10 fantastic music biopics that you may not know

Films you might have missed but need to see.
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CONTROL (2007)

The thing that plagues musical biopics more than anything else is the producer. Oftentimes it is someone intimately involved with the subject who in turn tends to clean up and soften said subject. That was a major complaint about Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s why Sacha Baron Cohen dropped out of the Freddie Mercury project. It’s why Dr. Dre’s early issues with women never show up in Straight Outta Compton. It’s why David Helfgott practically comes off as cute in Shine.

I don’t think any of those are bad movies, but I have a hard time calling any of them great because of how they sanitize their subjects.

This is decidedly not true of Anton Corbijn’s tragic account of the life of Ian Curtis, frontman of Joy Division before his suicide at age 23 in 1980. Even though the film was based on Ian’s ex-wife Debbie’s book, and even though Debbie served as a co-producer, the movie remains brutally honest about the demons that hounded one of the most important innovators of post-punk. Sam Riley made his film debut and won awards across the board for his performance as Curtis. Samantha Morton played Debbie.