2014’s Best Folk Music Movies

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Here’s a list of the best folk music movies of 2014. If you’re a fan of folk music, you’ll definitely want to check out these films!

Best Folk Music Movies of 2014

It was a great year for folk music movies. Here are some of the best ones that came out in 2014.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is a 2013 American black comedy-drama film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.Set in 1961–62, the film follows one week in the life of struggling folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), following him around the Greenwich Village folk scene. The film won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it also received a standing ovation.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Directed by David Lowery and starring Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is a 2013 American crime drama film. The film had its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2013. It was released theatrically on August 16, 2013.

The film is set in Texas in the 1970s and follows the story of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out to find his wife and the daughter he has never met.

The Broken Circle Breakdown

The Broken Circle Breakdown is a 2012 Belgian drama film directed by Felix van Groeningen. The film is based on the 2010 play The Broken Circle Breakdown starring Geert Van Rampelberg and Veerle Baetens. The story follows the lives of Elise and Didier, two Belgian bluegrass musicians who fall in love and start a family together. When their young daughter dies of cancer, the family is plunged into grief, which takes a toll on their relationship.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. It won nine Magritte Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

Honorable Mentions

If you’re a fan of documentaries, then you’re in for a treat. The following list contains the best folk music movies of 2014. These are the honorable mentions.

The Way Way Back

The Way Way Back is a 2013 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash in their directorial debuts. The film stars Liam James as Duncan, Steve Carell as Trent, Toni Collette as Pam, Allison Janney as Betty, Sam Rockwell as Owen, Maya Rudolph as Caitlin, and AnnaSophia Robb as Susanna.

The film had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2013. It was released on July 5, 2013 (later than its originally announced June 28 release date), to positive reviews from critics.


Mud is a 2012 American coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Jeff Nichols. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard, and Reese Witherspoon. Mud was filmed in Arkansas in the summer of 2011. It premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was released on April 26, 2013.

The film received positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a “Certified Fresh” score of 80%, based on 159 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The site’s consensus reads: “Led by an excellent performance from Matthew McConaughey, Mud offers a thoughtfully crafted, well-acted road trip movie that should find a place in both art house and mainstream theaters.” On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 68 out of 100 based on 37 reviews, indicating “generally favorable reviews”.

Mud was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards including Best First Feature for Nichols and Best Male Lead for McConaughey.

Fruitvale Station

If you want an emotionally powerful movie experience, you cannot do much better than Fruitvale Station. The story of Oscar Grant, who was infamously shot by a BART police officer in Oakland, CA, on New Year’s Eve 2008, is told masterfully by writer-director Ryan Coogler. The film does an excellent job of humanizing Grant and giving us a window into his world in the hours before his death. Michael B. Jordan gives an award-worthy performance as Grant, and the supporting cast is also excellent. You will be thinking about this film long after you see it.

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