, a speculative film composed, produced, co-directed, and starring Morrison.

Subscribe to daily news

Words by.
Marta Sundac.


Find Out More

Angie Ronson

Angie Ronson is Editor-in-Chief at THRS. She covers the transformative impact of new technology on all sectors.