20 Awesome and Horrible Uses of Rock Songs in Movies

20 Awesome and Horrible Uses of Rock Songs in Movies

Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures

Our favorite musical genre here at Cracked is classical music, because no headbanging stoner anthem even compares to Shostakovich, and mind-twisting guitar riffs are nothing next to good ol’ Bach. Rock and/or roll comes in second, so we thought we might explore the way rock songs have been used in movies. You know, like Fincher choosing The Pixies’ wonderful “Where’s My Mind” to cap his mind-losing masterpiece, or the way every single movie ever uses The Clash’s “London Calling,” well, whenever the word “London” is uttered.

In this Pictofact, then, we examine 20 awesome and horrible uses of rock songs in film. Some of these are sung by characters, others are background soundtrack songs, so we’re mixing our diegetic and non-diegetic music here, for all you jargon nerds. In every case, though, this is about uses of rock music we love (in which case we headbang in approval), or we profoundly dislike (in which case we cross our arms and say, “Wait, how do you manage to begin your movie with a Pink Floyd song and then not use it in the climactic set piece?). So grab your whisky bottle and pump up your speakers, and let’s rock.

Back to the Future

Rock songs in movies TMENT НЕ SE Back to the future Marty McFly's cover of Chuck Berry's JOHNNY В. GOODE is just a classic, classic scene. The boomers enjoy it, but they also reject McFly's transformation of the song into good ol', hard-riffing '80s thrash metal, because they're boomers. We guess they weren't ready for that yet. GRACKED.COM

Universal Pictures

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Guardians of the Galaxy

Rock songs in movies Cuardians of the Calaxy The entire soundtrack is iconic, but we're going with The Runaway's CHERRY BOMB. The scene could have easily used the song in an empty and cynical manner (yes, exactly like Suicide Squad), but director James Gunn allows it to merge into the narrative and eventually take central stage and really rock. CRACKED.COM

Marvel Studios

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Wayne's World

Rock songs in movies WW BILLD Wayne's World We're first introduced to Wayne and Garth when they're headbanging to Queen's BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. OK, yes, we knew them from SNL, but still, Mike Myers, Penelope Spheeris, and the whole gang did a great job with this opening scene. CRACKED.COM

Paramount Pictures

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Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

Rock songs in movies Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny This magical, rad ode to rock and roll sets the tone from its very opening scene, where a young Jack Black-looking kid sings to his uptight family, and the heathens reject his masterpiece. Then his father scolds him, and his idol encourages him-and they're Meat Loaf and Ronnie James Dio. Amazing. CRACKED.COM

New Line Cinema

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Yoga Hosers

Rock songs in movies LI Eh-2 ENTLER ZED Eh-2 ZED 95 DAY SASK Eh-2-ZED 4hh22 Yoga Hosers Opening your wacky horror comedy with a couple of teenage girls singing a brattier version of Anthrax's I'M THE MAN is a brilliant idea. The problem is, as usual, Kevin Smith. His sense of timing is all off, and the jokes simply don't work or stretch for way too long - so that is the best scene in the entire movie. CRACKED COM

Invincible Pictures

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Terminator Salvation

Rock songs in movies Terminator Salvation As Marcus and young Kyle Reese are hot-wiring a car in a nuclear wasteland (ОК?), Alice in Chains' ROOSTER begins playing on the radio. Say what you will about the mediocrity of the Terminator sequels after Judgment Day, but this choice of music pretty much helps this flick be one of the less awful ones. CRACKED.COM

Warner Bros.

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Ocean's Twelve

Rock songs in movies Ocean's Twelve The underrated Ocean's Eleven sequel needs to introduce the best thief in the world, so what music does it choose to go with the montage of his conquests and his long list of accomplishments? Obscure and highly groovy '70s French rock music: Dynastie Crisis's FAUST 72. You're welcome. CRACKED.COM

Warner Bros.

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Captain Marvel

Rock songs in movies Captain Marvel We were all ready to trash the use of No Doubt's JUST A GIRL in the empty corporate product known as Captain Marvel, but then we saw the scene again and we changed our minds. It rocks. Not that much, though - the song is still way too cool for this USAF ad, but it at least gives it some personality. CRACKED.COM

Marvel Studios

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Jennifer's Body

Rock songs in movies Jennifer' S Body After literally devouring the jock, Jennifer takes a swim and then emerges from the lake while The Sword's slow, rumbling doom metal hymn CELESTIAL CROWN blasts in the background. This cult film already had us way before this scene, but a classic song like that sure helps find it even cooler. CRACKED.COM

20th Century Studios

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Rock songs in movies The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo We'd say David Fincher used his immense music video talent for the title sequence of this 2011 movie, but Tim Miller, its creative director, also deserves love. As for the film, it is certainly B-tier Fincher, but a cover of Led Zeppelin's IMMIGRANT SONG produced by NIN's Trent Reznor and sung by the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen 0? Perfection. CRACKED.COM

Columbia Pictures, MGM

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Daredevil

Rock songs in movies Daredevil Evanescence's BRING ME BACK TO LIFE wasn't the worst of the nu metal fad, but it sure wasn't good either. However, combine the song with Jennifer Garner's Elektra slashing bags of sand (because she hates the cleaning staff?), and you cross over into official early 2000s edgelord awfulness. CRACKED.COM

20th Century Studios

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Bring It On

Rock songs in movies LOST NOUR THE 80 pop TANNE - voz Bring !t On We were going with the song by The Clash that first introduces Cliff, but YouTube has failed us, so we're going with the next best thing instead: Cliff's use of Jimmy Hendrix's FOXY LADY to woo Kirsten Dunst's Torrance. Smooth. CRACKED.COM

Universal Pictures

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BASEketball

Rock songs in movies 4 Beers Beers BASEketball Five years after Trey Parker and Matt Stone invent BASEketball, the slacker sport has become huge. And what's the first thing we see after the time jump? A sprawling shot of the stadium, drunk people and cheerleaders and all - and before all that, Reel Big Fish singing BEER. It's dumb-comedy awesome. CRACKED.COM

Universal Pictures

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Transformers

Rock songs in movies Transformers Is this use of Linkin Park's WHAT I'VE DONE during the final scene good or bad? We've gotten so into our post-meta ironic detachment thing that we can't even tell if this is pure try-hard cringe, or actually one of those rare moments of Michael Bay brilliance. It's like we've gone so far and it doesn't even matter. CRACKED.COM

DreamWorks SKG, Paramount Pictures

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