7. Miles Ahead
Box office: $2.6 million
Don Cheadle's coke-fueled Miles Davis biopic is not a flattering portrait of the great trumpeter. Cheadle also plays the raspy-voiced jazzman as he gears up for his 1981 comeback. But don't dare call it a comeback or Davis may come at you with a right hook or a pistol. Like in Almost Famous, a Rolling Stone writer (Ewan McGregor) arrives on the musician's doorstep, hoping for a scoop. After some major convincing, Davis takes the writer, Dave, on an adventure he'll never forget. The best thing about Miles Ahead is the music: we see Davis work with arranger Gil Evans and rehearse "Nefertiti" with his mid-'60s quartet. The finale finds '80s Cheadle/Davis playing one more time with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter (the superband also includes Gary Clark Jr., Esperanza Spalding and Robert Glasper). Despite the movie's flaws, Cheadle deserves a Best Actor nomination from at least one for the many awards shows; he truly inhabits the role.