100 Best History movies

by omidpacino | created - 06 Jul 2012 | updated - 1 week ago | Public
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1. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

93 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,091,363 | Gross: $96.07M

2. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 306,507 | Gross: $5.51M

3. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 893,040 | Gross: $75.60M

4. 1900 (1976)

Unrated | 317 min | Drama, History

The epic tale of a class struggle in twentieth century Italy, as seen through the eyes of two childhood friends on opposing sides.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Francesca Bertini

Votes: 20,429

5. JFK (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, History, Thriller

72 Metascore

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

Votes: 130,985 | Gross: $70.41M

6. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

R | 141 min | Drama, History, War

89 Metascore

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.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase

Votes: 146,521 | Gross: $13.76M

7. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

96 Metascore

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt

Votes: 578,094 | Gross: $56.67M

8. The White Ribbon (2009)

R | 144 min | Drama, History, Mystery

82 Metascore

Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible?

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Leonie Benesch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 62,861 | Gross: $2.22M

9. Cold Mountain (2003)

R | 154 min | Adventure, Drama, History

73 Metascore

In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Eileen Atkins

Votes: 132,317 | Gross: $95.64M

10. Munich (2005)

R | 164 min | Drama, History, Thriller

74 Metascore

Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josée Croze, Ciarán Hinds

Votes: 198,869 | Gross: $47.40M

11. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 264,509 | Gross: $198.68M

12. Spartacus (1960)

PG-13 | 197 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

87 Metascore

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton

Votes: 113,546 | Gross: $30.00M

13. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Approved | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 243,450 | Gross: $44.82M

14. Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

86 Metascore

As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 228,892 | Gross: $182.21M

15. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth

Votes: 207,582 | Gross: $52.77M

16. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

R | 139 min | Biography, Drama, History

71 Metascore

World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer

Votes: 367,904 | Gross: $67.21M

17. Barry Lyndon (1975)

PG | 185 min | Adventure, Drama, History

89 Metascore

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger

Votes: 132,718

18. The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

87 Metascore

Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson

Votes: 205,216 | Gross: $12.10M

19. Invictus (2009)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

74 Metascore

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng

Votes: 141,009 | Gross: $37.49M

20. The King's Speech (2010)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

88 Metascore

The story of King George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne of the British Empire in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi

Votes: 594,195 | Gross: $138.80M

21. Defiance (I) (2008)

R | 137 min | Action, Drama, History

58 Metascore

Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos

Votes: 130,254 | Gross: $28.64M

22. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Drama, History, War

62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 106,002 | Gross: $22.24M

23. Troy (2004)

R | 163 min | Drama, History

56 Metascore

An adaptation of Homer's great epic, the film follows the assault on Troy by the united Greek forces and chronicles the fates of the men involved.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Julian Glover

Votes: 452,743 | Gross: $133.38M

24. Silence (I) (2016)

R | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, History

79 Metascore

In the 17th century, two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor, who is rumored to have committed apostasy, and to propagate Catholicism.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano

Votes: 85,379 | Gross: $7.08M

25. The Message (1976)

PG | 177 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

This epic historical drama chronicles the life and times of Muhammad and serves as an introduction to early Islamic history.

Director: Moustapha Akkad | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas, Michael Ansara, Johnny Sekka

Votes: 40,141

26. War Horse (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama, History, War

72 Metascore

Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 136,577 | Gross: $79.88M

27. Les Misérables (2012)

PG-13 | 158 min | Drama, History, Musical

63 Metascore

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried

Votes: 286,295 | Gross: $148.81M

28. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

PG-13 | 121 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Director: Terry George | Stars: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Xolani Mali

Votes: 313,767 | Gross: $23.53M

29. A Passage to India (1984)

PG | 164 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox

Votes: 15,649 | Gross: $27.19M

30. The Post (2017)

PG-13 | 116 min | Biography, Drama, History

83 Metascore

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk

Votes: 108,382 | Gross: $81.90M

31. Red Cliff II (2009)

142 min | Action, Drama, History

Second and final part of an epic tale about a legendary ancient battle that changed the course of China history.

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 21,625 | Gross: $0.63M

32. Red Cliff (2008)

R | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

73 Metascore

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 41,420 | Gross: $0.63M

33. Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, History

94 Metascore

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Votes: 468,005 | Gross: $188.37M

34. Viva Zapata! (1952)

Approved | 113 min | Biography, Drama, History

The story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Diaz in the early 20th century.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Peters, Anthony Quinn, Joseph Wiseman

Votes: 9,322

35. All the President's Men (1976)

PG | 138 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam

Votes: 92,339 | Gross: $70.60M

36. Ben-Hur (1959)

G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History

90 Metascore

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

Votes: 201,812 | Gross: $74.70M

37. Désirée (1954)

Not Rated | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History

The rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Merle Oberon, Michael Rennie

Votes: 2,310

38. The Lion in Winter (1968)

PG | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

1183 A.D.: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him.

Director: Anthony Harvey | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, John Castle

Votes: 26,979 | Gross: $22.28M

39. The Leopard (1963)

PG | 186 min | Drama, History

100 Metascore

The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale, Paolo Stoppa

Votes: 20,207

40. Che: Part One (2008)

Not Rated | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 1956, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and a band of Castro-led Cuban exiles mobilize an army to topple the regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Julia Ormond, Benicio Del Toro, Oscar Isaac, Pablo Guevara

Votes: 42,168 | Gross: $1.73M

41. Che: Part Two (2008)

Not Rated | 135 min | Biography, Drama, History

64 Metascore

In 1967, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara leads a small partisan army to fight an ill-fated revolutionary guerrilla war in Bolivia, South America.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Demián Bichir, Rodrigo Santoro, Benicio Del Toro, Catalina Sandino Moreno

Votes: 30,586

42. The Last Emperor (1987)

PG-13 | 163 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

The story of the final Emperor of China.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ruocheng Ying

Votes: 85,188 | Gross: $43.98M

43. Bridge of Spies (2015)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, History, Thriller

81 Metascore

During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan

Votes: 263,350 | Gross: $72.31M

44. Muhammad: The Messenger of God (2015)

162 min | Biography, Drama, History

The events, trials and tribulations of the city of Makkah in 7th century AD.

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Mahdi Pakdel, Sareh Bayat, Mina Sadati, Ali Reza Shoja-Nuri

Votes: 7,491

45. Enemy at the Gates (2001)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, War

53 Metascore

A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz

Votes: 225,108 | Gross: $51.40M

46. Agora (2009)

R | 127 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom

Votes: 61,632 | Gross: $0.62M

47. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed | 129 min | Drama, History

96 Metascore

A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 80,971 | Gross: $0.06M

48. Bloody Sunday (2002)

R | 107 min | Drama, History, War

90 Metascore

A dramatization of the Irish civil rights protest march and subsequent massacre by British troops on January 30, 1972.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell, Allan Gildea

Votes: 22,095 | Gross: $0.77M

49. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, History

7.1