‘Sound of Metal’ is a drama film with Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke playing the lead roles of Ruben and his girlfriend, Lou. The couple performs in a death metal duo called Blackgammon, where Ruben is a drummer and Lou is the singer. The narrative primarily describes Ruben’s struggles as he starts losing his hearing. On conducting tests, it is revealed that Ruben will soon lose most of his hearing if he does not get cochlear implants, the hefty expenses of which are not covered by insurance.
Lou grows concerned for Ruben’s deteriorating conditions and implores him to return to a rehab center for deaf recovering addicts. As Ruben settles in his new life, he tries to figure out his identity outside of being a drummer and strives to reconcile his present with his past. The intriguing plot depicts how human beings cope with sudden changes in their lives and how they often struggle with an identity crisis. We compiled a list of similar films that you should check out if you love ‘Sound of Metal.’ Most of these films like ‘Sound of Metal’ are available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. The Nest (2020)
Even though ‘The Nest’ is characteristically more of a thriller, the Jude Law and Carrie Coon film has a similar theme to ‘Sound of Metal.’ Like the latter, ‘The Nest’ is essentially about adjusting to a new life in a completely different setting. Based on a novel by Henry James, the story revolves around Englishman Rory O’Hara (Law) and his American wife, Allison (Coon), who relocate to England to pursue better opportunities. But deeply buried secrets soon surface, and mind games commence as the family tries to fit into their new surroundings. ‘The Nest’ has been commended for brilliant performances delivered by the actors and the representation of the underlying themes.
6. Sightless (2020)
Yet another thriller on the list, ‘Sightless,’ shares similarities with ‘Sound of Metal’ in terms of the dilemma ailing the protagonists in both movies. While Ruben in ‘Sound of Metal’ muddles through his increasing deafness, Madelaine Petsch’s Ellen Ashland struggles with sudden blindness inflicted upon her because of a brutal attack. As Ellen tries to adjust to her new life without her eyesight, she encounters her mysterious neighbor Lana. Ellen grows suspicious about Lana, and soon a plot of tricks and lies unravels. ‘Sightless’ keeps the audience hooked till the very end through an engaging plot and refreshing performance from the ‘Riverdale‘ star.
5. Copying Beethoven (2006)
The fictional take on the legendary musician Beethoven’s last years highlights the musician’s struggle with his deafness and internal dilemma, which aligns with the issues Ruben deals with in ‘Sound of Metal.’ ‘Copying Beethoven’ is set in 1824 and follows Beethoven as he is finishing his Ninth Symphony. Beethoven is introduced to a new copyist whose capabilities he initially doubts but slowly learns to trust her at this point in his life. With Ed Harris playing Beethoven and Diane Kruger playing the copyist, Anna Holtz, ‘Copying Beethoven’ received mixed reviews from critics.
4. Nomadland (2020)
The contemporary drama, ‘Nomadland,’ follows the life of Frances McDormand’s Fern as she travels across the country in a van after she is fired from a job she worked in for several years. Through her exploration of the American landscape, Fern tries to rediscover her identity, just like Ruben in ‘Sound of Metal.’ As the film progresses, Fern experiences several events that make her revisit her old life with her now-dead husband. If you love movies with complete character arcs, ‘Nomadland’ will not disappoint you.
3. Whiplash (2014)
The protagonists of ‘Whiplash’ and ‘Sound of Metal’ have a very evident similarity, their passion for the drums. Both drummers, Miles Teller’s Andrew Neiman in ‘Whiplash’ and Ruben in ‘Sound of Metal,’ go on a journey of self-discovery, but Miles’ experience is defined by his training with Terence Fletcher, conductor and bandleader of Shaffer Conservatory Studio Band. After Terence invites Miles to be an alternate for his band’s core drummer, Miles discovers Terence’s relentless personality as a trainer. The film has received high accolades in the form of an Academy Award nomination in the Adapted Screenplay category and Academy Awards in the categories of Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.
2. Sweet Nothing in My Ear (2008)
The made-for-television drama film is centered on a family with a deaf child. Similar to Ruben in ‘Sound of Metal,’ the child, Adam in ‘Sweet Nothing in My Ear,’ requires cochlear implants to aid his hearing. However, Adam’s parents, Dan and Laura Miller, are in dispute over his custody. Following an incident that injures the eight-year-old Adam, Dan begins to look into the option of cochlear implants. Besides the similar problems the characters in both ‘Sound of Metal’ and ‘Sweet Nothing in My Ear’ are facing, the narratives also play with the themes of Deaf Culture and show the relevance and importance of Sign Language.
1. Mogul Mowgli (2020)
‘Sound of Metal’ lead Riz Ahmed plays the role of yet another ailing music artist in the Bassam Tariq directed ‘Mogul Mowgli.’ In the latter film, Riz’s character Zed is a New York-based British-Pakistani rapper. Just before the commencement of his European tour, Zed is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, which ceases his activities as a musician. The critically acclaimed movie portrays similar themes as ‘Sound of Metal.’ Once ambitious musicians, both Ruben and Zed, find themselves at a point in their respective lives where they must indulge in other aspects of their identities.
Read More: Is Sound of Metal Based on a True Story?