Top 50 Movies Based on Real People and Events

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1.
Into the Wild (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life. (148 mins.)
Director: Sean Penn
 
2.
Ed Wood (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An ambitious but troubled movie director tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support. (127 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
3.
Schindler's List (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans. (195 mins.)
 
4.
Serpico (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him. (130 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
 
5.
The World's Fastest Indian (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years rebuilding a 1920 Indian motorcycle, which helped him set the land speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967. (127 mins.)
Director: Roger Donaldson
 
6.
Malcolm X (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam. (202 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
7.
Patton (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton. (172 mins.)
 
8.
Inherit the Wind (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution. (128 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
 
9.
City of God (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. (130 mins.)
 
10.
The Pianist (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II. (150 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
 
11.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus. (125 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
 
12.
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An unorthodox and irreverent DJ begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the U.S. Armed Services Radio station in Vietnam. (121 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
 
13.
Gandhi (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed. (191 mins.)
 
14.
Spartacus (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic. (197 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
15.
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage. (120 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
 
16.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and lead the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. (216 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
17.
Apollo 13 (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy. (140 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
 
18.
The Social Network (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business. (120 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
 
19.
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A partially idealized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people. (129 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
 
20.
The Elephant Man (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity. (124 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
21.
Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story recounts the early life of Genghis Khan who was a slave before going on to conquer half the world including Russia in 1206. (126 mins.)
Director: Sergey Bodrov
 
22.
Rudy (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame. (114 mins.)
Director: David Anspaugh
 
23.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish. (135 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
 
24.
Zulu (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift. (138 mins.)
Director: Cy Endfield
 
25.
Goodfellas (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy. (146 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
26.
Titanic (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. (194 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
27.
The Last King of Scotland (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970's. (123 mins.)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
 
28.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor. (117 mins.)
 
29.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda. (121 mins.)
Director: Terry George
 
30.
The Battle of Algiers (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government. (121 mins.)
 
31.
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Female-born Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska. (118 mins.)
Director: Kimberly Peirce
 
32.
Raging Bull (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it. (129 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
33.
All the President's Men (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation. (138 mins.)
Director: Alan J. Pakula
 
34.
Braveheart (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England. (178 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
 
35.
Kinsey (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior. (118 mins.)
Director: Bill Condon
 
36.
Finding Neverland (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. (106 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
 
37.
The Insider (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco. (157 mins.)
Director: Michael Mann
 
38.
October Sky (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes. (108 mins.)
Director: Joe Johnston
 
39.
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from the most infamous prisons in the world. (112 mins.)
Director: Donald Siegel
 
40.
What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The story of singer Tina Turner's rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from abusive husband, Ike Turner. (118 mins.)
Director: Brian Gibson
 
41.
Fly Away Home (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A father and daughter decide to attempt to lead a flock of orphaned Canada Geese south by air. (107 mins.)
Director: Carroll Ballard
 
42.
Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it. (141 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
43.
300 (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
King Leonidas of Sparta and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. (117 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
 
44.
Munich (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day. (164 mins.)
 
45.
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects. (102 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
 
46.
Casino (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends. a mafia underboss and a casino owner for a trophy wife over a gambling empire. (178 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
47.
Black Hawk Down (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis. (144 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
48.
JFK (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story. (189 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
 
49.
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazi judges for war crimes. (186 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
 
50.
Joyeux Noel (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life. (116 mins.)