Timeless Grunge Movies To Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Grunge movies capture the essence of the grunge subculture, which emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a musical, fashion, and social movement. Grunge movies often feature themes such as alienation, rebellion, and anti-establishment attitudes.

In this article, we will explore 5 of the best grunge movies you can watch on Amazon Prime Video. 

1. Singles (1992)

Released on September 18, 1992.

This American romantic comedy film was written, co-produced, and directed by Cameron Crowe. The movie revolves around the unstable romantic relationships of a group of individuals from the early Generation X. They live in The Coryell Court apartment complex, located at 1820 E. Thomas Ave in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. 

Singles features Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick, and Matt Dillon in leading roles. The film also features cameo appearances and live performances by several grunge bands such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains. Those bands also appear in a soundtrack that showcases the Seattle grunge scene.

A few of our favorite quotes are:

  • "My friend and I have this argument, and here it is. He says when you're at a place like this... ...you can't just be yourself, you need an act. So anyway, I saw you standing there... ...so I thought, A: I could just leave you alone. B: I could come up with an act, or C: I could just be myself. I chose C. What do you think? — Steve Dunne to Linda

  • "I think that, A) you have an act, and that, B) not having an act is your act" — Linda Powell

  • "Well, I don't like to reduce us to just being part of the 'Seattle Sound.' I'd like to think of us as expanding more. Like, we're huge in Europe right now. I mean, we've got records... uh, a big record just broke in Belgium." — Cliff Poncier

  • "We will always go out dancing!" — Linda Powell, with State of Love and Trust playing in the background

  • "My dad left home when I was eight. You know what he said to me? Have fun, stay single. I was eight." — Steve Dunne

A little-known fact is that the movie was originally set to be produced in 1984 and set in Phoenix, Arizona. However, the box office failure of Crowe’s The Wild Life delayed the project. By the end of the decade, Crowe had fallen in love with Nancy Wilson, guitarist in the rock band Heart. He relocated to Seattle to make a fresh start. One of our favorite scenes 

Shortly after filming Say Anything in Seattle, Mother Love Bone’s lead singer Andy Wood died of a heroin overdose. Crowe noticed the music community coming together to process the loss. Therefore, he rewrote his script with the incident in mind, changing its setting to Seattle.

singles film poster

2. Hype (1996)

Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1996 and opened to general audiences on November 8 of the same year. 

This documentary directed by Doug Pray charts the rise of grunge and its enormous impact on the Seattle scene. The film examines the role of media hype, Sub Pop Records, and the cultural factors that shaped the scene. 

Moreover, the film includes interviews and live performances by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney. It also delves deep into the lives of those who defined the era. 

Most noticeably, the documentary covers little-known bands, artists, and personalities that paved the way such as Fastbacks, Nils Bernstein, Art Chantry, Jack Endino, Daniel House, Megan Jasper, Bruce Pavitt, Charles Peterson, Jonathan Poneman, Susan Silver, Susie Tennant, among others. 

A classic scene shows musician Leighton Beezer tuning in Drop D, a sound that became synonymous with the Seattle scene. In addition, he geeked out displaying an interactive family tree of Seattle bands on his old Mac.

3. Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story (2005)

The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on June 4, 2005.

This biographical film chronicles the life and death of Andrew Wood. The charismatic singer of Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone died of a heroin overdose in 1990. The film includes archival footage and testimonies from his family, friends, and fellow musicians. 

4. I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney (2012)

Released on October 30, 2012.

I'm Now tells the story of Mudhoney, one of the pioneering and influential bands of the grunge era. The film features interviews with the band members, their peers, and their fans, as well as rare concert footage and behind-the-scenes clips. 

This documentary captures Mudhoney from its origins in Green River to its current status as a cult band. I'm Now provides an intimate look at how the once rainy backwater became the focus of desire of the entire music industry.

5. Pearl Jam Twenty (2011)

Directed by Cameron Crowe, this documentary celebrates the 20th anniversary of the grunge band Pearl Jam. The film charts the first twenty years of the history of the band. From the disbandment of Mother Love Bone, the conflict with Ticketmaster, and the unfortunate tragedy at the Roskilde Festival. 

This documentary was pieced together from 12,000 hours of footage of the band. In September 2011, it theatrically screened at select cinemas in the US. Shortly after premiered on October 21, 2011, on PBS American Masters. On October 24, 2011, it was released on DVD and Blu-ray.

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