Movies About Drummers: 15 Movies To Inspire You

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Movies are a sort of entertainment that is suitable for all classes and ages. When it comes to movies about drumming or drummers, it is not only entertainment but also a journey of an individual or group that can inspire people as well. Today we will list out 15 of the best and rarest drumming movies of all time.

1. Whiplash

Whiplash is perhaps one of the most intense drumming movies ever. The movie was solely written and directed by Damien Chazelle and released on 16th January 2014 at the Sundance Film Festival. It was officially released in the United States on 10th October 2014.


This movie is considered very successful due to a budget of only $3.3 million compared to a box office collection of $49 million. The movie also won the prestigious Academy Award for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Simmons also won the Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe Award, Critics Choice, and Screen Actors Guild for Best Supporting Actor. The film is about a young but ambitious drum player named Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) who wants to be like his idol Bernard “Buddy” Rich.

He was introduced to Terence Fletcher (Jonathan Kimble Simmons), who was an abusive and strict person that will physically and mentally torture the students around him. The journey of this young jazz player from an amateur to becoming a professional is not smooth.

He was bloodied and traumatized throughout his ambition of becoming a jazz player. But after some tough competition, and court cases upon Fletcher, which resulted in his dismissal from the bandleader job, he finally manages to get the final act and get an approval nod from Fletcher.

2. The Gene Krupa Story

This movie is about the real-life story of Gene Krupa, an American jazz drummer who rose to popularity in the early ’30s. The movie was directed by Don Weis and written by Orin Jannings. It was released in December 1959, Gene Krupa played the drumming soundtrack himself in the movie.

Gene (Sal Mineo) wants to be a bass drummer but his father wants him to be a priest. As Gene brings a drum set, his father destroys it. This made his ambition to become a jazz drum player even stronger. So he went out and join a club that performs concerts in that area. There he met Ethel (Susan Kohner) and fall in love.

After his father passed away he become a priest but ultimately he understand that becoming a drum player is his passion. So together with his friend Eddie (James Darren), they went to New York City. Initially, they had a hard time finding any gig or job but after starting playing for Thomas Dorsey (Bobby Troup), his career took off.

But soon after becoming famous, he started using alcohol and marijuana, and finally, he was arrested and sentenced to jail. After being released he did not get any job as a drummer but through his friend Eddie, he got a chance and was finally back on track in his career and also in his love life with Ethel.

3. That Thing You Do

That Thing You Do
That Thing You Do

A comedy film about a musical band that has its up and down through their one-hit-wonder. The movie was directed and written by Tom Hanks and was released worldwide on 4th October 1996. This was a debut film for Tom Hanks in a director role. The movie raked in $34.6 million in box office compared to its budget of $26 million.

The story started in the mid-1960s when Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) was asked by Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech) and Lenny(Steve Zahn) to be the drummer in their band Oneders. They hit it big and win a gig. Their performance was noticed by Phil Horace and gets them performance in a radio show but they were booed after some technical glitch.

Then Phil introduced them to Amos White (Tom Hanks) who gave them advice and rename them as “The Wonders”, Faye Dolan (Liv Tyler) also joins them. They made a lot of tours and their song “That Thing You Do” become very famous and they started becoming very popular. During publicity, all things go bad with each member of the band.

They manage to pull it but soon after Jimmy and Faye broke off. Soon after the band starts to break off and Guy is the only remaining member. All members went their separate ways and Guy and Faye fall in love and get married.

4. Beware of Mr. Baker

Beware of Mr. Baker
Beware of Mr. Baker

This is a documentary film on the real-life story of a legendary rock drummer, Ginger Baker. The film was written and directed by Jay Bulger. It was released on 10th March 2012 in South By Southwest and on 28th November in the United States. The movie won Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary.

Tells the story of what happened to Baker’s life with some interviews. Ginger Baker was a member of Cream and Blind Faith, with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. Initially, at the start of the interview. Jay Bulger was struck in the head by Mr.Baker due to some unhappiness. In the early days, he set up a recording studio in Nigeria and collaborated with Fela Kuti.

He was chased away from Africa and ended up performing in Italy and United States. As he rose to stardom so does his attitude. He become angrier, used marijuana, and finally become broke. Now he is staying in Africa, married, and staying a modest life. He is still known as the angriest musician of all time.

