The Top 5 Movies with Grunge Music

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A look at the top 5 movies that feature grunge music, a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged in the early 1990s.

Singles- 1992

Singles is a 1992 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Cameron Crowe, and written by Crowe and Janet Lee Bergstrom. The film stars Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick, and Matt Dillon as a group of twenty-somethings seeking love and success in grunge-era Seattle. The film was distributed by Warner Bros. on September 18, 1992. Singles centers on the romantic lives of a group of young adults in Seattle during the early 1990s. Most of the characters dwell in an apartment block, a sign reading “Capitol Hill: Home of Grunge Rock” is visible through the apartment window. The building is situated above a Metro bus stop across the street from Dahl’s Foods supermarket (now Pagliacci Pizza), creating minor conflict for the residents. Nearby landmarks include Pike Place Market and Mel’s Bar and Grill (which surprised Crowe as still being in business when he revisited Seattle in 2007).

The main character is Janet Livermore (Fonda), a girl from the Midwest who has just broken up with her boyfriend after finding him cheating on her with a man (the opening scenes show Janet’s boyfriend having sex with another man). Janet moves to Seattle to live with her friend Linda Powell (Sedgwick) in hopes of starting fresh. Linda works for Cliff Poncier (Dillon), who owns his own grunge record label called C-Poppa Records; Poncier is also the frontman for Pearl Jam-esque band Citizen Dick.

While waiting for a friend one night at Mel’s Bar & Grill on Capitol Hill, she meets Steve Dunne (Scott), an engineer who works at Microsoft by day but dreams of becoming a rock star by night; he plays guitar for Citizen Dick when they need someone to fill in for their regular guitarist, who often gets too drunk to perform onstage. The two have instant chemistry and begin dating shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, Lynn Severance (“one half black/half Asian”) drops out of nursing school against her parents’ wishes and returns to her home town of Seattle where she reconnects with old friend Tony Costigan (“an Italian kid pretending to be black”). Tony takes great pains to maintain his “street cred” despite being employed at one of the campus bookstores; continually putting his job or schoolwork at risk because he does not want those around him to see him as “selling out”. Eventually Janet begins falling for Steve while Linda sleeps with Cliff – even though Cliff warns that he cannot offer anything more than casual sex due to his doomed relationship with another woman named Nancy Bardrick – whom everyone hates because she constantly breaksCliff’s heart yet he cannot seem resist going back to her every time she calls him up begging for another chance – which frustrates Linda who wants something more serious from Cliff even though Cliff keeps telling Linda that he does not want anything serious because every time he tries getting serious it ends up not working out well for him so why bother trying again?

Tony falls head over heels in love with Lynn after they share an intimate moment at one of Citizen Dick’s concerts but Lynn rejects Tony because she only wants to be friends with him so Tony begins dating Japanese communication major Michiko Kobayashi (“a totally hot Asian chick pretending not be Japanese”). Things begin unraveling for all characters when Steve finally figures out that Janet has been regularly seeing other guys behind his back while claiming that she was working late nights or spending time with friends whenever Steve would try asking her what she was doing or where she was going; this causes Steve great pain because he really loved Janet but cannot bring himself trust her again after finding out that she had been lying him all along about seeing other guys behind his back – leading to Steve breaking up with Janet which then causes Cliff break up with Linda after finding out that Linda had cheated on him behind his back by sleeping Tony whilecontinuing sleep around behind Cliff’s back even though Cliff specifically told Linda numerous times that all had wanted from her was casual no strings attached sex like they originally agreed upon when they started sleeping together thus meaning that Linda broke promise made to Cliff right from start by having sex behind his backwith someone else making everything that happened between them based lies deception much same way how everything happened between Janet Steve based lies deception making everyone end end alone unloved just like how started only difference being everyone else got what truly wanted beginning leaving alone wondering what could have been if only could trust people little bit more instead constantly being lied cheated behind backs…

Last Action Hero- 1993

This Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie might be better known for its metal soundtrack, but there are definitely some grunge songs in the mix. With contributions from Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots, it’s sure to please any fan of the genre.

The Crow- 1994

The Crow is a 1994 American supernatural horror film directed by Alex Proyas and starring Brandon Lee in his final film appearance. The film is based on James O’Barr’s comic book of the same name and tell the story of Eric Draven, a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge the murder of himself and his fiancée by a gang of criminals.

The Crow features a prominent rock and grunge soundtrack, which helped to propel many of the artists involved to stardom. The film also features one of the last on-screen performances by Brandon Lee, who died during production as a result of an accidental shooting.

Natural Born Killers- 1994

Natural Born Killers is a 1994 American satirical crime film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, and Robert Downey Jr. The film was released in the United States on August 26, 1994. The screenplay was written by Quentin Tarantino and David Veloz, with an uncredited rewrite by Stone.

The film tells the story of two victims of traumatic childhoods who became lovers and mass murderers, and are pursued across the country by two detectives drawn to their case. The style of the killings is similar to news coverage of the era which inspired Tarantino to write a script glorifying their crimes.

Tarantino sold the script for Natural Born Killers to Stone for $70,000—with no revisions requested—after harassment from his agent at William Morris Agency over his excessive use of profanity in True Romance. According to Stones 2006 DVD commentary track, he heavily rewrote several aspects of Tarantinos original script such as characters motivations and dialogue. Principal photography lasted for 58 days in New Mexico from February to April 1993.

The film was originally set to be scored by Danny Elfman but he quit due to creative differences with Oliver Stone. Elfman was replaced by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails who scored the entire film in six weeks using many unconventional instruments such as car horns and swearing into a microphone distorted with feedback.

The vast majority of critics praised the film upon release yet it faced controversy over its graphic portrayal of violence and its possible influences on real-life criminals. The film grossed $50 million at the box office worldwide but didn’t make a profit until it was released on home video where it became a cult classic.

SLC Punk!- 1998

SLC Punk! is a 1998 American comedy-drama film written and directed by James Merendino. The film is about two punk rockers living in Salt Lake City, Utah during the 1980s. It stars Matthew Lillard as Steve-O, the main character, and Michael A. Goorjian as Heroin Bob. The film also features Jordan Ladd, James Duval, Devon Sawa, Jennifer Lien, Jason Lee, and Adam Pascal.

The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival.

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