10 movies to watch if you love jazz

The spontaneous expression of improvisation, the melodic freedom, the harmonic union of parts and the channeling of happy or blue feelings. The characteristics of jazz as a musical genre are also found in films. In the same way that chords accompany the main melody, good cinematography supports an exciting plot, or sound design enhances a good edit.

Jazz has captivated people’s minds and ears for a long time, and its unlimited creative freedom, intricate rhythms and beautiful harmonies have influenced many films that focus on the music itself or instead use its nature as a source of inspiration. ‘inspiration.


ten La La Terre (2016)

When an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) and a jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) meet in Los Angeles, their love for each other interferes with their rising careers.

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The romantic musical that made Damien Chazelle the youngest director to win the Oscar is a sensational production, with colorful musical numbers and a moving story carefully crafted by Chazelle, who as drummer has a special eye for precise details and rhythm. Although the film does not delve too deeply into the essence of jazz, The Earth is a show that can delight anyone, regardless of musical preference.

9 Soul (2020)

When pianist and music teacher Joe Gardner finds himself in “The Great Before,” halfway between Earth and “The Great Beyond,” he must team up with a rebellious soul named 22 to return to Earth.

Praised for its artful jazz soundtrack and emotional story that tackles themes such as purpose, death and the afterlife, Soul released on Christmas 2020 to become one of the best animated musicals of all time. With meaningful musical moments and reflections on life, Soul is an experience that lingers in the ears and hearts for a long time, and a special experience for anyone who appreciates the beauty of jazz.

8 Collateral (2004)

Michael Mann’s neo-noir action thriller Collateral features Jamie Foxx as a taxi driver and Tom Cruise as a calculating hitman who just happens to be a jazz fanatic.

One of the film’s most memorable scenes takes place at a jazz club, where Vincent (Cruise) and Max (Jamie Foxx) stop over during their long night of amendments. Before Vincent makes the owner pay for his faulty knowledge of jazz history, he shares with the taxi driver a cold reflection on life derived from jazz. The duo continues like a late-night jam, rushing and dragging, improvising throughout the journey.

seven Taxi Driver (1976)

One of the darkest films on the list is Martin Scorsese’s 1976 masterpiece, a cynical and maniacal investigation into the life of a deranged veteran and taxi driver in New York City.

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Its soundtrack is the last composition in the career of the legendary Bernard Herrman, who also worked in vertigo, Psychosisand Citizen Kane. The jazz tunes that accompany Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) as he ruminates through the morally degraded city make up much of the unstable, gray feeling that Taxi driver depicts.

6 Green Book (2018)

Named after The Negro Motorist Green Book, green paper follows a gifted jazz pianist (Mahershala Ali) and his hired driver (Viggo Mortensen) on their musical tour through the Deep South.

Winner of the 2018 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor, green paper is a great film about music that is not a musical. Inspired by the true story of Don Shirley, the film features various musical moments in which the pianist displays his classically influenced jazz, and the various shows he performs are a theme that evolves with the story.

5 All That Jazz (1979)

Inspired by director Bob Fosse’s efforts to put together a movie while staging the Broadway musical Chicago at the same time, this musical is a comedic, honest self-portrait that has established itself as one of the best musicals in jukebox of all time.

Like jazz, the film flirts with acid and dark themes, while remaining playful, and its frenetic choreography relies on sentiment. Called by famed director Stanley Kubrick “the best movie I think I’ve ever seen” (via reel world), And all that remains more than forty years after its release one of the best jazzy films to dive into.

4 Chico and Rita (2010)

With a plot reminiscent of The Earththis Spanish animated film follows the romance between a jazz pianist and an aspiring singer who find themselves divided by their careers.

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In a historically accurate Havana and New York, chico and rita see their relationship swing to the sound of Latin Jazz, which is accompanied by colorful and tropical entertainment. Starring famous jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Chano Pozo and Thelonious Monk, the film pays homage to the genre, and its famous soundtrack brings the story to life.

3 Midnight in Paris (2011)

Woody Allen’s romantic comedy isn’t just jazzy in its soundtrack. As Gil (Owen Wilson) wanders through Paris, the scenes and characters he encounters are every bit as colorful, messy, and fun as jazz.

The film feels like a love letter to Paris, one of the cities with the greatest jazz cultures in the world, and the historical characters who appear to the protagonist convey reactions similar to those of the various subgenres of jazz. Midnight in Paris is a hilarious journey through time in the City of Light, and it shares its ultimate essence with the spontaneous, impromptu genre that is jazz – living in the present rather than yearning for the past.

2 Ray (2004)

Considered one of the best musical biopics of all time, the 2004 film depicts the life and career of genius musician Ray Charles. Raised in poverty, Ray (Jamie Foxx) went blind shortly after discovering his gift and love for music.

The independently produced film is a reflection of the musician’s life, brilliant and tumultuous. He pioneered the genre of soul music by combining different genres like blues, jazz, and gospel, and his career was filled with romantic affairs and drug use. Ray is a heartfelt biopic about one of history’s greatest jazz musicians, a gripping film for anyone who’s ever heard the musical genius of Ray Charles.

1 Whiplash (2014)

Although jazz is an art form available and enjoyable to all, only those who push beyond what is expected of them reach the highest heavens of this beautiful musical genre. Damien Chazelle’s psychological drama follows an ambitious drummer (Miles Teller) and the brutal tutoring he receives from Terence Fletcher (JK Simmons).

With a tight tempo that keeps the audience on their toes as they watch the drummer’s quest for perfection, the film reveals the rigor needed to achieve greatness. And its grand finale shows the price that comes with it.

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