5. The Strip (1951)

This is a story about a jazz drummer who was framed for murder and try to clear his name. The movie was directed by Leslie Kardos and released on 31 st August 1951. The movie went on to win the Oscar for Best Song category. The story starts with the murder of Sonny (James Craig) and wounded Jane (Sally Forrest).

Based on the information that was given by a witness. Stanley Maxton ( Mickey Rooney) was arrested. Stan tells the whole story of how he met with Sonny and Jane. He also tells the story of how he become a successful drummer with the nightclub owner named Fluff (William Demarest).

As he tries to prove his innocence. Jane finally woke up and give testimony that she was the one who shot Sonny in self-defense. Shortly after the testimony, she passed away. Stan finally was released and back at Fluffy’s nightclub to be the drummer.

6. The Drummer

This Hong Kong action drama movie is about the transformation of Sid from a spoiled brat into becoming a traditional drummer. The movie was directed and written by Kenneth Bi. It was released in October 2007. The Drummer won the Best Actor and Best Feature Movie award in the 12th Wine Country Film Festival.

It also won Best Supporting Actor in the 44th Golden Horse Awards. Sid (Jaycee Chan) who is the son of a gangster is wanted by a rival gang. So his father, Kwan (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) sends him off to his uncle’s house in Taiwan. There he met with a group of Zen drummers, a traditional Taiwan drum group.

He joined them and learn some valuable lessons and also fall in love with one of the members, Hong Dou (Angelica Lee). Once he learned the lesson and redeem himself, he finally goes back to Hong Kong and settles the issue with the rival gang member.

7. Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal
Sound of Metal

An inspirational movie about a drummer with hearing Impaired. Directed by Darius Marder and released on 6th September 2019 at TIFF. It went on to win Academy Awards for Best Sound and Best Film Editing. Ruben (Riz Ahmed) is a drummer who performs with his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke). After some time Ruben begins to lose his hearing.

Although the doctor advised him to stop playing, he continues until Lou stops him and sends him to a shelter for deaf people. There he met Joe, who is an alcoholic recovering, and start playing drum for kids there. After some time he sells all his belonging to support his implant.

He even asks for money from joe but was told to leave the shelter. Although the implant was activated, the sound was distorted. He went on to meet Lou and shortly after realized he is not the right man for her. Finally, he left her, throws away the implant, and sits in silence.

8. Wayne’s World

A comedy movie about the journey of two friends who loves music. It was directed by Penelope Spheeris and released on 14th February 1992. It went on to make $183.1 million in box office compared to its budget of only $20 million. Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth ( Dana Carvey) are good friends who host a television show.

Benjamin (Rob Lowe) convinces them to sell the right of the show to him. Wayne falls in love with Cassandra (Tia Carrere) but Benjamin plots to steal her from Wayne. After a contract breach. Wayne was fired and this makes their friendship ruined. Meanwhile, Cassandra breaks up with Wayne.

Finally, the crews break into satellite television and hack it to twist the ending a few times and make it to their liking. Carvey is a real-life drum player and all drum playing scene was played by himself.

9. Adventures of Power

Adventures of Power
Adventures of Power

The movie is about an inspirational boy who does air-drumming to music and his journey to success. The movie was directed and written by Ari Gold and was officially released on 20th January 2008 with an estimated budget of $2.5 million. Power (Ari Gold) was from a poor family and his father cannot afford to buy drums for him.

But due to his passion, he starts to air-drumming to music. After some time he starts performing but did not get the wanted reception. So he moved to New Jersey to join a group. There he nearly falls in love with Annie (Shoshannah Stern) but gets objected to by her mother. When the competition started.

Power leaves the band to aid his father who was hospitalized but manage to come back to a solo performance. He manages to finish the performance and win the grand prize presented by Neil Peart.

10. A Drummer’s Dream

This documentary movie is a must-see for all drum lovers. It features 7 of the best drummers in the world in one place. Written and directed by John Walker and was released in 2010. It went on to win 2 awards in a musical genre. The show starts with 7 renowned drum players teaching 40 students on the drum basics and varieties.

