Historical

by heather_hargreaves | created - 06 Sep 2013 | updated - 22 Aug 2015 | Public

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1. Kon-Tiki (2012)

PG-13 | 118 min | Adventure, History

62 Metascore

Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.

Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg | Stars: Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Gustaf Skarsgård, Odd-Magnus Williamson

Votes: 40,357 | Gross: $1.52M

2. Yip Man (2008)

R | 106 min | Action, Biography, Drama

59 Metascore

During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.

Director: Wilson Yip | Stars: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Siu-Wong Fan, Ka Tung Lam

Votes: 191,921

3. Vikings (2013– )

TV-MA | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Vikings transports us to the brutal and mysterious world of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior and farmer who yearns to explore - and raid - the distant shores across the ocean.

Stars: Gustaf Skarsgård, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig, Travis Fimmel

Votes: 306,024

4. Jin ling shi san chai (2011)

R | 146 min | Drama, History, Romance

46 Metascore

An American finds refuge during the 1937 Japanese invasion of Nanking in a church with a group of women. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang, Tianyuan Huang

Votes: 44,331 | Gross: $0.01M

5. Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan (2007)

R | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

74 Metascore

The story recounts the early life of Genghis Khan who was a slave before going on to conquer half the world in 1206.

Director: Sergei Bodrov | Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Amadu Mamadakov, Khulan Chuluun, Honglei Sun

Votes: 41,276 | Gross: $5.70M

6. The Last King of Scotland (2006)

R | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History

74 Metascore

Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970s.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, Kerry Washington

Votes: 161,618 | Gross: $17.61M

7. The Iron Lady (2011)

PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama

54 Metascore

An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

Director: Phyllida Lloyd | Stars: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Susan Brown

Votes: 93,627 | Gross: $30.02M

8. Milk (I) (2008)

R | 128 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna

Votes: 151,998 | Gross: $31.84M

9. The Great Debaters (2007)

PG-13 | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.

Director: Denzel Washington | Stars: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Nate Parker

Votes: 52,316 | Gross: $30.23M

10. The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Not Rated | 121 min | Drama, War

95 Metascore

In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo | Stars: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Tommaso Neri

Votes: 45,930 | Gross: $0.06M

11. Nanjing! Nanjing! (2009)

R | 133 min | Drama, History, War

85 Metascore

In 1937, Japan occupied Nanjing, the Chinese capital. There was a battle and subsequent atrocities against the inhabitants, especially those who took refuge in the International Security Zone.

Director: Chuan Lu | Stars: Ye Liu, Wei Fan, Hideo Nakaizumi, Yuanyuan Gao

Votes: 9,352 | Gross: $0.12M

12. Nanking (2007)

R | 88 min | Biography, History, War

76 Metascore

Through readings of historical account by actors and the testimony of survivors, the events of the Nanjing Massacre are recounted.

Directors: Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman | Stars: Hugo Armstrong, Rosalind Chao, Stephen Dorff, John Getz

Votes: 3,168 | Gross: $0.16M

13. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (I) (1959)

Not Rated | 208 min | Drama, War

A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima, Ineko Arima

Votes: 4,807

14. The Killing Fields (1984)

R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody 'Year Zero' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million 'undesirable' civilians.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands

Votes: 46,436 | Gross: $34.70M

15. The Tin Drum (1979)

R | 142 min | Drama, War

In 1924, Oskar Matzerath is born in the Free City of Danzig. At age three, he falls down a flight of stairs and stops growing. In 1939, World War II breaks out.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach

Votes: 19,924

16. 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: 21,623 | Gross: $0.77M

17. The Imposter (2012)

R | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

77 Metascore

A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Director: Bart Layton | Stars: Adam O'Brian, Nicholas Barclay, Carey Gibson, Bryan Gibson

Votes: 41,062 | Gross: $0.89M

18. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

PG | 81 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.

Director: David Gelb | Stars: Jiro Ono, Yoshikazu Ono, Masuhiro Yamamoto, Daisuke Nakazama

Votes: 29,760 | Gross: $2.55M

19. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

Not Rated | 103 min | Documentary, Drama

73 Metascore

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky | Stars: Jonathan Blow, Brandon Boyer, Renaud Bédard, Anthony Carboni

Votes: 19,224

20. The Queen of Versailles (2012)

PG | 100 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis.

Director: Lauren Greenfield | Stars: Jaqueline Siegel, David Siegel, Lorraine Barrett, June Downs

Votes: 11,732 | Gross: $2.40M

21. Side by Side (2012)

Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary

82 Metascore

The documentary investigates the history, process and workflow of both digital and photochemical film creation.

Director: Christopher Kenneally | Stars: Derek Ambrosi, Michael Ballhaus, Andrzej Bartkowiak, Dion Beebe

Votes: 12,264 | Gross: $0.03M

22. Into the Abyss (2011)

PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people - and the state - kill.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry, Damon Hall

Votes: 14,524 | Gross: $0.22M

23. The Cove (2009)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Crime

84 Metascore

Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.

Director: Louie Psihoyos | Stars: Richard O'Barry, Louie Psihoyos, Hardy Jones, Michael Illiff

Votes: 44,341 | Gross: $0.87M

24. Flags of our Fathers (2006)

R | 135 min | Drama, History, War

79 Metascore

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in World War II.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross, Jesse Bradford

Votes: 109,630 | Gross: $33.60M

25. Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

PG-13 | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History

45 Metascore

A mature Queen Elizabeth endures multiple crises late in her reign including court intrigues, an assassination plot, the Spanish Armada, and romantic disappointments.

Director: Shekhar Kapur | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush, Jordi Mollà

Votes: 60,395 | Gross: $16.29M

26. Vanity Fair (2004)

PG-13 | 141 min | Drama

53 Metascore

Growing up poor in London, Becky Sharp defies her poverty-stricken background and ascends the social ladder alongside her best friend, Amelia.

Director: Mira Nair | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Romola Garai, James Purefoy, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Votes: 18,961 | Gross: $16.14M

27. The Imitation Game (2014)

PG-13 | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Director: Morten Tyldum | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech

Votes: 590,191 | Gross: $91.13M

28. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland

Votes: 222,479 | Gross: $38.41M

29. The Messenger (I) (2015)

101 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

We all want to believe in life after death and imagine loved ones looking over us, feel their presence in a draft of air, or the faint essence of a familiar smell. It's what we crave, ... See full summary »

Director: David Blair | Stars: Joely Richardson, Robert Sheehan, David O'Hara, Tamzin Merchant

Votes: 829



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