The seven drummers are Giovanni Hidalgo, Dennis Chambers, Raul Rekow, Kenwood Dennard, Mike Mangini, Horacio “El-Negro” Hernandez, and Nasyr Abdul Al-Khabyrr.
They talk about their journey, tips and show their musical talent. In the end, their drum music will never go away from our hearts.

11. Drumline


Story of a teen drummer who joins a college and went head-on with another college in a competition. Directed by Charles Stone III and was released on 13th December 2002. It raked in $57.6 million on box office compared to its budget of only $20 million. Due to the success, a sequel was released in 2014 called Drumline: A New Beat.

Devon Miles (Nick Cannon) went to A&T University and joins the marching band. He became the only person to get the highest level of P1. He also falls in love with Laila (Zoe Saldana). But Devon start to have problems with Sean (Leonard Roberts) and finally was expelled from the band by Dr.Lee (Orlando Jones) after some misconduct.

Devon tries to join rival Morris Brown College but soon realizes it’s a wrong move. He comes back and confronts Sean and gets his place back in the band. Finally, A&T University wins the head-on competition with Morris Brown College with help of Sean and Devon.

12. Step Brothers

Step Brothers
Step Brothers

This comedy movie is about two men who become stepbrothers after the marriage of their parents. Directed by Adam Mckay and was released on 25th July 2008. It grossed $128.1 million in box office compared to its budget of $65 million.

Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly) had to live together as stepbrothers when Brennan’s mother and Dale’s father get married. Dale is a drum player and never likes his drum set to be touched. Once Brennan touched it and they get into an argument. This led their father to ground them and tell them to find a job.

Dale and Brennan started a company of entertainment which directly results in arguments between their parents and split-off. Brennan and Dale went their separate ways too. At a party. Brennan and Dale took it to the stage to sing a song and this ultimately results in the continued relationship of their parents again and they live happily as a family again.

13. The Rocker

The Rocker
The Rocker

Story of a failed musician who together with his nephew goes on tour. Directed by Peter Cattaneo and released on 12th June 2008. This movie was a disaster when its box office collection was only $8.8 million compared to its budget of $15 million. Fish (Rainn Wilson) who was a member of the band Vesuvius was left when the band get a better offer.

20 years later Fish was asked to join another band called A.D.D to be their drummer. Although there were setbacks in the beginning they manage to get the pace going. One time Fish was playing naked in the basement and the video went viral. Immediately A.D.D is back in the mainstream.

They finally were called to play for the band Vesuvius Hall of Fame concert. A.D.D become famous and better after Vesuvius was found lip-syncing.

14. The Man WM The Golden Ann

The story of a drug addict who struggled in the outside world. The film was directed by Otto Preminger and released on 15th December 1955, it made a box office collection of $4.35 million compared to its budget of $1 million.

Frankie (Frank Sinatra) was released from prison and went back to his wife Zosh (Eleanor Park). After some time he tries to become a drummer and when he was nearly there he was sent back to prison because using a stolen suit. Life was not easy for him on the outside and soon he was back on drugs and card gaming.

Meanwhile, Zosh killed Louie and the blame was on Frankie. Molly (Kim Novak) helps him to hide and clean him off drugs. He then decides to surrender as Zosh tried to stop him and ultimately fell to her death.

15. Subway

A crime thriller movie directed by Luc Besson was released on 10th April 1985. This is a French movie. The budget was only $2.6 million compared to its box office collection of $22.3 million.

Fred (Christopher Lambert) stole some documents from a gangster and went underground. There he meets some friends and they open up a band with “The Drummer” (Jean Reno) and Enrico (Eric Serra). As Fred evades the police and the gangster, he becomes more passionate about the band and performs most of the time in the subway station.

The band becomes famous. Finally, he was shot by the henchman of the gangster ending his life and his ambition to lead the band.

All of the movies here are either rare collections or famous movies that can inspire and at the same time entertain us. All these drumming movies are a must-watch and if have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment and ask us. Thank you

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About Maggie Holding

Hello! My name is Maggie and I am a proud Editor/Author for PlayTheTunes. Coming From South Carolina, USA, my whole life I've sang and played the guitar and flute! I love music with a passion, and am ecstatic to help others in their own music journey!